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Are Non-Ticketed Cali Brewery Releases No Longer Worth It?

Discussion in 'US - Pacific' started by GhettoFabulous, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. My sentiments exactly.

    All this release madness is starting to feel much more like trophy hunting than beer appreciation. Which sucks.
    3frog likes this.
  2. rgco

    rgco Aficionado (180) California Apr 2, 2012

    The poor are use to waiting in lines for free bread and stuff, that is why the are dept at cueing for beer releases
  3. MLucky

    MLucky Savant (355) California Jul 31, 2010

    All this kind of reminds me of a scene in Cheech & Chong's "Up in Smoke." (At least I think it was Up in Smoke. You know what they say: if you remember the '70s, you weren't really there.) C&C are having trouble scoring some. All their usual dealers are bone dry, and they're driving all over town trying to find some. At some point Chong says "It's because too many people are smoking it now. It ruins it for the rest of us."

    This was funny, at least during the '70s, cause it was kind of true. Pot had become much more mainstream, and it was no longer exclusively a hippie/hipster/college campus/inner city ethnic neighborhood kind of thing. All kinds of people were smoking it, and it was driving up prices, man, and if you couldn't find any, it was the fault of all those new people!

    So... now we're in this period with craft beer where suddenly there's all these new people on the scene. And it makes it harder to get special releases, and prices are going up, and lines are longer. Too many people are drinking it now, and it ruins it for the rest of us!
  4. ipa247

    ipa247 Savant (270) California Dec 23, 2008

    I am quite content with my life sir. I have no need or desire to wait in massive beer lines anymore with folks who probably wont even drink the beer and will either trade it away to the highest bidder or let it collect dust and rot in their hoarder cellar. I have many friends in the beer industry which means I can pretty much get bottles of most anything if I really want to seek it out. I also have lots of regular trading buddies and local BAs who will get me a bottle of something if I politely ask.

    And again my statement remains why are people waiting all night and morning to pick up bottles of a Citra based IPA when there are many many commercially available IPAs that fit this bill at your local beer store? IMO it certainly is not because the beer is that much better. More of a Pokemon (as someone else so aptly described) collecting of hyped and rare release beers mentality than anything else. Look what happened to Sculpin IPA. Years ago it was one of the most coveted IPAs on the planet when it was available growler only. Everyone said it was the bees knees and there was no better IPA on the planet. Now that it is available commercially it is rarely talked about and certainly not held in the same esteem as it used to be. Kern River Citra would suffer the same fate if it was commercially available. A very quality IPA and nothing more.

    Later today I will certainly enjoy my 6 pack of Lagunitas Sucks that I picked up a mile from my house and did not have to wait in line for hours to purchase and drive hundreds of miles to obtain.

    Go Niners!
    PaulStoneAnchor and futura123 like this.
  5. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    You know, standing in line is actually very enjoyable. Its not only about the beer. Its also about all the awesome people you meet throughout the day, sharing other awesome beer together, sharing stories, making friends, making contacts. There shouldn't even be threads about bashing on standing in lines. It is actually extremely fun no matter what release it is. If you want to go down the street and go sit back at home on your couch and drink your beer, cool. I much rather go to an event and have a blast meeting all kinds of people from different walks of life.

    Go Nineeeeeeers!

    Cheers all and take care!
    1424IpA, albertq17, BUNZILLA and 2 others like this.
  6. How long do you think you'll be going for the experience before you decide it's gotten old and look forward to just sitting on your couch drinking a beer?
  7. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    Most likely never. To many new and great people out there. I had a blast at the Ctira Release on Friday and Sat. Met some awesome people. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sitting and having a beer at home, but to go out for a weekend here and there to have some fun. Hell why not!! :)
    Avalon, albertq17 and hwy395 like this.
  8. I'm quite sure that you're outwardly satisfied with your life. The implied smugness in your "unemployed losers" comment and propensity for speaking in absolutes makes that clear. As for the rest of it, I don't care who is showing up or what time people are arriving to buy Citra or any other beer as long as mutual respect reigns among fellow line slaves.
    TheHooch likes this.
  9. Xul

    Xul Advocate (525) California May 18, 2008

    Go home empty-handed a few times and/or deal with a situation like the BASS '09 release and you'll change your tune. Meeting fellow beer geeks can be cool, assuming they're not trying to cut in line, or telling you that they don't even care about the release they're in line for, they just want trade bait, or telling you that someone paid them $20 to stand in line for them and how excited they are to pick up some Night Train before they head back to their cardboard box.

