Are Non-Ticketed Cali Brewery Releases No Longer Worth It?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by GhettoFabulous, Feb 2, 2013.

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  1. GhettoFabulous

    GhettoFabulous Initiate (191) May 29, 2010 California

    Obviously, the answer will be 'they're still worth it!!' for many BAs since we've seen the latest of these brewery-only releases attracting huge lines as early as 6 AM.

    Still, I'm wondering, how long of a wait is too long to get one of your favorite limited beers? Personally, I think I'm at a tipping point. Reading about what's taken place at KRBC this weekend, I'm having serious reservations about attending any of the forthcoming brewery only events that do not sell advance tickets. There is a certai SD county beer coming out soon that, in light of what has happened at krbc, will require at least five hours of waiting in line starting at the crack of dawn if you hope to score any bottles. As much as I desire said beer (being intentionally opaque here to discourage further fusterclucking), its beginning to seem like scooping up stuff like parabola and pugachevs cobra off the shelves is a hugely superior proposition.

    Just curious how many others are at the same junction I am? Sure, standing in line with cool BAs and such can be fun, but when we're talking about five hour plus lines, cost benefit analysis must have many thinking twice about this sort of a thing.

    Certainly, if I'm at Disneyland and there is some superlative ride with a six hour wait, I am going to opt for the shorter lines for rides that I know are also great, if not quite as fantastic as the one with the interminable, perhaps insufferable line.

    I admire te dedication of many of you, but at some point time has to be worth more than ├╝ber-rare beer ...
  2. tyrsis

    tyrsis Disciple (321) Mar 13, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    If a brewery doesn't do a release like Alesmith, they can go straight to hell.
    kojevergas, thome50, fiver29 and 8 others like this.
  3. luisc123

    luisc123 Initiate (173) Oct 20, 2011 California

    More online sales, more first-come first-serve distribution, less waiting in lines please
  4. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (580) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry Beer Trader

    Russian River does it right.
    kojevergas likes this.
  5. ipa247

    ipa247 Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2008 California

    No they are not. Too many unemployed losers getting in line at 6 am in the middle of nowhere to get 6 bottles of an ipa. People with families and lives cannot compete with folks who are willing to sleep in their cars or a sleeping bag in front of a brewery. Releases like alesmith make the beers available to everyone and not just the "black friday" folks.

    And no i was not trying to get any Citra the past few days. I just think beer releases have become utterly ridiculous. I mean come on. This kind of nonsense for a Citra ipa? Every brewery and their mother makes a Citra ipa or pale ale these days. It is a solid beer for sure but nothing worth the time, effort and money expended to pick it up.
    thome50, cpferris, HopHead84 and 6 others like this.
  6. rrryanc

    rrryanc Disciple (310) May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Then why do you care? I don't understand why people get so worked up about these sorts of things. If it's not worth it to you, then don't do it/buy it/etc. It's clearly worth it to others though, and bitching about how awful it is isn't going to change that. The vitrol in your post is rather astounding. Relax, have a beer.
    slentz and BUNZILLA like this.
  7. Levitation

    Levitation Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2009 California

    poor people gonna poor and/or get in line at 3 am.
  8. FunkyMacGroovin

    FunkyMacGroovin Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 California

    Try focusing more on breweries that don't get fucktons of hype and you can avoid these problems.
    Sarlacc83 and AptosBeerDrinker like this.
  9. rrryanc

    rrryanc Disciple (310) May 19, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I actually think that Russian River is one of the biggest offenders of what everyone else is complaining about. PtY is a limited release that keeps building in hype by the year. Instead of mitigating it by either producing more or charging more - they instead create a scene where people are lining up outside their brewpub hours before it opens for the better part of two weeks.

    As I said in my previous post, I don't particularly care - it's obviously working for them, and everyone that cares to stand in line to get the beer. But I certainly don't think they can be pointed to as a poster boy for limited releases.

    Personally, I prefer The Bruery's method the most, outside of what I think is their ill-advised handling of the HS this year. It guarantees them sales on beers besides their super limited ones, while preserving some of the hype that's great marketing for them. As a consumer, it's super easy to order from them, and with shipping this year- that'll get even easier.
  10. mjl21

    mjl21 Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2008 California

    The lines are here to stay. The Pokemon generation is all grown up and need something new to hoard.
  11. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (536) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Your attempt to not mention Exponential Hoppiness (GASP!) is as useful as saying "he-who-must-not-be-named' instead of Voldemort.

