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If we are truly advocates, should we be limiting how much we purchase?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Providence, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. The slew of new threads popping up regarding KBS have given a clear window to the behavior of many BAs. In threads about special releases I have seen a number of people admit that they have done one of, if not all of the following:

    -Driving to multiple stores to purchase the minimum amount of KBS at each.
    -Having friends/family members go in and buy KBS from stores where they had already purchased their limits.
    -Going back to stores when a different clerk was working and buying their limit again.
    -Buying a case "even though I only wanted a four pack, but there was no limit so I said, what the hell!?"

    While I am not going to say this group is the majority of responders to such threads, the number behaving in this manner is quite noticeable. Additionally, I know you, the reader of this post may see nothing wrong with this whatsoever. That's fine, it's your opinion and you are of course entitled to it. Furthermore, I understand the "the brewery is trying to sell this beer, we're buying it, what's the problem?" line of reasoning. I get it, we want to support the breweries we love. Also, I understand the "it's my money, I worked for it and I'm going to spend it how I see fit" line of reasoning as well. I can't argue with that either. However, what is the impact of those values if another one of our values is to advocate?

    Spending your money how you see fit and supporting the breweries you love can lead to limiting other craft lovers access to special beers. Is that advocacy? I know a number of people will say, "It's not my job to worry about what beers other people get." But isn't that what advocacy is? Isn't there a slice of "giving back" or "helping out" that is inherent in all advocacy? BAs often answer this with "Yeah, but I don't drink all the KBS myself. I share it with friends and family and I put it in trades as extras." While I think that is awesome (truly I do), doesn't it also mean that you are only willing to share the special beer with people you have approved of in advance? Do we, as a small subset of a small subset (ie. a small portion of the craft drinking community) owe it to the no-name beer enthusiast, the person we've never met, to leave her/him a bottle? I personally believe we do. When I have been in situations where I see two bombers of a rare beer on the shelf that I have wanted I always leave one. Life is complicated and not everyone is going to have a chance to grab the beer if I clean them out, so I leave it. To me that is good advocacy. You may disagree and that is cool. I am just hoping that we can start to have a conversation about what good advocacy consists of and, specifically, does it consist of not grabbing excessive amounts?

    Taking the day out of work to drive to 19 stores and score 40 bottles of KBS is your given right as an American, it is the the type of support brewers like to see and will equal lots of happy beer drinkers in your immediate life. Unfortunately, in my opinion at least, it is also lousy advocacy.

    Thoughts?

    Also, full disclosure I got KBS. Two bottles. I am fortunate enough to work near one of Rhode Island's best bottle shops. I popped in on my way to work on Wednesday and then said "check back tomorrow." I popped back in Thursday on my way to work and they have had what looked like 2 cases of it. Again, I was only able to buy 2 and truthfully, that is all I wanted (and was willing to pay for). I bring this up because I think it is fair for me to analyze that my above listed opinions ar coming from a person of privilege (ie. I scored my bottles and now I am going to tell everyone else how to score theirs.) I accept that and understand the potential criticism.

    So again....thoughts?

    PS: Cue the "It's just beer dude" or the "I buy beer I like, it's not complicated man" or the "you're overthinking it bro" responses.

    PPS: This is massive first world problems, I know.
    namyarb3, leinie13, Bluecane and 68 others like this.
  2. miketd

    miketd Savant (485) Ohio Mar 2, 2006

    If people want to drive around like fools and pay a premium for slightly above average beer, I have no problem with that. I will be down at the local filling a growler of something better and easier to get.
    Stinger80OH, WynnO, Revenant and 11 others like this.
  3. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Advocate (620) Oklahoma Oct 22, 2010

    If I could find a case of KBS to buy right now...I would.
  4. bleakies

    bleakies Savant (365) Massachusetts Apr 11, 2011

    I don't trade and I don't flip out if I don't get a bottle of the latest craze, so if others go to extreme measures to get that bottle, it's not my concern, really.

    But the extreme measures and the flipping out just confirm my view that people who claim some moral distinction between trading beer and selling beer on eBay are either extremely disingenuous or deluding themselves.
  5. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (830) Michigan May 8, 2006

    I buy what I need for personal consumption, I don't drive to multiple stores or utilize mules. If I am going to trade a beer it will come from my personal stash, I will not buy more only to trade it away. This is just a personal standard, I do not hold anyone else to this standard. I believe this standard is beneficial to the community and I wish more people operated this way.
  6. I kind of agree with this one. Some people in the beer community can be quite selfish and ruin it for others. It was similar when Westy was released. People would sell blocks online for upwards of $400. Like you said, isn't bring a BA supposed to mean promoting and sharing good beer, not hoarding it and making a profit. Save some for the guy who had to work late that day or something. However, even though there is no way to control this, I don't have a problem with someone driving to only two or thee shops and buying a four pack. When someone drives all over the state and buys hundreds of dollars worth of a limited release, that's a dick move.

