Any SoCal analogs to either Hangar 24's Frequent Flier program or Bruery's Reserve Society?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by RedBeeron, Mar 4, 2013.

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  1. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    So between Citra and CFH, obviously we have an issue with how limited brewery only releases are handled. Whether it be line cutting/mules/masters of impersonation/significantly more demand than supply, people are getting shut out, and a not insignificant number of them are locals who feel as though they are more entitled to these releases than out of towners.

    A few breweries address the issue of locals being shut out in various ways with various levels of effectiveness (alesmith being perhaps one of the best examples of servicing their locals by holding a quantity of BA releases back to randomnly sell in their tap room), but there are two models I prefer and would like to encourage with my purchasing power. As the title suggests, those two are Hangar 24's frequent flier program and The Bruery's Reserve Society.

    If you aren't aware of Hangar 24's frequent flier program, it's essentially a free membership that tracks your purchases, translates dollars spent into points, and offers various perks at certain thresholds. The most minor perk involves a 10% discount on merch for hitting a couple hundred points (can be stacked with one other 10% discount), but the first significant threshold is hitting 1000 points, opening up the Bronze Tier. There are a couple nifty things bronze offers, but perhaps the most significant, and relative to what my question is (if you've read the title and this paragraph, you can pretty much stop reading now and proceed to comment :grinning:) the ability to preorder, in store, the standard allocation of their Barrel Roll beers.

    Tangentially, most of these have shown up in decent quantity at various bottle shops in the greater SoCal area which reduces the need to actually stand in line, and enough is produced that there is less of a risk of anyone that shows up before opening to risk actually being shut out. But this is Craft Beer 2013 bros, so who knows?

    I personally like this system because it incentivizes me to spend time and money at their brewery the once a month I'm in Redlands. I'm not a local, but I'm a regular enough patron of their establishment to have hit bronze level through the duration of 2012. Obvious exploits include passing your card down your line of mules during a limited release, but even then it's only one person reaping the rewards. Not perfect, but functioning in a matter that aligns with my beer buying preferences.

    The Bruery Reserve Society(sad to say, im not baller enough for that hoarders madness) should need no explaining, and is my personal favorite system for handling limited allocations. Obviously something like CFH with a 360 bottle production isn't feasible for a 1000+ member club, but most breweries also don't seem to have as much dedication as the Bruery does for their barrel aged beers).

    So, anyone out there familiar with any other establishments that either reward dedicated patrons in a trackable fashion or offer membership clubs that guarantee members access to their limited release beers?

    I've heard mention of Port/Lost Abbey's Sinners and Saints club, now defunct, and out of state RS analogs (Crooked Stave for example), but I'd much rather limit the amount of disposable income I dedicate to shipping. SoCal only please and thank you.
  2. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I've never heard of Hangar 24's program, but it sounds awesome. That plus a combination of Alesmith-style special releases would kick ass.
  3. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (530) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    The simple solution is you don't fucking hype the god damn release. Look at Beachwood and how they handled a 160 (or so) bottle release of their Barrel Aged Full Malted Jacket. This was the same weekend as the initiation party.

    It's pretty clear that with Bruery stuff not trading high these days, us SoCal folks seem to be trying to find the next hot trade bait. So when you put up the whalez beacon on social media like Churchhill and Citra and hype it up for weeks leading to the event, of course you'll get this crazy shit.

    Exponential Hoppiness also dropped within the last few weeks and it wasn't a shit show. Why? Because while Pat did say it would drop within certain dates, it was a nice and silent release.
    jasonmason likes this.
  4. jmgrub

    jmgrub Initiate (0) Nov 20, 2010 California

    I thought Alpine was more calm these days because you had to have an Alpine zip code on your license to purchase limited releases.
    BGrider85, vurt, Earlycsquid and 2 others like this.
  5. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (264) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    ... and soon to be 100+ word essay on while Alpine means more to you than the proletariat. :grinning:
  6. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (264) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    RedBeeron, can you only sign up for Hangar 24's FF program at the brewery? It appears that the website only lets you log-in if you already have a membership #.
  7. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (530) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    It's like that scene in Indiana Jones and the last crusade. If a drop of Alpine beer crosses the North San Diego county line, that's when we get earthquakes.
    kojevergas likes this.
  8. PlinyTheYoungest

    PlinyTheYoungest Aspirant (210) Jun 30, 2009 California

    The only problem with the frequent flyer problem is that I don't have much interest in buying Hangar 24's regular offerings very often. I'll usually grab a bottle or two of the Barrel Roll series beers but that's usually it, save for an interesting seasonal here and there. It's a good plan for them as it should get people to buy their beer more often and will reward locals and regular fans, just not something I would get any use out of.
  9. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    That's correct. When you sign up, you receive a barcoded membership card that they swipe whenever you make a purchase.
    You pretty much hit the nail on the head as to why the Hangar 24 system works. If you don't frequent their establishment or spend a lot on the occaisions that you do, and instead only show up when there's a limited release you aren't the "local"/"regular" demographic that Hangar 24 is looking to reward regardless of your zipcode.

    Full disclosure, I live over an hour away from Hangar 24, but with grandparents in Murietta and friends in Redlands, I tend to stop by at least once a month for a pint and a grolwer fill or two. Averaging $80 a month isn't too difficult, and it trends less than that with barrel roll releases being big bumps.
    PlinyTheYoungest likes this.
  10. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (530) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Redbeeron, I also don't have any chance of getting to Hanger24 even on a monthly basis. But I do like their program and feel they're the best growler design of all L.A/O.C/I.E breweries. I haven't reached that status yet, but like you, if I make it out there once every few months, I use the card and it does add up.

    Barrel rolls do help a lot in giving you a boast. Over all, I like that system the best.

    RS is great, and if you treat it as a "futures" program, then it works out great. Just have to be careful on the blind buy allocations. I was stuck with a lot of cases of beer I was having remorse in buying last time.
  11. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,122) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Alternate topics: growlers on eBay and/or the dangers of shipping kegs via FedEx.
    ILikeGoodCider and HoppySuds like this.
  12. CAbeerCAbeerCA

    CAbeerCAbeerCA Aspirant (205) Mar 3, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    RS for two years, and now HS this year. Never maxed on on any allocation outside of BT, and that was to help friends. Your last sentence is why I don't max out, but there have been times I was bummed I didn't buy more, mostly WC.
    nanobrew likes this.
  13. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

  14. 4kbrianb

    4kbrianb Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2013 California

    How is Hangar's tasting room? I work in Riverside and live in Temecula so I've been telling myself that one of these days I will take a long working lunch and get a growler fill or something...
  15. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Since the expansion, its pretty nice and feels a lot less crowded. Barring whatever local fields/seasonal beer they have recently released, its just the stock lineup, which chocolate porter on nitro. Every friday night they do a cask variant, but it typically blows that same night. Like the tasting room on facebook, they're really good about announcing whats coming up each week.
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