Whole Foods Katy

Discussion in 'US - Southwest' started by icetrauma, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. icetrauma

    icetrauma Savant (495) Texas Sep 7, 2004

    S. Fry road opened yesterday. Went by there on the way in today and they have Pontificator and Mysterum Verum Imperium on tap. No sign of Abyss.
     
  2. Clonies720

    Clonies720 Initiate (0) Texas Oct 24, 2012

    My buddy went to the opening. Says they have growler fills AND sell homebrew supplies. I gotta check it out.
     
  3. icetrauma

    icetrauma Savant (495) Texas Sep 7, 2004

    It was crowded as all get out and the Mysterium Verum was the only tap that stood out. I was kinda hoping for a BBA Hellfighter on opening day or 2 but no dice.

    They did have the Brewers Release Black Quad in the cooler.
     
  4. mmireles

    mmireles Aficionado (210) Texas May 18, 2005

    They've got a good guy running the beer department there, his name is Ian. He used to run the beer department at Specs in Sugar Land. Really nice guy, definitely knows his stuff.
     
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  5. icetrauma

    icetrauma Savant (495) Texas Sep 7, 2004

    That's good to know. I'll only be working out in Katy until June. I plan on utilizing the hell outta their growler fills.

    Edit...they also had Live Oak Hefe for all you hefe fans.
     
    Ford likes this.
  6. Clonies720

    Clonies720 Initiate (0) Texas Oct 24, 2012

    Ian left SL Specs? I feel like that location is going to go down without him. He seemed to really keep things together in the beer department, and knew his stuff. Talked with him many times and he was cool to hold beers for me if I asked.

    Still. Good for him on finding what will hopefully be a more fulfilling job.
     
  7. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    they has some rye on rye in there too, I live two miles from it. The available kegs looked interesting too, makes me want a kegerator.
     
    Ford likes this.
  8. mmireles

    mmireles Aficionado (210) Texas May 18, 2005

    Yeah, I was sad to see him go. He was definitely the best beer guy of any Specs location I've ever been to (including the smith street location). I'm kind of worried about that locations beer section going downhill now too, they are still trying to find someone to replace him.

    He told me the Whole Foods in Katy is a little closer to where he lives. They are lucky to have him.
     
  9. Clonies720

    Clonies720 Initiate (0) Texas Oct 24, 2012

    I rarely bother even going to the Sugar Land Specs anymore. Last few times I went, their shelves were practically barren, and new stuff was hardly getting stocked. That being said I found a loner Stone Mint choc stout on the shelves there and bought it one day.
     
  10. rockchalker

    rockchalker Aspirant (40) Texas Dec 17, 2010

    Ian had mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that he was headed to WF in Katy, their gain, SPECS loss. I agree that the supply and diversity of their beer seems to be going down. I like the WF in Sugar Land much better than SPECS>
     
  11. Daemose

    Daemose Savant (480) Texas Oct 3, 2011

    BA user pawpaw used to run the beer dept at whole foods kirby, supposedly he works here now.
     
  12. jbeezification

    jbeezification Savant (415) Texas Jun 6, 2012

    Justin took a good promotion for this new store and with Ian running the beer department I really wish I lived near Katy to justify the store being my new favorite beer store.
     
    BeanBone likes this.
  13. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    Thought I'd pop in to clear some things up :)

    The rumors are partially true, I'm at the Katy location now, but we currently do not have a beer and wine specialist (initially it's going to be one position at our store instead of having a beer specialist and a wine specialist). There are several people that have applied and will be interviewing for the position, but in the interim it will be a combination of me, my team leader, and our coordinator purchasing beer and wine.

    We also have a bunch of awesome kegs in the cooler that we'll be tapping eventually (and I'll definitely let you guys know), such as BBA Hellfighter, Morgul, Highlander, 120, to name a few.

    We got one case of The Abyss, like every other WFM, but it was gone in no time.

    Also, for those of you who don't already know, you can now order kegs through us to take home for your systems. Virtually anything that is available we will sell you (things that we're only allocated one--like BBA Hellfighter, won't be for sale for obvious reasons).

    Hope to see you all around.
     
