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The Reverse Beer Haul... has anyone else done this?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MilwaukeeCrusher, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. I've been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and visit quite a few breweries. While it is not always the case, the mere mention that I have craft from back home has often brought about excitement from employees of establishments. They seem happy to have a chance to try something different or in some cases do research on other brewer's takes in the comfort of their own surroundings. I generally just hope to trade it for something of equal value, although often the gratitude has led to the recipients giving back way more than I could have ever hoped for. Has anyone else tried this?

    It seems that people are more excited in certain areas than others... people in Portland seemed to have a sort of beer hubris about that sort of thing, but it seemed to make their day for people in Colorado, Michigan, North Carolina, and even parts of California (other parts not some much). On a few occasions, I was even given a rare release off the shelves in some distant dark stockroom.

    The reverse beer haul I think is a good thing, and maybe in some small way I'm helping promote craft beer. And with online distribution sites, it can be done most effectively (for finding out what product lines they can't get).
     
  2. DanK4

    DanK4 Aficionado (240) Maine Jan 17, 2012

    I'm all about this idea. Whenever I go back to MI to visit my family I always try to bring back a big haul of Bell's, ABC, and various others. A month or so back I went up to see the good ol' boys at Oxbow and brough them a sixer of Two Hearted along with some Brewery Vivant cans- just because I think the whole crew is wicked nice and they've been more than happy to hang out and have a few beers with my and my girlfriend. We need more of this kind of beer love.
     
  3. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Savant (395) Wisconsin Mar 13, 2010

    I take a lot of my brews I trade for down to a local brew pub and split them with the owner/brewer, whoever is bar tending and maybe a few regulars. They usually give me some free beers on tap or will bring stuff from travels but I just do it because I think it's a waste to drink it by yourself and while I have friends who are into craft they are not always around when I decide to open a bottle but the bar is only a few minutes walk and all the people are great. Most importantly though they all love great beer so why not share.
     
    Gilmango likes this.
  4. When I went to Walt Disney World back in November you better believe I sent myself a box filled with awesome beers (mostly canned IPAs)

    We stayed on property using resort transporation so there was no venturing out to a bottle shop
     
    spookyspeeg likes this.
  5. I have to remember this next time I go. I was hoping to get some cigar city when I was done there last July, but just the usual Sam Adams, Coors or Yuengling
     
  6. I think you are missing the point of this thread.
     
    atone315, j47paco, deuce9259 and 3 others like this.
  7. Again, read op. getting off topic.
     
  8. One thing I thought about this is while I'm sure you're friends love your beer, I've seen when you bring it to people who can't it almost ends up like an EVENT. While some of these brewers are almost rock stars, in the beginning most if not all were like us and really like craft beer. It also is a great way to make friends in far off lands, as many on here can attest to.

    As I said at Stoutfest's party a few years back, the greatest thing about beer is it brings people together. Beer doesn't make people violent, just sometimes stupid people drink beer. Unfortunately society likes to blame beer for it.

    I hold up my Pako's IPA in acknowledgement of all my friends on here and again endorse the reverse beer haul. Besides, it saves postage for everyone.
     
    jRocco2021 likes this.
  9. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Not brewers per se...but I do enjoy bringing along things from my travels/trades to share with the fine folks at my favorite beer store...they sure dig it...and I like both spreading the love and hearing their opinions on different brews...and last time we ended up sharing with Jan (brewmaster) from Sixpoint...and he was all snapping photos of bottles and such...way better than just drinking them in my boxer shorts in my recliner.
     
  10. bifrost17

    bifrost17 Initiate (0) Washington Dec 16, 2011

    I'm fortunate enough to live walking distance away from my favorite beer bar in Seattle, and also fortunate enough to have a very generous trading partner located in the Chicago area....(durb777 is the man!!) I always try to bring something good with me from recent trades to share with the owners of the bar. I love to share good beer with good people that can appreciate, and discuss the beer with me.
     
    Durb777 and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  11. raczkowski

    raczkowski Savant (340) Florida May 16, 2011

    if i am going on a trip, i tend to bring about 12-24 beers with me...i travel as a side job and one of the first things i look for onBA is the stores to hit up. i bring non-distoed beer with me to give to the employees at store, especially cigar city or Goose Island for states that have a ABV cap. i have done this a few times an gotten reciprocated very nicely with swag from these stores and discounts/free beer. i am reallystarting to enjoy allowing others to try beer they cannot nomally get. my part time job is pretty sweet too. get to hit a lot of the best beer stores in the nation.
     
    MSEGUIN likes this.
  12. Do you get more joy out of trying the more popular beers or are you like me? I always get pretty excited if I make a discovery... maybe it is sort of how I choose my music. Status quo is so boring and then I generally have something new for friends to try that I'm somewhat sure they didn't have.
     
