Bell's Hopslam (2018)

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by AZBeerDude72, Jan 2, 2018.

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  1. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (845) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Sly fox and others are not always cheaper out of state. A case of SF pils might be $32 plus tax. Go to DE and a six pack will be $10-11.

    Deschutes is well over $40 a case and how it can be $$8-9 elsewhere is beyond me. SN is very expensive here too. How a 12 pack is $13.99-15.99 in DE but around $20 here is crazy. A retail beer distributor owner told me that his cost is more than I pay in DE. True? No idea but if it is he makes very little off SN beers.

    If ALL places could sell beer in PA prices should drop. We sell a lot of beer here and if the food stores were selling cases and cases the prices would be less and then competition comes into play. Right now I feel as if almost everyone prices the same. When you start paying by the 6 pack here price gets totally out of hand vs case price. $10 yards 6 packs are only about $32 a case so there is big profit on the smaller serving size.

    If SN was $13-15 a 12 pack here that's about all I would ever buy.

  2. Jerome1929

    Jerome1929 Initiate (54) Sep 11, 2008 Michigan

    Picked some up at Meijer canned 1/3 for $15.99. Still tasty after all these years. Most places I've seen have had quite a bit so hopefully no one has to go hunting. Price all over the place though.
  3. pro45

    pro45 Initiate (0) Sep 11, 2016 New York

    I usually buy it every year and am usually disappointed, LOL.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,870) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    For the sake of discussion lets assume that your Retail Beer Distributor is correct here. If the local Wholesale Beer Distributor is charging him more than the retail price of SN beer in Delaware then no matter how many new retail outlets are created in PA the retail price for SN beer will always be higher than in other (neighboring) states. A retailer such as a supermarket may be willing to accept a lower mark-up (retail margin) then another retailer (e.g., a Retail Beer Distributor) but they most certainly will not be selling SN beer at a loss.

    The mystery remains as to why the local PA Wholesale Distributor is pricing SN beers so much higher than the Wholesale Distributors in other (neighboring) states? Is this simply a case of they are charging more because they can? Once a Wholesale Distributor enters into a contract with a brewery they have exclusive rights to sell that brewery's beer in a defined region (e.g., Origlio distributes SN beers in the Philly area). If a retailer in the Philly area wants to sell SN beer they must purchase the beer from Origlio.

    Are there terms in a brewery - Wholesale Distributor contract which limits the profit (margins) that a Wholesale Distributor can make? Are there differences in state franchise laws that impact this? Do PA franchise laws not permit for breweries to limit their Wholesale Distributors profit margins?


    @thebeers @Sixpoint @SierraTerence @jesskidden @Alexmc2
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  5. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,833) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Hi Jack.

    Obviously, I don't live in the Mid Atlantic anymore, but when I did, my recollection is that even back then, you heard these sort of complaints.

    Granted, most of what I heard was hearsay and/or simply anecdotal reports, but I do recall hearing stories about Shangy's imposing essentially a retail price on the stores and bars they sold to. At least for certain beers. As you know, in addition to acting as a distributor, they also have a good size onsite retail outlet, and I heard from a number of sources that the walk out price for a case of hopslam was the exact same price a place like Capone's or the Beer Yard would have to pay for the beer. I remember seeing some very high prices for Hop Slam in particular at the Beer Yard, which seemed to confirm those stories (which was an anomaly, as generally I thought the pricing there pretty reasonable/fair).

    My impression/conclusion I think is the same as yours. Given that a place like Shangy's has pretty much a monopoly on the sale of HS in SE Pa,. you either have to buy it from them or you can't carry it (if you're a bar or beer store). My take was that Shangy's always figured that Hopslam was in such high demand, bottle shops and beer bars would accept the fact that they weren't getting a wholesale price on the beer, as they knew they'd still be able to sell it, even at a premium price.

    Obviously, I can't speak to the comment made by @Giantspace regarding SN products, but based on the stories I've heard about Shangy's in the past, it at least seems plausible.
    #165 John_M, Jan 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
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  6. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,870) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    John, FWIW I have personally always rationalized the annual Hopslam release in SEPA fiasco as being a seasonal/limited amount for a hyper sought after beer situation. The craft beer drinkers in SEPA were rabid for Hopslam and IMO Shangy's took advantage of that being the case. They 'reserved' the majority of the Hopslam for their retail store and what little they let out for wider distribution they figured they could charge a premium for this limited amount beer. I was never a big fan of this situation but I suppose some person would argue this is a situation of supply and demand?

    This whole pricing issue for Sierra Nevada beers is a different animal altogether. Sierra Nevada produces year round beers and folks report that they can purchase 12-packs for 15 bucks (or less). My last 12-pack purchase was over 20 bucks.

    If what @Giantspace local Retail Beer Distributor is saying is accurate (i.e., that he is charged the same price as retail prices in Delaware) - let's do some math.