    Cheers and up the irons!
    MikeWard, joshbhs04, DHS1029 and 3 others like this.
  7. I like where your heads at and completely agree, but for the purpose of this conversation I think more needs to be said. So if you don't mind, I have follow up questions.

    1.) Why is this your standard?
    2.) Why do you wish more people operated in this way?
    creepinjeeper and Giovannilucano like this.
  8. stupac2

    stupac2 Initiate (0) California Feb 22, 2011

    I don't really care, if it's on the shelf it's free game. Driving around to multiple stores is almost never actually worth your time, I think a lot of people on here act as though their time were worthless.
  9. Honestly, I don't have enough time to worry about scoring 'white whale' beers like KBS or combing trade forums hoping to entice a generous soul to swap for some. Is it really worth it? I always find myself asking that question, even when considering the $15+ price tag on some 750 ml bottles and/or four-packs. I love experiencing new beers, and even the occasional rare beer, but sometimes the rare beer is nothing more than 'rare-to-me.'
    I did make a 4 hour drive to Hardywood Park in December to get some Gingerbread Stout. My girlfriend and I made a weekend out of it though, and it's not something either of us would consider doing on a regular basis. (Not even on a semi annual basis).
    Buy craft beer on a regular basis. Kindly encourage restaurant managers and beer stores to carry local and regional craft brands. Help your friends find crafts they enjoy. That's how we can advocate for better beer.
  10. denver10

    denver10 Champion (865) Kentucky Nov 17, 2010

    This.
  11. Hm.. Interesting question. I came across some Weyerbacher Riserva 2012, and grabbed a bottle. Then I thought, "this might make a nice trade," so I took one more. A friend was with me said, "there are two left, why not just buy/trade those too?" and I said, "no, I don't want to wipe them out." I didn't really think about it, but I know I felt bad about it. So yeah, I guess I have to agree that taking some for yourself and leaving a little for someone else is the way to go.* And if I really think about it, I suppose I'd rather someone in my community (as opposed to a trading partner in BFE) have it, as it only increases the chances of talking about this/that beer with them at a bar, bottle share, etc., because they will also have tried it too. And/or maybe it'll allow them to trade for something they otherwise wouldn't have access to.

    *these rules did not apply when I saw Sucaba at the next store I went to :rolleyes:
    rc51sport, RJM, ufmj and 2 others like this.
  12. denver10

    denver10 Champion (865) Kentucky Nov 17, 2010

    As to the original question.....

    I have yet to be shut out from any beer released into my market...so I guess I don't have any issues with how things are handled around my ways.
  13. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (830) Michigan May 8, 2006

    If I am going to view the group of people we interact with as a community and I am going to be a part of that community, there is a proper way to act and treat others. I do not believe buying more than I need, buying specifically for trading or buying over my allotment is showing respect to the others in the community. At that point I believe I am saying that my desires are more important that the rest of the communities. Bottom line it is just a matter of respect for others.

    If the first answer does not explain why I believe this mindset is better I can expand a bit. I think many people want the advantages of participating with in this beer community but still think with a me first attitude. This happens in every community, this is normal human behavior but I don't agree with it. I think many problems are solved by simply respecting one another, operating in the manner I mention breeds more respect.
  14. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    I bought 15 bottles from 5 different stores over 3 days. One of which I got a 4 pack 2 days after they recieved a case.

    One I drank. One I gave to a friend. 3 were split with friends. 1 is going out as an extra for someone who can't get founders in his home state.

    That leaves me with 2 4 pks to drink and share throughout the year. Most of which will be shared. Some would say that me buying 15 bottles was something an "advocate" shouldn't do. However, over half of it has been/will be given or enjoyed with friends and BAs that didn't have a shot at it, all while not buying more than 4 in any one location. I had the day off and hung out with another BA all day buying kbs and drinking great local beers at the source in between.