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  14. Daemose

    Daemose Savant (480) Texas Oct 3, 2011

    That sounds awesome. Any jester king kegs?
     
  15. TxUltraRunner

    TxUltraRunner Savant (400) Texas Aug 16, 2012

    Will there be a Twitter page or some way of letting people know what is currently on tap?

    No facebook as this teacher doesn't need one.
     
  16. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    Haven't decided as to how we're going to keep an updated tap list for everyone, but I'll let you know hopefully within the next week.

    @Daemose currently no Jester King kegs--they're pretty hard to come by. You guys should all pressure Jeff into sending us one :)
     
  17. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    awesome to know youre now 2 miles from me. if you get the Katy WF anywhere near what youve done at Kirby WF, i'll never have to shop at specs again lol.
     
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  18. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    Aww shucks :)
    I'm pretty proud of where I took the Kirby store so I really appreciate it when others can recognize that.

    The bar is obviously going to be the current focus while we amass limited kegs and figure out what's popular (we went through almost 60 gallons of Live Oak from Wednesday-Sunday, so expect to almost always see at least one brand from Live Oak on tap :)) and with that information we'll start changing out the cold box accordingly.

    It's going to take some time because the suburbs are pretty weird (surprisingly, we've had a TON of requests for sours--where are these suburbanites drinking sours?!) but I think after a few months the cold box will be in a good spot.
     
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  19. Lutter

    Lutter Advocate (650) Texas Jun 30, 2010

    Jester King actually self-distributes kegs IIRC. Their distro is a wine seller so they don't do kegs at all. They want to monitor their product's quality, so they physically come in, clean the tap lines, and setup the kegs. There's actually only a handful of places that even carry them on draught in Austin
     
  20. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    Yeah, once I saw the available kegs, I wanted to run out and buy a kegerator immediately lol. With World of Beer opening in the immediate future, I'll never have to leave my bubble with exception of weekly trips to D&Q.
     
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  21. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    They may self distribute kegs in the Austin area but Virtuoso handles everything in Houston. If I buy a Jester King keg for WFM in Houston, I buy it through Virtuoso.

    Jeff has stated many times that they don't really focus on draft beer--that's why you rarely see it anywhere aside from the few places that seem to always have it (Draughthouse, Banger's, etc.)
     
  22. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    I love D&Q, but it's rare that will he have stuff that you aren't able to find at WFM or HEB, and not only are you driving into the loop but you're also always going to pay a lot more at D&Q. Some people are okay with that and would rather support a small, independently-owned operation, but I buy so much beer that I'd rather pay less for my alcohol (and WFM does case discounts, if you're into that sort of thing).
     
  23. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    D&Q, from experience and based on what i like and purchase, has gotten beers prior to WFM or HEB. A "lot" more is normally $1, at the price point we're all paying for beers, I wouldn't think its breaking the bank for anyone of us.

    If you create a twitter account or email list that can consistently tell us when a beer is supposed to be coming in, i will certainly be persuaded to come to WFM Katy a lot more versus specs.

    For me, it's not a necessity to support HEB or Specs or WFM, but a necessity to know when a beer will release, d&q will inform me every time of when something new is coming out, regardless of limited release or regular release. information is key.
     
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  24. pawpaw

    pawpaw Savant (310) Wisconsin Jan 18, 2011

    Fair enough, but I think justifying paying more to have something first is a really weak argument. I guess I just don't understand why it matters when a certain retailer receives product when it's guaranteed to hit every other major retailer within a week or so. Everyone is on the D&Q hype train because he gets stuff first, but all that means is you're paying a premium to say "I had it before you."

    And yeah, "a lot" more may just be a dollar or so, but that dollar adds up really quickly when you're buying more than one thing at a time at least once a week.

    I do absolutely agree with you that it's awesome how Brandon tweets everything, regardless. Unfortunately it's really difficult to justify something like store-specific Twitter accounts to the powers that be. It's something I've been fighting to have for a long time. We've discussed doing our own sort of listserv for limited releases, etc., so keep your eyes and ears open for that when it's announced.
     