    As for me, it's easier to trade for Citra than having to wait there. I showed up at 6:30 and was in the first 50. I know #70 showed up around 7:30. In past releases, that same show-up time would have netted you about 10th in line.

    I think I'm done with Citra releases unless they do something else - but then again, what? Online sales and same-name pick up? Who knows what would actually work well.
  12. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I like how everybody assumes because people can go wait in line they must be unemployed or something. I work 4-10's I have every Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. Worked great for Citra releases in the past, but on Friday I missed out, but I was staying the night at the Lodge and got 6 bottles and I am happy. I talked to Eric about and he seemed very receptive to that. That would be perfect. Sure the sales will happen at a time where someone might be working or sleeping or whatever, but you can't make everyone happy.

    Edit -
    To add to my conversation with Eric he said that in the past it had been a good time had by all, come out drink eat and get your bottles, not many people where turned away, but Friday was an eye opener that they will have to change plans. The whole point was to have a huge get together of beer nerds, but now more people where getting turned away then getting bottles and they didn't like it. They are in the early stages of an expansion with the whole point being year round Citra to avoid clusters like Friday. Hope it goes through!
  13. goodbetterbestbested

    goodbetterbestbested Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 California

    younger is not a "beer release" and it's mainstream which is why the lines are so bad. what are they supposed to do about it? "make more or charge more" is not a good solution lol

    their bottle releases are done well and the only line to get the bottles is the normal wait for a table.

    hopefully the alesmith method catches on though
    abecall98 likes this.
  14. GhettoFabulous

    GhettoFabulous Initiate (191) May 29, 2010 California

    If it's so obvious what I was talking about (and i'm sure it is to many) I suppose there is irony in the fact that expo is not in fact the beer I was referring to.
    MarkIntihar and nanobrew like this.
  15. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    nanobrew likes this.
  16. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    Can't wait for the Alpine Great release! Shitshow of the century!
    thome50 likes this.
  17. vacax

    vacax Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    Good becomes Great in a barrel, then it turns into Garbage once everyone realizes it is infected... or at least that is how it will go if it is like every other beer Alpine has put into a barrel the last few years.
    thome50 and eyeenjoybeer like this.
  18. DrAwkward82

    DrAwkward82 Initiate (55) Apr 16, 2005 California

    There's room for all sorts of limited beer releases, and I have no desire to see all breweries move towards one template. Some people have flexible schedules and enjoy BA camaraderie, other people have intractable schedules and appreciate ease of access, others enjoy the chase.

    What's worth it for you may not be worth it for everybody. A fun release for me may not be a fun release for everybody. The release format I'm in the mood for today may not be the release format I'm in the mood for next month.
    Rocket80 and smutty33 like this.
  19. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (580) Jun 12, 2009 Arizona
    Industry Beer Trader

    True, the Younger madness is out of hand but they ration it out for 2 weeks so lots of people get to try it. Nobody has to line up for the first few days, they choose to do so. They do this with all their special releases and I like it, but I see your point.
    litheum94 likes this.
  20. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,204) Mar 18, 2010 California

    OP - I know exactly what release you are talking about. I will be there even if it means getting up at a horrible hour in LA and schlepping my ass down to SD. Unfortunately, you gotta pay to play.
  21. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (177) Aug 9, 2011 California

    I love beer but I refuse to stand in line for hours (trying to get a beer at SF Toronado on a weekend day is about my threshold) nor will I ever join a "Society". If whales come my way than I am more than happy to drink them but I don't consider this hobby a competition. Sometimes, I feel like those that do are missing the point.
  22. litheum94

    litheum94 Initiate (0) Dec 29, 2008 California

    I have to plead ignorance in regards to this comment. How does Alesmith handle their special releases?
  23. Xul