    What I'm saying is, when you see the #15 you may think greed. Its not always the case...
  15. fmccormi

    fmccormi Champion (750) New York Oct 24, 2010

    OP, I think you're right on the money here. It'd be awesome if there was enough KBS and stuff like that to go around, for everyone to get their fill and then some, but there's not. I know that when it comes to hard-to-get beers that actually are worth the praise, I'm much happier having had one glass of that beer than having never gotten the opportunity. I can only assume that that goes for everyone else—so in my mind, I'm more satisfied knowing that more people got that satisfaction, even if only a glassful of it, because I know that if I were in that position I'd be happier with one glass than none at all. And who am I to say that I'm more deserving of that satisfaction than someone else?

    Preach, brother.
  16. TurdFurgison

    TurdFurgison Champion (775) Ohio May 29, 2005

    I think most BAs are beer appreciators first and foremost. The advocacy thing is secondary at best.

    So with that in mind it's not surprising that these beer appreciators go to some lengths to get the beers they enjoy.
  17. Well said. I wish more saw it this way.....
    RJM, creepinjeeper and Giovannilucano like this.
  18. You guys really hit it on the head with your points and it is something I am glad others feel besides me. I cannot say much more then what you said, other then we who act simply and kindly, also understand there maybe nothing we can say or do to changes peoples minds about these issues. I just think from the other side, people think we have to make EVERYONE act kind and follow a code, and the irony is at least for me, no I do not press the issue. Another way is the people making assumptions and already deciding who we act is attribute to a myriad of reasons that are not correct.

    For me, I am simple in my beer purchases, I let beer come to me as it may, and how I gave away beer all the time. I am not here to push that my ideals should be followed, but neither should they be questioned. As I had said in another post,the true power is kindness and not greed or rudeness.
  19. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    I'm tired of the market inefficiencies. Rather pay a few bucks more than have to deal with this crap. And you already are paying more with time, gas, etc driving around for each bottle
  20. I would buy you a beer! :D
  21. I don't understand why someone would change their purchasing values just because they become members of this website. I dont understand what you guys mean when you say "as beer advocates" or "advocating". Can somebody explain this to me? Are people forced to to follow certain rules or regulations when they click on the join button?
    Hopstout, JG-90, Horbar and 2 others like this.
  22. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    General population of craft buyers = Beer Advocates????


    Why assume that?

    Why assume the bottles you left on the shelves are going to a BA who will savor them, share with other BA's, etc.?

    Personally I think the general craft beer population are not BA's. All of this growth with the new folks arriving on the scene... no, I don't think we should assume.
    sdsurfer217, ridglens, rab53 and 2 others like this.
  23. I hear where you're coming from. However, let's say for whatever reason I was able to buy all the KBS that came to RI. Let's say it was 10 cases (I have no idea really). Even if I promised to give every single bottle of those 10 cases away for free (after buying them at the regular price myself) would that be advocacy? Wouldn't there still be people who didn't have a chance at it just because I bought it all? Wouldn't their only chance it at then to become one of my friends? Again, I am just thinking out loud here and I am not sure how I feel on these questions yet myself. But they are worth asking I think....
    Giovannilucano likes this.
  24. I don't think the general population of craft buyers are BAs, quite the opposite actually. Additionally, I am not saying we should leave the bottles so another BA can get them. I am saying we should leave the bottles so another person who has even just a slight interest can get it.
    ebin6 likes this.
  25. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    there's a vocal minority. get used to it. ;)

    Many equate it with proselytizing to "convert" people too.... :rolleyes:
  26. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (830) Michigan May 8, 2006

    I suppose it is a matter of viewing this as simply a website or as a community you are participating in. If this is just a website and there is no community that exists then there is no reason to think twice. One the other hand, if you are going to view this as a community then it does not seem far fetched to think more globally than you would before.
  27. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    Its a big grey area.

    In some peoples minds, by purchasing it all and distributing it as you see fit you would in theory be stopping people from purchasing large amounts for themselves to hoard. Right?
    beercanman, Zimbo and Providence like this.
  28. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    We agree on the general population then.

    I'm somewhat soft and open minded about the sincere buyer who buys more to share with other folks who also really appreciate it. But I'm going to be the first to confess that I think those who, as you say, have only a slight interest... are more likely to be the folks who buy it if I don't. Largely for that reason I no longer feel the slightest guilt in buying an allocated limit these days. I did 10 years ago, but not today. You're probably familiar with my disdainful comments on JCL's so I won't go there now. But yeah, sorry to disappoint many here but I just buy at the limits (and yes I do share).
    sdsurfer217, Zimbo and Providence like this.
  29. Well, a good question. I think maybe I forget the use of the word advocate. But I do not believe the above is advocacy. Rather, it is defending what you love and enjoy.
    yemenmocha likes this.
  30. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Kzoo, do you think that most consumers who will buy these products are BA's though? I think that matters a lot in this discussion.
  31. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Champion (910) Colorado May 19, 2005

    First, love the name + avatar combo!