  13. I'm new to beer but picking things up from travel sounds really great. I always like to open bottles of something I picked up with friends. Although knowing what to pick up isn't the easiest thing since I don't know that much. Still a great idea
     
  14. beerinmaine

    beerinmaine Aficionado (225) Maine Jun 20, 2009

    Very timely, as I just got back from Oxbow where I *possibly* reverse-beer-hauled some goodies, and *possibly* have done this on a somewhat regular basis for a while now, and might have been talking to them about a brewery-to-brewery reverse beer haul later this spring. It's a pretty cool habit. :)
     
  15. Was going to do this very thing at a Total tap takeover coming up . I have a couple bottled beers that were never available here so figured I would bring with and share at the bar ..
     
  16. loafinaround

    loafinaround Savant (380) New York Jul 16, 2011

    I have an entire reverse haul beer friendship thing going on.... every time we meet, we exchange piles of brews that we've picked-up for each other just because.... we expect nothing in return at all... but are often surprised with something in return...

    (not to mention it's fun to talk about all those different beers as we gurgle them down one by one...)
     
  17. raczkowski

    raczkowski Savant (340) Florida May 16, 2011

    Well after reading on here I love the discoveries. I went to hop city thanksgiving I. Atlanta and walked away with 200 worth of beer and growlers bc I couldn't get the beer down here. Everywhere I go I'm
    Looking for beers I can't get down here that are rates high on BA or highly sought after. Once ran into 2011 BCBS at a store back when it was rare and hard to get and first time I tried it. So I'm like you but always have beer with me to give the guys that help me in the store.
     
  18. TheGoldsmith

    TheGoldsmith Zealot (80) Missouri Jan 20, 2013

    A true advocate of beer!
    I like this idea for it's results, but also in terms of taking local/regional brews that you like and spreading them out to where they don't necessarily reach. It may only be a trickle, but I think it's a good way to initiate interest in those lesser-known breweries and put them on the path to success.
    But also just the awesomeness of sharing beer with anyone, it's a beautiful thing man.
     
  19. Cenosillicaphobe

    Cenosillicaphobe Savant (360) Maine Jul 24, 2011

    Exactly...there is almost nothing better than sharing good beer with good people...always makes me smile.
     
  20. Dope

    Dope Advocate (565) Massachusetts Oct 5, 2010

    Interesting concept, I like it. I travel to MI from MA at least once a year and I like to bring back lots of local midwest goodies. I share them with a few of my favorite guys at the local stores back home. I never thought of taking MA beer to MI though. Do you bring them to stores? To bars? To breweries? How do you strategize the whole thing? Do you just seek out people who are really into beer and then mention you brought some stuff? Or do you just show up at a brewery with beer and let people come to you? Just curious how the whole thing goes down with a bunch of strangers.

    Dope
     
  21. Last year I took a chance and quit my job. My intention was to try and find something in Colorado (found something in Nebraska). I packed my vehicle full of stuff that I would need... and 10 cases of beer composed of random six packs people seemed to want or others I thought were under-appreciated. I posted on here I was coming. No responses. When I arrived and was in the Denver area, I had about 20 responses (I've found more enthusiasm here than anywhere else for craft). When I visited breweries, I would buy a flight and say I'm burning time waiting to meet up with others to trade beers. Often the servers ears would perk up or in the case of mentioning I had some New Glarus with me, it almost led people to drool. Either the server would want to trade, run in the back and get a beer geek that worked there (sometimes the head brewer or owner themselves), or just simply we would just change the topic to something else. I would come out necessarily looking for trades at an establishment, I'm not sure if the is totally the right way to do things but there are most casual ways in doing it.

    Please not I don't ever expect a trade, but if they want to do you probably made their day. And never expect more than what you got into it... honesty goes a long way in beer karma. If I go on a trip, I always bring at least a few cases. I'm currently pondering a trip to Alberta with a week I have free in July.
     
    FishPondManager, SammyJaxxxx and Dope like this.
  22. As for the strangers thing, I guess I've always been a sort of a social gypsy. If I hang around people too long, things start to get stale so I'm used to meeting people. What makes things even more interesting it the people you meet in other areas probably have some totally different experiences than yours... read up on the history of the area you're going to or what the area is famed for. It really fills in between the lines for a most effective trip when get the actual perspective of a group of locals instead of off a travel site or Wikipedia. Maybe also it promotes in some small way social unity, something that has to some degree been lost over the last... I don't know 50 to 100 years.

    Bring back the town squares in the centers of the cities... sorry off topic.
     
  23. Dope

    Dope Advocate (565) Massachusetts Oct 5, 2010

    Sounds like a lot of fun if I'm honest. Wish I had some free time to do stuff like that too! Maybe I'll bring some Jack's Abby to MI next time I'm out, I'll bet there's some folks at Founders or Dark Horse that would appreciate it...

    Dope
     
  24. This pretty much describes me when I travel. I bring beer (mostly Surly, since they put so much in cans) to trade and give away to BAs with unfulfilled wants.
     
