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Stores selling beer that isn't distributed to them...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by HomeBrewed, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. cestlavie

    cestlavie Savant (485) New York Oct 27, 2011

    My only question is that since you are getting direct shipped beer, unless you hold the equivalent of a (in NY) "C" License, are you not forgoing the 3-tier system? The way I understand NJ ABC law, you may not be a retailer and wholesaler, as a C License in NY allows (thus causing a 4-tier system). Basically it sounds like you are creating the opposite, a 2-tier system, unless of course I misunderstand NJ law. I may be completely off base, but by acting as the wholesaler AND retailer for these brands, you might be in some very grey area here. Unless NJ does allow you to sell wholesale to other retailers, other wise it infringes on the "tied-house" statute, does it not? Just curious... I like learning laws in other states...
  2. TBYoung

    TBYoung Disciple (70) Pennsylvania Jul 13, 2013

    this exactly pa laws are shit and outdated if seen this a few times at a couple of places in pittsburgh. i do not really see any wrong with paying more for bootleg beers due to the work involved in getting them. for ex i saw heady topper for eight bucks somewhere and did not have a prob with buying one because its unlikely i will ever be in their distro area.
  3. Shit, I wish the stores near me would do this. Just moved to Fayettenam, NC, and the beer scene sucks balls. Lots of trips up to the Triangle, over to Charlotte, and out to Asheville in my future, I guess...
  4. danscott

    danscott Savant (310) California Jul 15, 2006

    No, Sacramento. Why?
  5. n00bert

    n00bert Zealot (75) Australia Apr 7, 2009

    Interesting thread.

    First some bona fides. I'm equally a retailer, distributor and a consumer. My business isn't based in the US (in Asia actually) but I think it still sort of applies to me.

    While my business is based in Asia, I live and work in Australia. While we get some great beers like stuff from Bear Republic and Green Flash, we don't equally as good stuff from Stone, Hair of the Dog, DFH or RR amongst others. But occasionally, there are stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth where some of their beers pop up in. I'll be the first to say that I rush to these stores to pick up a bunch of beers that I've never had before and that are somewhat legendary. It is obvious that these guys are grey importers and as a consumer I'm super happy to be able to access some of these beers. I know Greg Koch has spoken out against grey importation but as a consumer I'm rather ambivalent about the whole thing - if there is demand for the product you should try your beets to fill it. If you opt to ignore the market then you'll have to accept that there are other entrepreneurs who will find a way to fill the demand.

    Most people who buy these greys know full well the risk we take with freshness so it's really buyer beware. That said they give us the opportunity to try beers that would otherwise not be available.

    On the other hand we are also retailers and distributors and never once have we brought in any beers against the wishes of the brewery. We've been offered beers that we were not supposed to get but we passed it over.

    So yeah, as a consumer it's awesome but as a retailer and distributor we'd like for these breweries to sell is the beer so we can do it with their blessing.
    JackMcAwesome and zenithberwyn like this.
  6. I know a guy that has helped a few stores get things they couldn't before, just out of the kindness of his heart. It's a victimless "crime", no skin off his ass.
  7. cyrushire

    cyrushire Advocate (575) Florida May 25, 2012

    I've seen Hunahpu sold over the counter in Miami. It's cheaper just to drive to Tampa if you want one though.
  8. I get seriously pissed when I ask a local store if they can get something & they say their distributor doesn't carry it so they can't. It reminds me how illogical the tiered distribution system is, that stores cannot fulfill demand that is right in their faces because some mandated middleman is all pissy about certain brewers.
  9. BrettHead

    BrettHead Advocate (525) Nebraska Sep 18, 2010

    There is nothing I hate more than a customer that gets pissed (at me) when I explain I can't "special order" DFH (or insert lame beer they think is special). It either comes through distributors or it doesn't. I'm guessing/hoping you meant pissed at the situation created by 3-tier laws.
    KBrennan1000 likes this.
  10. If the store carries it, I buy it, do people really sit there and go no Abyss for me, it shouldn't be sold here, I'm going without monster beer to be lawful? No, and if you think people do, you are lying to yourself.
  11. First rule about Fight Club...
    SoCalBeerIdiot and MrDave like this.
  12. I have yet to visit TW but have heard good things about your craft beer selection. I am in Cali so Knee deep is not hard to get but I appreciate companies like yours helping out the little guys bring good beer to the market.
    Cheers
  13. drocpsu

    drocpsu Savant (250) New Hampshire Dec 25, 2006

    thanks for the information Rob. It's good to hear the story from the "other" (retailer's) side.
  14. Have you considered that sometimes a distributor doesn't carry it because they CANNOT GET IT? There are at least 15 distributors in my state so if a company wants to send product to NC, they can find someone, in general, to carry it. Brewers also intentionally don't go to certain regions for reasons varying from competition concerns to purely supply issues. On the other hand, if a brewer only contracts with one distributor and they don't work in your state--you are SOL. Your beef there should be with the brewer. Want some Fantome? The Shelton Bros determine where you buy that.

    Smaller craft breweries have no interest in their own distribution even if it was allowed--they focus on beer instead of a truck fleet and personnel. They have to have distributors.


