$10 for tour and taste of unknown brewery?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by polishkaz, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    I want to know peoples opinions on this but there is a brewery opening up this weekend around me. They are charging $10 for a tour and tasting. I have been to some breweries, had tours, and many samples but I don't recall ever paying. Is this a bad idea for a new brewery? My personal opinion is yes. Not sure if there is a legal reason for the charge as I have never actually gone to a brewery in MA. Only 2 beers on tap as well. What does the BA community think?
  2. cpinto6

    cpinto6 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2010 Georgia

    I'm pretty sure free beer and discounted beer are illegal there. They have no happy hour so I don't doubt that its a legality issue.
  3. runner440

    runner440 Initiate (167) Jan 8, 2011 Maryland

    $10 seems a little steep, but not terrible. I paid $5 in order to get samples at the Clipper City after their brew tour. I am going to Cigar City soon, and they charge $5 also.
  4. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 California

    depends, if they are two full pours then it is an okay deal, depending on the styles. It does seem a little weird for a brewery with only 2 beers
  5. americajesus

    americajesus Initiate (0) Apr 22, 2011 New Jersey

    u live in MA? go to harpoon 5 bucks great tour
  6. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    I am guessing it is illegal as well. I do know the sample law is only 2 oz. in MA, not sure if you'll be able to get multiple tastings though, I would assume so. I live in Western MA, going to Harpoon is a bit of a ride but maybe next time I'm in Eastern MA.
  7. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,166) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I'd pay to support a new, local, start up brewery. $10 is really not that much money, worth it to me. I do not see why anyone would have an issue with this. I am willing to bet that money is very tight so most start ups, this is a great way to increase awareness and bring in some revenue.

    It will vary by location but in many areas it is illegal to provide free beer. Many bars and breweries may give you a free sample when you are trying to decide but even that is could be cited if someone was so inclined.
  8. NiceTaps

    NiceTaps Meyvn (1,165) Nov 21, 2011 New Jersey

    The new brewery is upstart and needs to raise cash. Let them have at it. A brewery tour and a beer or two for $10 is a good value. I wish that I could go.
    digita7693 and Titans77 like this.
  9. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    Definitely don't have an issue with the price just looking to see what other breweries around do. Nothing like having a brewery in your hometown. I understand making money for a start up is essential, I was thinking it would be a better idea to get people in the door if it were cheaper so more people would be exposed to your beer, however, I do see the reasoning for a $10 charge.
  10. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    Wish I could go to, unfortunately on call for work.
  11. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,323) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Give 'em a shot. If you like, :slight_smile:, if you don't :slight_frown:.
  12. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    I'll report back when I do.
  13. mtlasley

    mtlasley Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2012 Illinois

    I'd say go. Local business always needs help at first and if it's not that great, it's just $10.
    Titans77 likes this.
  14. xsouldriverx

    xsouldriverx Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2006 New York


    next thurs im doing a small batch tour at brooklyn brewery. $8 and you taste 4 beers (year round, seasonal, bottle conditioned, brew masters reserve) and then you keep the stemware. the stemware itself is $7 so im way ahead. the biggest cost is the damn lirr and mta for trains to get there.

    anyway its $10, bring lunch in one day and go for it.
  15. Hanzo

    Hanzo Savant (954) Feb 27, 2012 Virginia

    $10 in the grand scheme of the craft beer enthusiast hobby is insignificant. I'd gladly pay it for a tour and tasting.
    commis likes this.
  16. dap325

    dap325 Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2009 New York

    Same feeling as everyone else. I'd spend the $10 to check out the new spot. Support the locals. If you don't like it, it only cost you $10.
  17. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Devotee (442) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    I've never been on a tour that was free and have no problem what so ever in paying. It alway seems to be much cheaper than a bar, getting 2 or 3 beers, plus a take home glass for less than the price of one beer at a bar.
  18. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Initiate (0) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Newport Storm always charged. Used to be $5 for damn near 5 pints, lol... ah, memories. $5 growler fills (sans glass) too on occasion)

    Nowadays they're 8-10 oz pours but still, for $5, it's not bad.

    I don't have a problem paying a fee for a sampling. Money goes right to the brewery.
  19. polishkaz

    polishkaz Initiate (0) May 30, 2011 Connecticut

    Definitely still going to go check it out. Thanks for all the feedback.
  20. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (13,753) Mar 18, 2010 California

    In a heartbeat.
  21. jchoffman

    jchoffman Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2012 Georgia

    I've always paid between $5-10 for most tours.. been to some nice startups in the Atlanta Area... Been to Red Hare recently and was quite tasty... I seek out new breweries and am happy to support them, as if I was a startup I would try to get support.
  22. PangaeaBeerFood

    PangaeaBeerFood Initiate (0) Nov 30, 2008 New York

    As many others said, the $10 likely isn't a business decision so much as a legal mandate. MA has very strict laws about free beer. Even Sam Adams makes you pay for the tour and tasting, but they donate it all to charity.
  23. beancounter

    beancounter Initiate (0) Jul 12, 2010 New Hampshire

    The most I ever paid for a tour/sampling was $2, but I also received a complimentary sampling glass. All of the other ones I've been to were free, so I say, yes, $10 is too much.
  24. HopNuggets

    HopNuggets Initiate (0) Oct 8, 2009 Connecticut

    Berkshire Brewing does 3 samples during their 60-90 minute tour that are in the 8-10oz range I think. Great tour with super knowledgable people and amazing samples poured at a great size and I think it's free or really cheap.
  25. Titans77

    Titans77 Initiate (169) Jul 21, 2011 Maryland

    I can't like every post in this thread enough. Support local businesses. They need it. If it sucks, then give them constructive criticism. Tell them what you think is wrong. Even if it means saying "This beer does nothing out of the ordinary and is rather average." Craft beer, this day in age, needs to go above and beyond. It needs to be different. Just give them a chance and if they they are stubborn in their ways, they will undoubtedly fail. Unless they are Russian River. They won't fail. Not even once. Like meth.
  26. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (3,029) Nov 16, 2009 California

    I spent about $10 bucks my 1st trip to I&I. They dont give you a tour, its about as big as a 2 car garage. Great guys and great beers!!