  25. mmireles

    mmireles Aficionado (210) Texas May 18, 2005

    Problem is not all beers are guaranteed to hit every other major retailer within a week.... take the abyss for example. plus if you know for a fact that D&Q has something in stock, it's worth that extra buck for most to just go and get it rather than drive around Houston from store to store going to every HEB, Whole Foods, Central Market and Specs wondering if they got it in. Sure you could try calling the stores, but half the time the people don't know what the hell they're talking about or give you false info. Plus Brandon always seems to know EXACTLY when he's getting stuff in, none of this "we should have it sometime this week or next week" crap
     
  26. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    You're quoting a part of my argument, so with that, I'm not justifying the dollar extra to "have it first" I'm justifying the extra dollar to know that I'll get it based on information that Brandon is able to give me. Be it tweets, texts, facebook updates, its all information, and its useless if you cant give i to the people that want/need it.

    In order to "have it first" you first have to have it correct? That's what I'm after, WFM, Specs and HEB can't tell me when they are going to have a certain beer based on release date like Brandon can. The last person that could tell me when beers were releasing for the week was Lindsay from Downtown Specs. Whomever is tweeting for Downtown Specs is just now getting into the swing of things with their tweets. The Corner Shell station is doing a wonderful job of this with their facebook page. Are you unable to tweet from your personal account or possibly create a new account?

    If I had to rely on chance and phone calls to find Abyss in Houston, I wouldn't have a single bottle, I'm sure a lot of people missed out because of a lack of information from their local beer stores. I've been to other WFMs before and they had no idea what the hell i was talking about in terms of beer, you might be the first that ive heard of ever since I first hit you up on twitter looking for DFH Positive Contact. You're doing a great job with what you're working with.
     
  27. UHCougar12

    UHCougar12 Advocate (500) Texas Feb 21, 2011

    My biggest complaint about D&Q is if you don't live close, or arent a regular those special releases are "sold out" by the time you get there. Even if its 10 minutes after he tweets it. So, his tweeting releases and getting product first is really irrelevant for someone who has a 45 minute drive, and can't be regular. Where-as at heb or Hubble, which typically gets every release could careless and will sell to you. That's not to say I don't shop at D&Q, and don't think what Brandon does is awesome for the craft beer market, but Ill only go there if I'm in the area and just looking around.
     
  28. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    My HEB and Specs dosent anything in terms of special releases. I'm hoping WFM Katy changes that for the area. I was surprised HEB even got Karbach BBA Hellfighter. It's a sad day when its DR release day, and the specs dosent even know what the hell im talking about.
     
  29. LarryK

    LarryK Aficionado (245) New York Jul 13, 2012

    IMHO store-specific Twitter accounts should be at the very top of Whole Foods' marketing strategy, at least when it comes to the beer department -- if it's not, no offense, but someone in the executive suite isn't doing their homework. There is, quite simply, no better (and freer!) way to disseminate information to the people that are actually going to make the extra effort to come in and buy beer at your store than a dedicated Twitter feed that is updated the moment you swap in a new keg or get a new beer in. I live in New York City, and I basically only go to bars and bottle shops that take the ~3 seconds to update their Twitter feeds/BeerMenus.com pages religiously -- it helps me gameplan my evenings, and can also mitigate the disappointment of showing up somewhere with the expectation that a store/bar has whatever it is you're looking for only to find that they sold out and didn't update their Twitter feed, etc.

    Whole Foods does have a Twitter account for its beer operation in NYC -- https://twitter.com/WFMBeerNYC -- but it's just one Twitter account that technically covers all 7 NYC locations (but really only two -- the Tap Room at the Columbus Circle location and the Beer Store at the Bowery location) -- it's a good start, but it's not really ultra-useful unless every store is receiving the same product, which they are not. If a store is going to hire a dedicated beer person -- and it sounds like the Katy store is -- there is no good reason to not have that beer person maintain a Twitter account for beer announcements; frankly it should be a bullet point in the job description. At this point, if you want to sell beer and don't understand or can't be bothered to learn how to effectively use social media then you probably shouldn't be selling beer.
     