    Back room sellers may feel like they are doing something dangerous and get a thrill out of it but it is really a poor business model. Too much good stuff out there to do that. You don't think the man will catch you in this age of social media and internet? Dumb.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  15. rxeight

    rxeight Initiate (0) Illinois Feb 5, 2012

    Happens all the time with 3floyds stuff. Yes it is illegal.
  16. Plenty of breweries self-distribute and you can sell growlers to go out of a brewery... So... Not sure you're right on this one unless I'm missing some loophole these guys go thru.
  17. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    I bet if IT is Illegal and they get caught it will hurt. I would think those that are doing it, are doing it in place its legal. If not some one will find out and tell. sooner or later. That day will hurt.....
  18. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (355) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006

    It will hurt who? If you're referring to me, you're way off. Stores don't do this where I live, so it would have no affect on me.
  19. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    How will it hurt you? It WILL hurt them that SELL IT. IF ITS ILLEGAL. geez man read the post please.

    No I was referring to the reseller of the said beer. MEANING if a licensed bar/store reseller a beer that is normally illegal, then they will be hurt IF THEY GET CAUGHT

    But hey IF it IS legal for them then its a moot point is it not????
  20. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (355) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006

    Then your post made no sense as a response to the quote you used from me. Touchy subject for you?
  21. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    you said you could NOT care less. and no I could NOT care less. I just would hate the fines is all.
    Its your thread, your the op, wow scary....
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
    BrettHead likes this.
  22. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (355) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006

    If you COULD care less, that means you care. I said I COULDN'T care less, which means I don't care. Two different things. And yeah, obviously if anyone, anywhere gets caught doing something illegal, it will probably sting a little bit.
    JackMcAwesome likes this.
  23. azorie

    azorie Advocate (715) Florida Mar 18, 2006

    lol my bad typing, sorry. I knew what you meant, the grammar always gets me. i need a siri or dragon app on this pc.:D Its what i get for typing before the brain is engaged. slightly dyslexic i think.
  24. malfunxion

    malfunxion Savant (395) New York Dec 14, 2012

    I love when I find special buys that I normally cant get distributed in the area. Illegal or not this is a great way to get your hands on new shit you never see.
  25. It's a dog eat dog world out there, there is a lot of craft beer bars/bottle shops opening up. Retailers have to do what they need, and who cares? I get so stoked finding Bruery Reserve beers without being in the society.. Your local store is doing you a favor. It's illegal, that's why their is the slight increase in price, it will go towards his fine he will get for doing YOU a solid.
    SLOBrewCRUZin likes this.
  26. frazbri

    frazbri Advocate (600) Ohio Oct 29, 2003

    It's not something that angers me, but if I owned a beer store, I wouldn't risk my license to sell brands not registered in my state.
    azorie and BrettHead like this.
  27. rdilauro

    rdilauro Savant (345) Connecticut Mar 8, 2010

    That is a HUGE risk for a store owner to take (at least in CT) Though I would love the idea that I could purchase beers such as any of the Pliny's and Heady right here in Brookfield, CT (Just not at the store I manage the wines for)
    frazbri and azorie like this.
  28. BrettHead

    BrettHead Advocate (525) Nebraska Sep 18, 2010

    What @frazbri said. I don't see how the reward outweighs the risk.

    No beer/liquor store is going to be making any significant % of their profits from selling "illegal" beer.
    surfcaster and azorie like this.
  29. Why would anyone be upset by this? I pretty much make an effort to identify the different places that do this and what exactly they offer. Sometimes it's just getting beer from a nearby area with different distro (legal), sometimes it's a place selling a bunch of gray market beers that I would never see otherwise (most likely illegal.). Those ones are normally high priced and I don't get them, but it's great to have the option.
  30. There are stores that try to take care of their customer, and cheat them fair. How about that?
  31. Well, the one brewer that self distributes to my store also has a brewpub, so that's probably the loophole.
  32. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    Breweries should be allowed to distribute wherever they want. The supposed benefits to the consumer of three tier are illusory. Unnecessary layers of protected profit are all three tier ensures.

    Beer is the most overregulated beverage in this country.

    I can order beer from Pelican shipped to me, but from few other breweries, all because of these antiquated laws. It's not rocket science to see how better it is to be able to order from the producer.
  33. YES, pissed at the 3-tier system. I honestly see no reason for it to persist, and would love it if there were a movement to ditch such laws.
    azorie and smutty33 like this.
  34. nc41

    nc41 Advocate (650) North Carolina Sep 25, 2008

    Freddie is selling one can of HT for $10 limit one, with an order minimum too I believe. I'd pass on that, obviously CA doesn't get HT legally.
  35. Actually the BullSh*t is that it happens.. but in the end it will never sustain itself cause the retailer will either get caught, reported, or just tired of dealing with the bullsh*t that leads to having 'pirated' beer in the first place..
  36. I've seen one store in Cbus sell beers not in their distribution and beer over 12% abv..
  37. jcos

    jcos Aficionado (205) Maryland Nov 23, 2009

    This is how random kegs end up at the good DC beer bars...it's awesome.
  38. Here is a business model, wait until IPAs from a big name brewery with limited distribution goes out of date and are discounted, buy cheap, ship to a state where that brewery is not distibuted, sell the old IPA to people wanting to tick that brewery, profit.

    That won't hurt the breweries rep or the consumers at all right? ;-)
    jdaddy and Chaz like this.
  39. Chaz

    Chaz Champion (815) Minnesota Feb 3, 2002

    From a cursory look at the local shelves, it seems that legitimate wholesalers do this often enough as it is. o_O

    ("Furniture", I believe it's called in at least one set of industry vernacular.)

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