    Xul Crusader (771) May 18, 2008 California

    They put bottles on sale via BrownPaperTickets - once you order online, you have to pick them up within a specific amount of time (roughly 2 months I think), and show ID that matches the order. No mules, no lines, no bullshit. Between the new system and the fact that they seem to be producing more of their barrel aged beers, their special releases have been ridiculously smooth.
    litheum94 likes this.
  24. AptosBeerDrinker

    AptosBeerDrinker Initiate (177) Aug 9, 2011 California

    ISO Pokemon cards, action figures and Beanie Babies.
  25. SageO

    SageO Initiate (198) Jul 13, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    On top of that, they have the release parties, which ties in the BA-comraderie-while-waiting-in-line bit without the waiting-in-line bit. Also, the no mules rule is the real key to making this work, since it means the bottles don't sell out in 5 milliseconds.

    So yeah, the Alesmith releases have rocked. Only downside is that they make it too easy to take all my money! :wink:
    drewone, Brewzer1010, tyrsis and 2 others like this.
  26. evilc

    evilc Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2012 California

    If no mules for did I get 16 bottles of BASS?
    westcoastbeerlvr likes this.
  27. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (269) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Since I was the one who posted about Friday's Citra fustercluck, you know my answer. I'm only doing online releases from now on. I had intended to go for Exponential Hoppiness as in past years, but my experience at KRBC on Friday totally turned me off. I'm not mentally prepared to make another long drive, wait over two hours and walk away with nothing. So for those who love camping out, you'll have one less person to worry about now. I wouldn't be surprised to see KRBC switch to online sales in August, but I could never see Alpine doing that.
  28. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (269) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I think you may have been directly in front of me in line on Friday. Were you there with two friends? Happy to hear that you got your bottles on Saturday.
    Rau71 likes this.
  29. jmerriken

    jmerriken Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2008 California

    Didn't even bother to read the thread. Fu$&ing Beachwood is making IPA's every bit as good as Alpine or Kern River! To each thier own however, I understand the journey is half the fun but I'm too old for waiting in line. I've got my inside hook ups with Younger so I won't be waiting for that and after a couple of those I always go back to Blind Pig which I like better anyhow!
    nabeshin and AptosBeerDrinker like this.
  30. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Or, you can just go drink it on premise another day. You don't have to pay to play, unless you want to trade it or cellar it (why do either of these?).
  31. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,204) Mar 18, 2010 California

    True, but I don't exactly live close. I would rather open bottles locally.
  32. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I can see the logic there.
  33. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    The Alesmith releases have gone great but those are for aged beers. IPA releases over a 2 month period wouldn't work as well.
  34. Rau71

    Rau71 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah that was me. Had a good time chatting it up in line, but I am glad to hear they are looking to make changes.
  35. Xul

    Xul Crusader (771) May 18, 2008 California

    The timeline to pick the bottles up isn't exactly the most important part of the Alesmith model. Hell, for Citra, say that people have from opening on Friday through closing on Sunday of the release weekend to pick their bottles up. Anything unclaimed goes on sale at the brewpub on Tuesday morning.
    Sebowski likes this.
  36. sandiego67

    sandiego67 Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2008 California

    Good call.

    BUNZILLA Initiate (0) Jan 14, 2011 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    For a larger beer release brown paper tickets are the way to go . For a small release like Citra its a bad idea IMHO. How quickly would 300 tickets or less evaporate online ,in the blink of a eye would be my guest. And that would create another shit storm of butthurt . Locals that support them will most likely be shut out . There is no perfect system. I feel Kern is doing things the right way.
  38. Vanlingleipa

    Vanlingleipa Disciple (367) May 19, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Finally figured out where those haunting strains of "Nobody knows de trouble I've seen" were coming from while waiting in your last beer line?
  39. Xul

    Xul Crusader (771) May 18, 2008 California

    Locals can get it on tap and scoop up bottles that out-of-towners don't claim (under a theoretical ticketing system). If KRBC was really focused on their locals, they'd make Citra a DONG and not announce when it's going on tap...the fact that they announce it ahead of time and set up allotments per day is a clear sign that they're trying to give people outside Kernville a shot at it.
  40. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    You got 3 friends / family members to order, then pick up the beers for you. Of course, you can still have mules with this system, but getting them to commit financially and to do a pickup for you requires commitment.
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