11-Hour Lines for a New Ale? Fans Wait, Breweries Worry

Photo: Krista Schlueter

Photo: Krista Schlueter

In this New York Times story, I uncover what compels drinkers to wait in line for hours and hours to wait for cans of beer, especially IPAs.


Shortly before 11 on a Friday night in January, Justin Saurer parked his car on a gritty Brooklyn street that was best known for its McDonald’s and proximity to the toxic Gowanus Canal until Other Half Brewing Company opened in 2014.

Mr. Saurer craved a first crack at the special India pale ale that Other Half had created to celebrate its third anniversary. But the cans wouldn’t go on sale until the brewery opened at 10 a.m.

What was 11 hours, given his plum perch?

“When you’re the first one here, you don’t have to worry about parking,” Mr. Saurer, 38, said the next morning. A firefighter and a father of an infant daughter at home, he drove in from Amityville, on Long Island, with a sleeping bag. “I have the best sleep in the car,” he said. “There are no kids screaming.”