    Let's assume a DE retail price of $15 for a SN 12-pack. Let's assume that a Retail Beer Distributor used a 30% margin (mark-up). The $15 x 1.3 = $19.50 (about 20 bucks).

    The math I did above sure is consistent with the retail prices in DE and PA. The 'mystery' is why is the PA Wholesale Distributor pricing SN beers so much higher (e.g., 30%) vs. the DE Wholesale Distributor?

  7. hoagzzz

    hoagzzz Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Fresh hopslam still very good in my view but literally fades in like three or four weeks. Plus I like the nostalgic aspect of this brew. That said yes I have to go to shangey’s and yes it’s over priced.
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  8. SCW

    SCW Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2004 New York

    In just about every state, it is illegal for a brewery to dictate the profit margin to a wholesaler selling their products.
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,870) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Shane, if a Wholesale Distributor is pricing your beer such that retailers can't sell at your suggested retail price I take it that you have no recourse with that Wholesale Distributor?

  10. Wolfhead

    Wolfhead Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2009 Illinois

    Wait, What? Hopslam is out? I'm sure the hops have faded but I want some
  11. Wolfhead

    Wolfhead Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2009 Illinois

    I would rather have Resin but that's a different distribution bs issue
    I love to drive but....
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  12. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,833) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Agreed, and I don't have the answer.

    Generally speaking, SN beers aren't limited or hard to come by, so what's the thinking? I like SNPA and think it's a great beer, but especially in the SEPA area, there's an ocean of well make APA's that I assume can compete with SNPA. So the price tag you're describing is pretty hard to wrap my brain around.

    Where I live you can find SNPA 12 packs in the $13 range when on sale. I honestly don't know what the regular price is for 12 packs of SNPA, as the only time I even give a second look at SNPA is when it's on sale. If the local wholesaler was imposing such a large profit margin that stores had to sell 12 packs in the $20 range, I'm fairly certain most stores in the area would stop carrying it (as they likely wouldn't be able to sell it). Frankly, I'm a little surprised that hasn't happened in SEPA.
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,870) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Well, one thing I can report anecdotally is that there is quite a bit of 'old' SN beers sitting on my local beer retailers shelves. I suppose there could be a myriad of reasons for this but permit me to suggest just one: SN beers do not sell quickly due to their prices and therefore they languish on the shelves? We consumers then have the issue that if we want to purchase SN beer: we have to pay a 'premium' (i.e., a higher prices than is charged elsewhere) for 'old' product.

    I will confess that I rarely purchase SN beers since I do not often find them fresh. I did buy a 12-pack of Celebration just before Christmas (a present for my wife). That beer was not old but it did cost over 20 bucks.

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  14. Blogjackets

    Blogjackets Defender (616) Nov 22, 2017 Ohio
    Society Trader

    Happy to see that Bells is planning events in our area. They hooked up with Winking Lizard to release Black Note and this month they will have Hop Slam. Looking forward to tasting Hop Slam on tap at a tap takeover of Craft Beer Bar next week.
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  15. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (110) Aug 21, 2015 Missouri

    Anyone else checking this thread multiple times daily to see when it starts showing up in stores?
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  16. Junior

    Junior Crusader (746) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    Why??? Haven't you heard Hopslam is the most overpriced, overhyped beer made? It's basically the worst beer ever sold. Anyone associated with Bell's, any distributor that sells Hopslam or a store that sells it is pure evil.
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  17. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (149) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    While that may be an exaggeration, the dislike for Hopslam is strong with some. Though I agree that it is malty by today's standards, the Hopslam hate is as mystifying to me as any Sixpoint release thread's fanboy slurping just because someone from the brewery talks to them online.
  18. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Poo-Bah (1,787) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I want the mini keg this year. Would be perfect for the super bowl.
  19. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (269) Jun 4, 2005 California

    To respond to your earlier query regarding the high PA prices - they get what the market will bear (capitalism). Sadly this beer isn't available locally to me (I would occasionally pay $20 a sixer) but I have gotten some online. I dig the honey baked hops flavor :slight_smile:
  20. TheeWarPig

    TheeWarPig Initiate (90) Sep 30, 2015 Michigan

    It was $61.65 a case at the General Store with no limits. Mini kegs were $39.99 each, limit two per person.

    Six pack prices range from $15.41 to over $21.00

    It's a great beer in my opinion and I have no problem finding it seeing as I can drive to the General Store easily but do understand the BS of trying to find it elsewhere. Price gouging on this one in particular is beyond disgusting as well.
    Junior likes this.
  21. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (110) Aug 21, 2015 Missouri

    I don't have to check the thread anymore because I talked to one of those evil store managers and he said it would arrive Monday in way down south Illinois.