  27. billandsuz

    billandsuz Devotee (449) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    i can think of a few reasons why charging $10 is a really bad idea.

    they may charge for legal reasons, i don't know the law on this in Mass.
    from a practical and business point, it is not a very good idea to charge $10. the brewery should reasonably expect to cover their costs and a small fee might be ok. maybe $2. remember, BA's are enthusiastic. most everyone else is going to be somewhat skeptical, and those are the people the brewery wants to turn into a customer.

    if they are interested in 1, presenting their beer to a wide audience 2, intend to generate positive buzz 3, have little budget for traditional marketing then charging $10 for a tour is just about worst thing to do.

    the product they are "giving away" in not a loss at all, it's next weeks sale.
    the fee makes it virtually guarantees that the experience must be positive. i hope they aren't running one of those lame tours conducted by a college kid who has no general brewing knowledge or worse, knowledge of the product (we've all been on that tour). the tour guide needs to be paid, but this is the brewers spokesperson, a human. why should the customer be expected to directly fund the brewers expenses? isn't that put into the cost of the product?
    Sam C. has some solid knowledge in this area.

    lastly, i hope the beer is good. good enough to justify a payment. alot of brand new brewers stumble and it is not a sin. explain to the customer why they are paying for a completely unknown experience. because your local and it's beer? that's not going to work imo.
    polishkaz likes this.
  28. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (952) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    Only makes sense if they have gas-powered tour guides. Brewery tours have to be one of the most boring activities on earth. You're just waiting for beer the whole time and when you've seen one you've seen them all.
    SunDevilBeer likes this.
  29. DirtyPenny

    DirtyPenny Devotee (412) Jun 25, 2011 Massachusetts

    Does this place have a name? Just curious.
  30. DelicateDelirium

    DelicateDelirium Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 Massachusetts

    Just wanted to point out that its not a legal reason for charging, Berkshire Brewing company's tour (which is in MA) is free and includes several 10oz samples
  31. xnicknj

    xnicknj Initiate (0) May 25, 2009 Pennsylvania

    i'd be willing to support a new local brewery, but i could see the initial charge turning off many other potential customers (i'm ignoring any sort of legality issue here though).
  32. LostTraveler

    LostTraveler Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2011 Maine

    Completely disagree with this. All tours are different, and sometimes tours of the same place differ based on who gives the tours.

    Support small business.

    P.S. Alllagash gives you pours before the tour even starts.
  33. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (952) Mar 17, 2009 Washington

    At the core they are all the same. I just want to try the beer. I dont care where you store your malt or how big your fermenter is.
  34. Heatwave33

    Heatwave33 Initiate (0) Sep 13, 2011 Florida

    Sounds like a good deal to me. $10 for a tour, drinks and support a potential great brewery?! I know several people who would go for that. I believe Cigar City is $5 and you get tour, beer and a pint glass. Cheers and go support the cause.
  35. lulualbesaid

    lulualbesaid Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2011 Illinois

    I'd pay 10 bucks for a tour and samples.
  36. davey101

    davey101 Meyvn (1,114) Apr 14, 2009 Connecticut

    Is it in Western Mass?
  37. biking4beer

    biking4beer Disciple (326) Oct 5, 2006 Colorado

    Hell yeah. Do it!
  38. markmiller

    markmiller Initiate (146) Dec 28, 2010 New York

    Southern Tier Brewery is $12 for almost an hour long tour, beer and a complementary glass. Seems like a fantastic deal.
  39. Wisconsinality

    Wisconsinality Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2009 Wisconsin

    Milwaukee Brewing Company now does tours and it's $7. They have unlimited pours in about a 2 hour period so totally worth it. They have three areas to get beer and you can refill anytime. They usually have a beer or two that is one of their experimentals. They like the feedback. Plus they always show different areas of the brewery depending on what they are using. You also get a glass and a token for a free beer from an area bar. When you come to Milwaukee people say go to Lakefront. Well there is a new must in town. Plus the people there just love to talk beer. We talked to one of the brewers for about an hour after the tour. Definitely worth it.
  40. mhenson42

    mhenson42 Devotee (499) Nov 20, 2011 Texas

    I like the way the Texas brewers do it. Many do open houses on the first Saturday of each month. At Ranger Creek, buy a glass for $5 and you get it filled 3 times. $1 more gets you 3 more fills. (512) and Independence do similar events. They can't sell you the beer, just the glass and/or tour.

    I'll agree with what others said above. In MA, Harpoon was my favorite tour. Can't beat the open bar for 30 minutes when it was all over. Plus you get several samples while on the tour itself. I liked the Harpoon IPA tapped out of the fermenter better than the final product.
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