    I'd rather meet interesting people while actually drinking beer, than while standing in ridiculous lines to purchase beer.
  10. I think you guys are arguing 2 different scenarios. Kern River is sort of a rare bird, in that they physically far enough way from large population that you won't get people paid to stand in line, or even a lot of people just getting trade bait. I could see the line model working there, because most people there actually want it.

    Stand in line releases in the San Diego city limits = fail.
  11. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    We actually drank a lot of great beer standing in line!! Then even more great beer once we got inside!
  12. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. I usually do when I go out for a beer-related event, but regardless of whether or not you enjoy yourself in line, there's still that very real possibility that some won't come away with the same experience due to being shut out. There's that very real consideration of coming away empty-handed. Someone posted a photo of a couple of lawn chairs being placed at 12:45am and while the two who owned the chairs may or may not have held their place in line, there's a precedent being set that if you don't dedicate yourself to getting up and taking a drive at 2am, then there's no guarantee that you'll succeed at getting your bottles.
  13. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Savant (260) California Aug 19, 2011

    theyre not a big offender, they do a great job making sure the beer is available. its ridiculously expensive to produce so they only do it once a year and why would you WANT them to inflate the price when they are charging you a fair amount and not marking it up to high hell??
    teamizm, jasonmason and DrAwkward82 like this.
  14. Does that imply that kern inflates the price of a $7 doulve ipa beer?
  15. It's one thing to talk to other people in line and meet new folks, share a tale or two.

    But, you know, when you're standing next to a row of five empty chairs that were placed there as space holders/anchors, that's never going to be cool in my book.
  16. i would probably have set them on fire. it gets cold in the mountains before sunrise.
  17. rrryanc

    rrryanc Savant (400) California May 19, 2006

    As a brewery doing a special release, you can either increase the supply, increase the cost, or have a bunch of people miss out. Russian River does nothing to alleviate the supply and demand issues, and their PtY release is getting crazier by the year. Do you really think they're doing a good job when there's a 4-5 hour line on opening day?
  18. mjl21

    mjl21 Advocate (535) California Apr 3, 2008

    You're that guy that wants to tell your friends you were first. All you need is a little patience. If you go later this week you may have to wait five to ten minutes. They posted on their FB page last night that there were times yesterday where people came right into the pub.
    jasonmason, afrokaze and pinkgrenade like this.
  19. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Savant (260) California Aug 19, 2011

    they CANT do anything to alleviate supply and demand issues. they do their best to keep it fair, reasonably priced, and are SUCH a gerat brewery that they have it on for 2 weeks straight!! hardly any other breweries keep a beer around for that long that has such high demand. you are being ridiculous saying they are doing it wrong

    if people wanna wait in line for 4-5 hours, so be it. they KNOW there WONT be a line a week later. but they made a personal choice to be able to say they were there the first day i guess.

    and again why on earth do you want a brewery to inflate prices simply because there is a demand?? thats absurd
  20. rrryanc

    rrryanc Savant (400) California May 19, 2006

    No, I'm the guy that lives on the Peninsula that could only reasonably make it up there on weekends - when it's a shitshow. And while I might go to someplace local, I'm just far more likely to miss out completely than deal with the headache. And beyond that, it's a 4-5 hour line on release day - that's just not a well run release.

    Again, like I said earlier in the thread, breweries can release beers however they like and I don't really care - it's their business. I think that RR has poor beer releases though that are a pain in the ass. I get that they work for some folks, but they definitely don't for me.
  21. Azrael

    Azrael Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013

    You should be out there revolutionizing the field of economics instead of wasting your time on BA.
  22. rrryanc

    rrryanc Savant (400) California May 19, 2006

    Just to make this completely clear, this is bullshit. There are multiple things they CAN do to alleviate supply and demand issues. They have other reasons for not wanting to do so, which is clear. But to claim that it's beyond the breweries control? That's bullshit.

    Your arguments are getting increasingly ridiculous. Why is adjusting price to meet demand absurd? Seems like pretty damn basic economics to me.
  23. No, the Sam Adams Spring mix 12 pack and Lagunitas Sucks releases went great this weekend!

    I was able to stroll into Total Wine, no line cutters, there was only one guy in line in front of me and he was grabbing some Jagermeister. Weather was great on my patio and I enjoyed the beers in that setting a lot. 10/10 would attend that release again, possibly this weekend.
    afrokaze and abecall98 like this.
  24. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    This is true. Those 5 chairs in the front of the line were bullshit. Everyone was pretty upset that they were standing in line while those people were sleeping in their lodge.

