3 Fonteinen direct-to-consumer US-exclusive webshop pack

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by M-Fox24, Jun 23, 2022.

  1. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Meyvn (1,443) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey

    "For a few years now, it has been our ambition to set up a US 3 Fonteinen webshop since we cannot ship directly to US consumers from our Belgian webshop while respecting US laws. We are in the last stretch of launching such a webshop, in close partnership with California-based Windsor Bottle Shop. This will allow us to also offer direct shipping throughout quite some States in the US"

    "While we continue to put the finishing touches on our official webshop, we did not want to miss the opportunity to release a US-exclusive webshop pack with a curated selection of lambikken that will not see distribution otherwise. Windsor Bottle Shop will facilitate this in the interim"



    3 Fonteinen US Exclusive Pack – Windsor Bottle Shop
    Shipping and Terms of Use – Windsor Bottle Shop
    3F update - US webshop release (mailchi.mp)
    bret27, Jwale73, DrOfGolf and 9 others like this.
  2. cg123

    cg123 Initiate (109) Feb 27, 2012 Ohio

  3. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Devotee (445) Apr 9, 2015 California

    For those wondering

    bret27, DrOfGolf, beergoot and 2 others like this.
  4. swid

    swid Meyvn (1,094) Jun 5, 2004 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Is it expensive? Yes.

    Does that price compare favorably to the combined cost of Drie's Belgian webshop typical prices for specialty packs + whatever not-exactly-legal methods one employs to ship to the US? Also yes.
    Harrison8, Affinity, zac16125 and 8 others like this.
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,077) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Less than $30/750 isn't terrible pricing at all. Anyone know what Windsor's typical shipping rates are?
    Affinity, zac16125, Rug and 4 others like this.
  6. acurtis

    acurtis Poo-Bah (3,662) Sep 27, 2010 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I heard $38 to ship to Chicago with no tax. I didn't order since I already have 5 of the 6 bottles in the pack.
  7. IKR

    IKR Savant (907) May 25, 2010 California

    Interesting news and I was all in, but that ship has sailed as the shop shows "sold out'. Maybe next time:pensive:
    Affinity, Junior and ChicagoJ like this.
  8. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (4,533) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but 3 Fonteinen have really jumped the shark since Armand stepped back and they brought investors in. While $30 may not seem THAT expensive to American eyes, their fruited lambic is easily more than twice as expensive as that from any other lambic maker in Belgium.

    I can buy a bottle of Cantillon's most coveted bottles for less than 15€ at the brewery, why does 3F charge more than $30 for their bottles? Not to mention that there are two bottles of Gueuze in that pack that reallly shouldn't be more than 8€, it's ridiculous.
  9. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,077) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I seem to recall someone sharing a story about paying some crazy prices for sought after American ipas in Germany :wink:

    Transatlantic shipping ain't free
  10. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (4,533) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    Shipping isn't even included in the $175 for the pack though is it? Also, American IPAs are shipped to Europe via airfreight so that they arrive fresh. I kinda doubt they use are using airfreight here since freshness isn't really a concern when it comes to lambic.

    Not to mention that the distributor is just jacking up their profits as much as they can with these IPAs, while 3F is offering these bottles directly through Windsor Bottle Shop. I mean, I'm sure they still take a cut, but that's a different kind of deal, really.

    Also, when comparing brewery prices and what I see at bottle shops around here, 3F is consistently and significantly more expensive than any other Belgian lambic maker. If that pack was all fruited Lambic and contained some more sought-after bottles, like Hommage, Framboos or Schaarbeekse I'd say that still expensive but fair enough. Considering that there are two bottles of Gueuze in there though, it's a huge rip-off in my opinion.
  11. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,077) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Shipping from the store in California wasn't. But I'd imagine shipping, and the licensing to conduct the shipping, are included in the price. So you've got the brewery, the importer, the freight, and the retailer all involved.

    Obviously no one is forced to buy things they don't think are a good value. I just thought it was funny to hear someone who has paid multiple times more than normal retail for rare imported beer complain about pricing of rare imported beer (yes, oude geuze and a&g are regularly available here, and intens rood has come over here, the other 3 I've never seen on offer).
  12. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (4,533) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well, just to clarify, I have neither regularly overpaid for American IPAs nor by as much. I have bought them on two occasions when a shop owner that I get along with well made me a special price for them, which was like 9€ a can for cans that I'm sure cost $6 in America as well. I have never ordered cans of American IPAs for 12€+ from online webshops.