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  30. UHCougar12

    UHCougar12 Advocate (500) Texas Feb 21, 2011

    Really? Man, sounds like your heb needs a good talking to. The multiple ones in my area always get the special releases. The day of the release I just drop in and ask for it. I do agree on the dr day. They seem to come up with these Lists and if you're not on it you're out of luck.
     
  31. Philly22

    Philly22 Disciple (70) Texas Jul 12, 2011

    I think you should try talking to different people at both HEB (assuming you are referring to 99 and Fry) and also the Specs on Mason. They get special releases just not a lot. Both locations keep it in the back so you have to ask. If you don't get one of the managers or better beer staff then they don't have a clue though. I have had conversations with the beer department manager at HEB and he will call his contacts while I'm standing there to find out when and if he is going to receive something. As for the WFM, I have high hopes for them. The amount of beer on tap has been changing a lot everyday since the store is new so it would probably be a little difficult to track the line up right now. Once the Katy new store rush dies down maybe they would have an easier way to post the line up. It was also nice to score a bottle of Abyss there last week too.......
     
  32. UHCougar12

    UHCougar12 Advocate (500) Texas Feb 21, 2011

    On a side note. I can't wait for the wfm on louetta near vintage to open up!!
     
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  33. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    I shouldn't have to talk to multiple people to get different answers lol. The HEB at Fry and 99 never got Bodacious or Krunkin or Yule or Frageelay that I saw. They got BBA Hellfighter, and I bought two cases of it, and it was labeled Bodacious and placed between the wine racks they have. If that dosen't scream clueless, I don't know what does. The HEB on Mason is a bit better, but again, Pontificator is labeled Yule Shoot Your Eye Out and Hellfighter was labeled Bodacious there as well. The only HEB's that "get it" are Bunker Hill, Motrose and Sienna Plantation.

    Specs on Mason got a few of the special releases, but as I posted in prior replies, I want to know about special releases AND regular releases, and most of them have no clue whats out or coming out.

    edit. heb on fry and 99 got dfh 120 and put it on their "pick 6 beers" 6 pack as if someone is going to randomly see a $11 beer in there. :facepalm: when i went back the following week, they moved it to the larger cold case, and it still wasn't moving. there is a reason why that store has been sitting on JK Wytchmaker for a year or so, it you notice its farmhouse and non farmhouse mixed in there.
     
  34. Ford

    Ford Savant (490) Texas Sep 8, 2012

    I wish a WFM would open up somewhere in the Clear Lake area..
     
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  35. Ford

    Ford Savant (490) Texas Sep 8, 2012

    My HEB is selling Pontificator as Krunkin Pumpkin...
     
  36. TxUltraRunner

    TxUltraRunner Savant (400) Texas Aug 16, 2012

    I picked up 3 bottles of Bodacious and 1 bottle of Krunkin on a whim there. Found them long after the release date. They do not have a beer person or anyone knowledgeable to help. Asked someone when I saw 3 bottles of Vertical if there were anymore in the back and he had no clue and didn't bother to go check.

    You are right, no one should have to be juggled to get a decent answer. WFM has a prime opportunity to steal customers from Specs, esp with open taps.
     
  37. mattchow

    mattchow Savant (380) Texas Jun 24, 2012

    Sweet, I picked up most of the Karbach special releases from D&Q and HEB Mason, so I didn't bother to check there. I normally do my grocery shopping at Mason HEB since their prices are a bit lower as well.
     
  38. TxUltraRunner

    TxUltraRunner Savant (400) Texas Aug 16, 2012

    Absolutely, all about clientele. HEB is notorious for that. HEB on North Fry has great prices and good beer selection as well.
     
  39. UHCougar12

    UHCougar12 Advocate (500) Texas Feb 21, 2011

    The reason they do that is because of the UPC. Heb has to get all the upcs registered in their state-wide system, and approved by a higher up. So, if the product is the same price point then the beer guy/lady just sells it as the UPC that is already in the system. If not that store would have to wait a few days to release the product.
     
  40. Texas_Speed

    Texas_Speed Savant (325) Texas Aug 22, 2012

    I couldn't agree more. It would be great to have a WFM on our side of town so I wouldn't have to drive into Houston. But, once I go into Houston it gives me an excuse to hit up other places that I don't frequent too often.
     

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