    As far as the hate goes, people are the most passionate about hating on the things that are the greatest, whether it be sports teams, athletes, movies, music, people, whatever.
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  22. Junior

    Junior Crusader (746) May 23, 2015 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I happily picked up two 6-packs at my local grocery. $36 out the door. Mini kegs were $36 each. They were sold out when I got there.
  23. TheeWarPig

    TheeWarPig Initiate (90) Sep 30, 2015 Michigan

    I was told mini kegs are being distributed the week of 1/15.
  24. Bonedizzle

    Bonedizzle Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2016 Nebraska

    LOL. I think the same thing in every sixpoint realease thread.
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  25. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    After cracking my 1st can that is only a week old I think I have to agree now. Haven't had this beer in about 3 years but I remember a piney tongue piercing biting sensation and that's no longer present. I think Stone wrecked my palate. I do still believe Hopslam can hold up for a year and still be good whereas Stone needs to be drunk right away. When comparing fresh, Stone destroys it as do other IPA's present these days. I feel this beer got toned down from what it once was. Still enjoyable but after this experience I would never buy again. And although still enjoyable, I now agree with the haters. Its not what it used to be. Definitely more maltier than in your face piney as it had been in the past.
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  26. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    So you're saying that because your 3 year old memory does not match what you think you are tasting now it is the beer that has changed rather than you and your tastes?

    You might just be interested in reading this:
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  27. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    It could be my palate sure but I do remember my tongue being numb after drinking and that experience is no longer present.
  28. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well if you're used to drinking beers with bitterness, e.g., Stone, it wouldn't be present since your tastebuds will have grown accustomed to being "beat up" by hop bitterness and may simply not picking up the same things any longer. So your thoughts about palate change are probably closer to the money than the idea that the beer has changed.
  29. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Possibly but with that said I'd still prefer a fresh Stone, fresh Waldo, and fresh Hopnotix over Hopslam
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  30. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    And that's perfectly reasonable, our preferences for many things change over time.
  31. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,290) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Absolute worst hangover I've ever had came from blowing through one of these alone on a playoff weekend. I thought I was dying the next morning.
  32. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    I have to take back what I said in previous posts. This beer is back to how I remember it with its honey sweetness alongside its tongue piercing piney orange rind hops. I think what it was is yesterday I was drinking too soon. Needed one more day to fully enjoy. More I started realising, hops are a bit like fruit. Consume too soon and it's not developed, too late and loses character. One more week and I think it'll be even more amazing. I've also noticed sometimes IPA'S are at its greatest in the 5th week. Maybe same is true about Hopslam. Don't think I ever had it this fresh. But today is much better than yesterday. It's amazing what an extra day can do to an IPA. As now I get the hop tongue piercing. Cheers!
  33. WIexile

    WIexile Initiate (75) Jul 20, 2017 Michigan

    Well hate to brake it to ya buddy but he's right. I regularly see sixers of Hoptimum, which I know is 9.6 but round up, for $9.99. Also Illumnation from CW also $9.99. Unsessionable from revolution also on sale for $10.50. Shall I go on....
  34. WIexile

    WIexile Initiate (75) Jul 20, 2017 Michigan

    Just passed on $13.99 sixer of hopslam. Not feeling it this year. Feel bad for people paying over $20...
  35. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Not a fan of Revolution and never seen hoptimum 6pks for $9.99. You're in Michigan so where you see that?
    As far as CW Illumination, would have to try it before any judgement.
  36. WIexile

    WIexile Initiate (75) Jul 20, 2017 Michigan

    From Wisconsin originally and regularly return. These are prices I see in Madison WI. Also we tend to even have cheaper prices U.P. here than you guys down state.
  37. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    Well enjoy your hoptimum @ $9.99. Only time I seen it @ $9.99 was when it was in 4pks. My take is if you see it now it's not fresh. Haven't heard of it released recently so if you get it now @ $9.99 my take is its well aged. So in that case I'd prefer a fresh Hopslam @ $16.99 per 6. I also did a side by side years back with Hopslam and hoptimum, I prefered Hopslam.
  38. WIexile

    WIexile Initiate (75) Jul 20, 2017 Michigan

    Not saying the beer is good, only providing the price point examples of Double IPA under $10 u asked for. Haven't bought any of those beers in a long time...
  39. BenHoppy

    BenHoppy Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2017 Michigan

    I like hoptimum but years back (and my palate I'm sure has changed now) I did a side by side with hoptimum and Hopslam and preferred Hopslam. Now if you get hoptimum freshly released at $9.99 per 6 then yes you have conquered my request. It's just I'm not sure I believe it. Back when they had 4pks I seen it at $9.99 but never $9.99 in a 6. Maybe in Wisconsin it's there but never seen it at that price point in Michigan. But yes quality matters. what makes hopslam great is its quality. Hell even I under appreciated it on my 1st can but realized I drunk ot too early then started appreciating it again. Its worth $16.99 a 6 for its quality of a beer. I have only had CW quad, not familiar with their IPA's so really can't judge illumination, but do consider revolutionary brewery almost amateur in it's take on IPAs.
  40. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Meyvn (1,289) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

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