    Also, like I mentioned, this isn't just a shipping/distribution issue, as 3F charges much higher prices than any other lambic maker in Belgium domestically as well. For example, a bottle of Hommage/Framboos is 22/24€ at the brewery, while the last time I checked Fou'Foune and Vigneronne were 13€ at Cantillon, so almost twice as expensive.
  13. crazyspicychef

    crazyspicychef Disciple (379) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Holy Not Cheap Batman!
    I know a bottle goes for about $20 minimum, but yikes!
    I like the assortment they offer, as most are not available near me.
    My wife would have my twig & berries if I dropped that much on a few beers!
    I must admit, the Gueze I had was phenomenal, but damn near 300 bones for 8 beers or whatever is too steep for this retiree.
    Must be nice to be either, single, gay or rich!
  14. Rug

    Rug Poo-Bah (1,881) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Damn, sad I missed out on this. I may or may not have payed a decent amount for a bottle of Zenne Y Frontera earlier...
  15. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,351) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Right, 100% this. Great lambics are expensive. I bought three bottles of 3F from a bottle shop this weekend, it was over $100 and two of those bottles were 375mL.

    I’ve also traded for Belgium beer before straight from the source, and let me tell you shipping costs on a 6 full bottle box is not cheap.
  16. belvedere86

    belvedere86 Aspirant (238) Apr 1, 2013 Belgium


    Investor got in, production and prices went up. And we all know interest in certain beers drop when too many bottles are produced. :wink: So now their bottles are collecting dust in most shops they want to launch a USA webshop.

    So good news for Americans actually but the real reason is dropping sales in Europe imo.
  17. rodbeermunch

    rodbeermunch Poo-Bah (7,121) Sep 30, 2015 Nevada
    Society Trader

    De Garde & Funk Factory have allowed me to detach from Belgium & international shipping.

    Broken Truck & Meerts 4 life (NWO/Hollywood Hogan.gif).
    ChicagoJ and Harrison8 like this.
  18. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,077) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Yeah I feel ya. I think I understood that @Snowcrash000 's point was more to 3F pricing domestically compared to other lambic makers. Over here we don't (at least where ive shopped) see that difference, but he was noting nearly double price for comparable options from other lambic producers in Belgium.
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  19. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (2,351) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Which is fair if your comparing prices amongst similar beers being bought in the same country. But I’m somewhat confused by his switching back and forth between currencies, and certainly the critique about the US box and $30/bottle average, clearly shipping is built into that cost. I just don’t think you can compare a bottle of 3F being bought in the US to a bottle of Cantillon being bought directly from the source.

    FWIW the “online retailers” from Belgium (which we know are actually secondary market sellers) tend to list equivalent 3F beers lower than Cantillon beers (for example when comparing Gueuze vs Gueuze or Kriek vs Kriek). Perhaps part of it is just higher markup but even with that based on their respective prices there’s no way those folks are spending twice as much on 3F than Cantillon.
  20. William_Navidson

    William_Navidson Disciple (323) May 1, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Also important to note that "Cantillon from the brewery" is a ridiculous benchmark given that it's far, far less than what most consumers are willing to pay for that beer.

    Yes, we seem to be seeing 3F trying to capitalize on demand by raising prices closer to the level of demand for their beer... but (1) I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing and (2) it isn't nearly as bad as the American market, at least, relatively speaking.

    That being said, this is a little steep for me personally -- I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there happy to utilize this, though.
  21. Davl22

    Davl22 Disciple (357) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire

    It’s great that you can buy Cantillon’s most coveted bottles for that price. I was lucky enough to grab a bunch of their stuff when I visited in 2018. However, Cantillon is near impossible to come by in the US now and the websites that used to offer it regularly barely keep it in stock. I grab a 3F pack once a year and load up on other goodies from Etre. It’s pricey but it’s actually attainable, and I can justify a yearly purchase. The Platinum blend I nabbed last month was on the same level as Lou Pepe to my taste buds.
    unlikelyspiderperson, IKR and Rug like this.
  22. IKR

    IKR Savant (907) May 25, 2010 California

    Yeah, where a decade+ ago, I could get Cantillon at my local bottle shop fairly easy unfortunately it's unobtanium for me now. If I were in @Snowcrash000's position, I would be putting down that 3F pack too (Cantillon>3F IMO) but his situation is a long way from my current one unfortunately. I do like 3F though and thankfully I can still get them.
    Davl22 and unlikelyspiderperson like this.