    Second, I see two kinds of advocacy: The first being advocating support for breweries, the second, advocating more people to drink beer. Perhaps they can co-exist, but people will hold each with unequal salience. But there is a difference.

    If one holds true to the first, then the bottom line is an empty shelf
    If the second, then things get foggy. Perhaps buyers are prejudice about with whom they share the beer. But, perhaps not. The best advocacy (for the both views) is for a beer geek to share a good beer with non-geek friends, educating them as they all drink. It's difficult to determine which path each customer travels.

    Of course, some buy up a lot of a brew for trade purposes...
    Providence likes this.
  32. And there in lies the issue....As far as I can see it, some recognize this is a real community, with living, breathing people behind the computer screens that are just like you and me. Others, see it as just another playground where avatars and screen names are characters in this game/movie that they engage interact with.
    mfnmbvp likes this.
  33. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Champion (890) New York Aug 25, 2010

    I'm too lazy/tired (lol) to go driving around trying to scrounge up a limited release. But beyond that, its probably not cool going around trying to wipe out all the local stores to create your personal hoard at the expense of others. I'd like to think that if everybody shopped their limit, or at least within the framework of normalcy, there'd be enough of these beers to go around (you know, like once a year or whatever). I mean, let's not dick each other over just because the brewery is only producing a limited amount.

    Furthermore, I don't imagine it is the brewers goal to make this a contest (like, survival of the fittest), to see who can get their hands on the greatest amount of their beer. I'm sure breweries want their beers to get into as many (different) hands as possible. They're putting it out for "us" to try, but for any number of (reasonable) reasons, they're only producing a limited amount.

    It is then the distributors and retailers job to ration it out in a reasonable manner - and that's what they do, IMO. I don't think there's anything punitive about the process. I also don't get why people have to go so hard about a single beer. There is just sooo much good beer out there...
    Providence likes this.
  34. Well said. But let me ask this, do you see a difference between buying beer for personal consumption and buying beer to trade?
    creepinjeeper and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  35. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Champion (830) Michigan May 8, 2006

    A large portion, likely the majority, of the craft beer customer base are not BAs. They are a segment of the population but they are not a community. I think when you join a site of this nature you are moving away from simply being part of a population segment and into part of a smaller more passionate group of people and part of a community.

    I believe you are correct, this distinction plays a big part in this conversation.
  36. Agree. I split almost all my hard to get bottles with friends who weren't as fortunate... To the point I've sat on a bottle of CBS over a year so I can share it with my friend who's never had it when I finally see him this summer
    VonZipper and yemenmocha like this.
  37. Agreed. And for me, the distinction it plays is based on responsibility. We are arguably a community of the most passionate beer drinkers in the world. We understand it better than most and understanding is knowledge, knowledge is power and, I can't believe I am going to actually say this but...with power comes responsibility.
    mfnmbvp, creepinjeeper and yemenmocha like this.
  38. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Champion (930) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Vomiting emoticon needed so badly here.... ;)
  39. pitweasel

    pitweasel Advocate (540) New York Jun 11, 2007

    Love this thread. This in particular, however, is still a little confusing to me. I respect your attitude on not buying more than you need, but I don't understand why you seem to have a negative view of trading. Let's say someone in another state has access to a beer that you'd like to try, and you have the same in reverse. If you each leave them on the shelf, someone else who already has access to those beers can come in and try them - no harm there. If you each buy a bottle and swap them, someone who doesn't have access to those beers can try them - still seems like a harmless scenario in my eyes. To me, the only variable here seems to be geography. If anything, I think trading - fair trading - seems like a way to boost the community.
    beerindaglass and Hopstout like this.
  40. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Champion (890) New York Aug 25, 2010

    To clarify: you're saying that there are lots of craft beer drinkers, and within that population, a smaller sub-population whom (did I use whom corrrectly?) you would characterize as "beer advocates."
    And the distinction you make between the two is that generic people (with good taste, I might add) who just loooove craft beer will try to accumulate all they can for their personal gratification without any regard for the rest of the population.
    An "advocate," on the other hand, believes that beer deserves to be shared by and experienced by as much of the community as possible. They "advocate" that other people try the beer.

    Yes?

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