Limited edition beers are all the rage. The extreme is probably Russian River Brewing‘s once-a-year-so-limited-you-can’t-get-it-outside-their-own-brewpub Pliny the Younger, smuggled-out growlers of which fetched over $150 on eBay. But almost every self-respecting craft brewer does it – and it takes all kinds of forms, from Fuller’s long-established Vintage series (which uses a different recipe each year, often a historical Fuller’s recipe) to brewers whose every beer practically is limited edition, like Kernel and Mikkeller. Of course, we all know that limited doesn’t equal good – but I have to admit, I am a sucker for almost anything that says “Limited edition” on it. It’s the collector in me. That and the fact that my first truly memorable beer encounter was with a bottle of Carnegie 1986 Vintage Porter (drunk in 1993), an encounter that prompted me to re-prioritize my meagre student budget in order to buy a whole case of said beer (it lasted me until 1995). The Carnegie Vintage Porters were, of course, highly limited edition beers even though at the time they were not marketed as such. I’d like to think it’s the memory of that beer that still makes me perk up every time I see the phrase ‘Bottle XXX of YYY’ on a label.