Bars/Grocery Stores Showcasing Beers They Don't Have

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by PlayaPlaya, Jan 9, 2013.

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  1. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Aspirant (202) Sep 19, 2012 Illinois

    So I was just at a bar in downtown Chicago last night......They had things like BCBS from '07/'08, Bramble, KH etc.. . . .Openly displayed and "showcased" behind the bar as well as in a corner on a shelf near the bar. . . . .
    The 12oz vintage BCBS bottles were unopened...So I asked for one. Bartender replies "those are for display only and we don't have anymore"

    My local Hyvee has a display of bottles, including KBS, yet they have NEVER ONCE received KBS (store just opened in the last year) .

    Showcasing bottles you don't have, have never sold, and never intend on selling. . . . .How do you guys feel about it????

    Is it entertaining, and perhaps "reassuring" to see these types of displays?? Perhaps it shows the bar/shop knows what the whalez are? Perhaps bumping up their street cred ???
    Or is just annoying and perhaps even IMMATURE??? To display bottles that you will never sell??
  2. BeastLU

    BeastLU Disciple (326) Dec 20, 2012 Virginia

    Sounds dumb. Whats with point of letting people know that they kno what the whales are. How long does that take? 5 mins on the internet. Decreases cred imo if you've never had/sold it. I see saving the bottles you have previously offered tho.
  3. UCLABrewN84

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

    It's one thing if they sold the beer in the past. Otherwise, they are just trying to look cool to beer people.
    JustXBeer likes this.
  4. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    Went to a BJ's Brewhouse for the first time last week. The beer menu listed "Hopstorm IPA - New!" so I ordered one. The water said they didn't have it. Wtf?
  5. jhartley

    jhartley Poo-Bah (2,400) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    "Come on in, check out our selection. What's that? KBS, no we don't have that. BCBS looky but no drinky. But hey, we have plenty of Coors Lite, Bud Light and Busch for you!"
  6. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    That display is in our store because it looks really nice, and because they are bottles that I have collected over the years. They are all obviously empty, and are in a huge, 25 ft wide, 10 foot high display (that is very obviously a display, and not for sale) on top of our american craft six pack case. I don't feel like they're being... showcased, some are like 15-20 feet off the ground, where you can barely make out the labels. We're not doing it to "be annoying," "show our customers what the walez are" (wat?), or "advertise beers we never plan on selling (New Glarus Raspberry tart in IL?)". I'm sorry if our display offends you, I can promise you that none of the conniving suggestions, nor the immaturity you suggest, were present during the planning or building of the display. I do trade/buy beer a decent bit, so if you're really that frustrated and would like help locating some of those beers via trade or other shops, I can do so if you'd like. I think I'll put up a sign letting people know that we don't sell some of them, would that help you not be so agitated by it?

    I know that my reply may come off as rude to some, but I'm just trying to help as much as I can without taking down the display, because it looks really nice, and took a really long time to build. We have plans to expand it, as we probably have another 10 feet of space on each side, as well as about a hundred more bottles to put up.
    kojevergas, IlliniPi, Brunite and 4 others like this.
  7. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    I doubt that a bar displaying kbs would have absolutely no craft beer on the menu. I understand that you're using hyperbole, but that's a bit much.
  8. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Or, they are beer people.
  9. jhartley

    jhartley Poo-Bah (2,400) Aug 22, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    No need to get testy, just making a joke.
    However it seems kind of odd to me to "display" beer that is not available for sale.
    j47paco likes this.
  10. j47paco

    j47paco Initiate (102) Dec 19, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    This thread is ripe with potential.
    brewsader and BlackBelt5112203 like this.
  11. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Initiate (186) Dec 10, 2006 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    How about you display empty bottles of KBS, or whatever beer you don't sell, at your house? The only people that will care about it when they spot it at your store, are the people that will want to buy some. I'm not knocking your intention, or effort, with the display, I just think it sends a message you weren't intending on sending.
  12. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    This made me think of the threads about wandering into the "back" room at a bottle shop and finding things that weren't available for sale.

    If the beer hasn't been or isn't advertised for sale, then you shouldn't get rustled when you're told it's not for sale.

    I guess it would come down to context though. Was the beer lined up with others that are for sale or was it on some shelf with other "display" beers?

    edit: just read yogi's posts. I change my vote back to sour grapes.
  13. FunkyMacGroovin

    FunkyMacGroovin Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 California

    I know lots of bars that do this, and it doesn't bother me at all. I actually enjoy looking at all the different bottles and seeing how many I can identify.
    vurt and Kelp like this.
  14. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Because I don't have room at my house... I live in a small apartment. I think you're underestimating the amount of bottles here. It's probably something like... 200? It was several gunnysacks worth. Gunnysack is a word, right? Whatever, huge canvas bags.
  15. stayclean

    stayclean Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2012 Wisconsin

    The Bomb Shelter in Milwaukee did this. I know the owner was a beer geek, so why not? I certainly didn't think anything of it.
  16. JulianB

    JulianB Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2012 South Carolina

    i think displaying empty bottles is fine, especially if they were involved in some tasting or bottle share at the location. For instance at a semi-local bar tonight, I busted a Pliny and Zombie Dust, and encouraged the bartender to keep the bottles if he wanted to put them on the shelf (which includes all sorts of old bottles and glassware).