    Drtfinelli and SammyJaxxxx like this.
  25. I don't drink Heady Topper (not a big-hops fan) but I live so close the cannery that I enjoy picking up a case of 4-pks. on my way to wherever to give out in exchange for some local goodies - always $4$. I enjoy spreading the love around from my local brewery. [On that note, please no PM's about muling for you!!]
     
  26. j47paco

    j47paco Savant (360) California Dec 19, 2010

    Before I read the last line of your post I thought to myself, "My God, this poor guys' inbox is gonna explode!" ; )
     
  27. This is an excellent topic. I travel for work and have an advantage of living in an out-of-the-way state relative to where I work (So Cal and New Mexico lately). I have a favorite beer bar in Cal, and I just show up with a bottle of something not easily available to the locals. Just for the karma alone giving away the bottle is worth it. Sure I occasionally get a "gift" in return, but that's not the reason for giving. It just feels good, and beer people seem to understand that more than the normal bloke.
     
  28. chicano4craft

    chicano4craft Savant (310) Colorado Apr 18, 2009

    I actually met MilwaukeeCrusher while he was doing one of his reverse beer hauls. That was like 6 years ago and were still friends today. It's an awesome thing to do! I did the same thing when I went road tripping thru Wisconsin and Minnesota. Funny thing was I didn't get many responses on the threads I started. I ended up bringing MilwaukeeCrusher and one other BA a bunch of beer. But the cool thing was the other BA hosted a tasting for me and my wife. It's a great way to meet people with at least one similar interest. On the same trip I gave some liquor store worker a couple bottles of Pliny. That kid was stoked. He mentioned he had always wanted to try it and I had some in the cooler.
     
    gpawned likes this.
  29. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Savant (445) Illinois Mar 2, 2013

    Not a surprise. Buy and drink local is part of their religion. They are very generous homer beer raters too.
     
  30. Yep yep. It's fun. I surprised Simon at Cave a Bulles in Paris with about 20 beers (and some glasses); loved seeing that look on his face.
     
    DaveAnderson likes this.
  31. As Kennedy said, ask not what craft beer can do for you, but what you can do for craft beer???

    Not only have a partied and shared with "chicano4craft" but also many others in Colorado, California, Washington, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida.... well those are the most prominent ones.

    I remember visiting a lighthouse north of Bremmerton, WA and while looking out at the Puget Sound (and the lights of Seattle in the distance) I wondered if oceanic marine life made it in this far. On the front porch of the lighthouse was a man and woman... I figured they were the keepers of the lighthouse. This was not the case, as they told me they rented it for their 25th wedding anniversary. I don't know how it happened but somehow that he was a home brewer came up. He offered me a Bridgeport Red and I in turn when and grabbed some New Glarus from my vehicle. We sat and chatted in that old lighthouse for hours, looking at some of the old joke books etc there from the early 20th century and the place in general. I was conscious of his wife's feelings but she seemed to like it too. She was originally from Idaho and gave recommendations of crossing Washington that way. One Christmas ago and sent a couple mixed six packs out of the blue to them and they sent me back some home brew books. We keep in touch occasionally on line.

    Now if I can find the business card of the cool dude in San Diego that I had a impromptu beer tasting with to maybe send some goodies. He didn't mess around, opening a Westy 12 right out of the gate.
     
    FishPondManager likes this.
  32. Smithrob9999

    Smithrob9999 Savant (425) Texas Aug 3, 2011

    I travel a lot for business and bring beer back for my local shop. I ask for nothing in return but they always hold stuff for me. I'm lucky to have a great group of BA's run a beer store. I love seeing their eyes light up when I bring a rare treat
     
  33. OP is legit. One of the best BAs I've ever met. I've never seen a Chevy Cruz packed with so much beer. Glad to hear you're doing well.
     
    chicano4craft likes this.
  34. Scalzo

    Scalzo Savant (375) Illinois Feb 27, 2012

    I bring Zombie Dust wherever I go, for whatever reason people go batshit crazy for the stuff
     
    Drtfinelli and FishPondManager like this.
  35. Be careful.
    "Free beer" is illegal in some states.
     
  36. I would have done the same the last time I was in Paris, if only I had thought to look it up on BA in advance. Simon was very friendly, and has a great store.
     
  37. If you ever go back, he likes the hops!
     
  38. One of the greatest ideas EVER! Thanks :)
     
  39. CruisaC

    CruisaC Savant (300) Ohio Sep 3, 2010

    Currently planning a box o' beer to bring with me to dump on my buddy Chris at Peabody's. always fun to spread the proverbial beer wealth!
     
  40. Thanks... I remember the name fishpondmanager but I'm having trouble placing it... I think I dealt with like 20 people in Colorado so a few of them run together.

    I still think the car every time gives me a weird look every time I go out to it now....
     

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