    But if you truly want to bring home some bottles, just show up early. Its one day. There will always be people that will do shady things like that, that is just the world we live in and no one can change every single person out there.
    No need to argue over this.
    The way it was done was still great. Personally online sales would have been a bad idea, you sit on a computer and click a button to see who is the fastest button smasher. Ridiculous.
    Just suck it up. If you want something bad enough show up early for a SINGLE DAY and have some fun while doing it, I sure as hell did. I made some great friends in the process, who I am actually meeting up with soon! If not, then sit at home, get bottles that you don't have to wait in lines for and do some trading! If everyone could get every single bottle of every single beer, a lot of the fun of the hunt would be gone.


    HAVE FUN

    Cheers All!
    albertq17 likes this.
  25. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (470) California Dec 11, 2010

    Are you not aware of what happened at the Beat release last year? The line for bottle pickups was a few hundred people deep and at the peak, the wait was almost 2 hours. Just for bottles, not for a table.
  26. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    2 hours? That's it? Get over it..... Whats two hours standing in a line talking to people?

    Just sit at home and dont even think about going to it next time! Leave it for people who will have fun standing in the line waiting for them!!!!!!
  27. I'll never be able to understand this line of thought. It brings up images of Black Friday and iPhone campers--it just makes very little sense to me. I'll wait in line if I have to, but if it can be helped, I'll avoid waiting in line at all costs.
  28. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    really? That sounds stupid. I would say those people lost their spot inline. If they had those chairs and were hanging out with other people in line or there was a tasting area, that is fine. But up and leaving is stupid. If this is the new practice I am going to my local camping store and buying a bunch of cheap ass chairs to just sit in front of brewery's doors waiting for the next release... I hear DDG might be released sometime this year, better stick a chair near the entrance of LA.
  29. One unscientific observation I've made being in California for the past 15 years after growing up in the Midwest is that when it comes to line behavior, most Californians are confrontation adverse. Very seldom do I see people getting called out for obviously jumping in line. I guess it is a natural extension of the "I'm OK, you're OK" attitude.

    It is one thing to leave chairs and have at least one person from your party there to "save the spot", but if nobody is there doing that, I'd just toss the chairs aside and move ahead in line.
    KaslD likes this.
  30. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (470) California Dec 11, 2010

    You missed the point of my post. I wasn't complaining about the wait. The person I quoted implied that there are never lines for bottle releases at RR, which is false.

    But thanks for the comment. Clearly we know how you feel about driving a long way and standing in a long line for an IPA.
    RedBeeron and abecall98 like this.
  31. abecall98

    abecall98 Advocate (540) California Aug 11, 2007

    You are really, really twenty twelving up in here.

    I don't see why you are so bothered by somebody who posted his distaste for long lines at releases.

    To answer the OP's question, yes, it is getting quite ridiculous. Howerver, I just have to plan accordingly, or accept that I don't need the bottles being released. I have gotten used to the later much more lately. Stick to what I can get, and enjoy that. However, I won't look down at or belittle people who do make it early.
    jtmartino likes this.
  32. Hatzilla

    Hatzilla Savant (310) California Jul 25, 2008

    Should have sold the chairs on Ebay........
  33. I'm opposed to anchors/Jesus method/short straw tactic of having one person wait for the group And that is what was a big problem with Friday's citra release.

    You did a line count early enough and you were number 50. But then once all those place holders woke up or came back from a 2-3 hour absence, you suddenly were out of luck.

    There should be no spot holding besides a quick bathroom break, walking up the line or sharing a bottle.
    nanobrew and TheHooch like this.
  34. rgco

    rgco Aficionado (180) California Apr 2, 2012

    Would it have been an a**hole move to take those chairs holding a place in line, with no one in them, and move them off to the side?
  35. When you go the grocery store, you must choose the longest line you can find, let people skip ahead who have more items in their cart than you and exclaim 'woohoo!' every time someone needs a price check. I bet your nickname is "DMV Enthusiast".
  36. Perhaps, but it would be deserved.

    I also agree with Earlycsquid. If one or two people are going on a bathroom break or a quick food/beverage run, that is one thing, but to disappear for a while (to sleep in hotel room, for example) is sort of annoying if you are trying to figure out your position in line.
    TheHooch likes this.
  37. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    Ah ok. Sorry bout that.
    Yup I enjoy having fun! IPA or whatever!
  38. TheHooch

    TheHooch Zealot (95) California Jun 22, 2012

    Lol! Yes I AM the DMV Enthusiast...! Haha. You know it!
  39. ScottO

    ScottO Savant (280) California Mar 4, 2012

    What's up Hooch? Good to meet you and hang this weekend. In case you can't tell from the picture, this is the Scott that you had lunch with on Friday.

    Have fun in Santa Rosa - unless you are already there.
    TheHooch likes this.
  40. I thought this year's BA Odin's Raven tasted great. Has it turned out infected as well?

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