    The thing that grinds my gears is when bars preemptively update the menu. I can understand having stuff on the menu (especially if it's printed) that has just blown and so is no longer available, but putting stuff on it you haven't even tapped yet is just obnoxious beyond all belief.
    JustXBeer, YogiBeer and MrOH like this.
  17. BlackBelt5112203

    BlackBelt5112203 Initiate (0) Jan 2, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Looks like someone's about to get (at least) one less customer...
  18. sukwonee

    sukwonee Crusader (740) Dec 13, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    There is a really reputable bottle shop near me that does this too but it didn't really bother me much.
    I just wished that I could steal those bottles and hoard them like the hoarders on the Hoarders TV show
    YogiBeer likes this.
  19. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (688) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Seriously, this sucks. I understand that it's to get people to come back, but most of the time, all that happens is that nothing they have will satisfy me, I want X now. Don't tell me how cool you'll be in the future, I want satisfaction in the present.
  20. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    Why? What's wrong with what I said? I apologized for the frustration of the OP, and presented an honest reason for the displays existence. I then offered to help the OP locate some of the beers that he is frustrated about us not selling... then apologized for defending the display, and further added that it wasn't my intention to be snotty. I don't own the place, and I don't even work in the beer shop, per se.

    I DO go wayy out of my way to help just about anyone I possibly can when they come to us for craft beer, and set up tastings and cooking/beer tasting classes for suuuper cheap, to help as many customers as I can get a handle on what beers/styles they like, so that they don't have to spend more money than they have to to drink the things they like the most. I also do write ups/reviews, write a monthly newsletter, put together an "upscale" mixed six pack of the month that I try to stuff as much cool stuff in as I can, (came up with the idea to) give all craft beer club members a 5% discount (for life) on all craft beer purchases of any amount, I use my lunch breaks to check up on now releases/read about beers that we sell that I haven't had, announce new releases, etc.

    I guess the real reason for the display being up is to show customers that some people that work there have invested a lot in educating themselves about hundreds of different beers, and styles of beer, and to assure them that asking a question about a particular beer or style of beer will be met with more than a zombie-like stare or an "I have no idea, man." Again, sorry if I have offended anyone, it was never my intention in the first place.
    Brunite and drtth like this.
  21. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Aspirant (202) Sep 19, 2012 Illinois


    When did I say I had any trouble finding the beers displayed, but not sold, at the hyvee ???
    All the beers displayed are easily attainable, through other local stores for one, the reason I made the thread however was to ask if others felt the display of beers the store has never sold makes them irritable as it did me.
    The fact that I can get them at other stores in the area is mute.

    Where did your duties at work come in to play here???
    (I'm not going to get into how wrong your "beer club" is, none of the other hyvees have that nonsense)

    How does displaying a beer show you have ANY knowledge about it? ????????????????????????????????/
    Simply buying and displaying something does not prove you know anything about it.
  22. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,244) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I think it's a great idea to have a display of rare or hard to find bottles in a craft beer place. Not too many years ago I was able to add 5 or 6 hard to find beers to my cellar because I recognized them in one shop after having earlier seen the empties on display in a collection. Didn't have to think twice or wonder if I was really seeing what I thought I saw. The recognition of those beers and their rarity was instant and I had them in my cart 2 seconds later. Two minutes after that they were in my car and headed back to the motel with me. Three days after that I was in the bar where I'd seen the display of empties thanking the owner for having them on display. Like art in a museum not everything has to be for sale to have value.
  23. podunkparte

    podunkparte Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2009 Washington

    :grinning: I'm gonna go make some popcorn! You guys want any?
  24. PlayaPlaya

    PlayaPlaya Aspirant (202) Sep 19, 2012 Illinois

    Yea but we arent talking about beer museums, we're talking about retail establishments.

    How come I've never seen any extravagant displays of wine that isn't for sale???
  25. wyatt

    wyatt Aspirant (263) Nov 18, 2009 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    Everyone in the thread needs to take a minute to calm down and maybe drink a beer.
  26. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    I have knowledge about it, because I've had it, I didn't randomly find the bottles lying in the street, and all of the bottles are empty, cap-less, and washed out. The answer to "hey, what did you think of that beer?" goes from "I have no idea, I haven't had it" to "Well, from what I remember, *this*." Yes, the people could just use a site like BA, but... a lot of people aren't aware of/don't use BA. I didn't mean to insult your ability to "find beers," I merely offered to help you find some of the crazier stuff that we have up there that I assumed you couldn't find.

    Apparently this is a thread to create drama and conflict out of a pretty simple misunderstanding. I'm sorry that you feel our beer club is nonsense (there are plenty of people who like it), and I'm sorry for defending a display that represents years of enjoying, studying, and sharing beer. If there is anything I can do to help you out (save taking down the display), please let me know.
    jhartley likes this.
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