Black market beer is getting out of hand.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by CGuil220, Jan 17, 2016.

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  1. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    So my parents went to Burlington/Montreal for a long weekend this week and I figured that while they're going up there, I would see if they could pick up anything good. I sent my dad a list of things to keep is eye out for, the usual, Focal Banger, Heady, Lawsons, Second Fiddle.

    I get a text from him tonight and he and the hotel manager were talking and before long they get into talk about beer. I ask my dad how much he was willing to sell them for to which the manager replied 22 for the Heady and 20 for the Focal Banger.

    This crap is really getting out of hand huh?
  2. Raime

    Raime Meyvn (1,328) Jun 4, 2012 Greenland

    Doesn't sound too bad if you really want to try it. I can think of worse beers for the same price or more
  3. ivegot3Dvision

    ivegot3Dvision Zealot (545) Feb 9, 2015 Oregon

    You've obviously never looked on Craigslist for beer... People will ask what they're hoping people will pay.
  4. Sturgeon83

    Sturgeon83 Disciple (312) Mar 11, 2015 Kentucky

    If you think beer is bad, don't ever look at the black market for bourbon. Best thing to do is just not buy it.
  5. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    I've heard of worse, when I lived in DC, one liquor store would get heady and Pliny in occasionally and the price was insane ($20 per can) but to be in the same state as the brewery just blows me away
    jcos likes this.
  6. craft_is_king

    craft_is_king Aspirant (264) Jul 24, 2014 California

    I saw Cantillon 50n4e for $300 and 3F Homage for $400, Heady for $15 a can in CA
  7. Emmige1

    Emmige1 Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2014 New York

    Is my grasp on the English language deteriorating?
  8. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    Probably not, I'm slightly buzzed right now. On top of that I'm an engineer. I never took english classes. "My english no good"
    Keffa, yossle, Hopsiam14 and 3 others like this.
  9. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (4,038) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Found my first Bourbon County on the shelves at a local bottle shop. After all they wanted you to buy in order to get one bottle, it worked out to about $40 for a single bottle of Bourbon County Stout.

    Personally, if someone wants an absurd amount of money or trade beer, I'll just skip over it. No sense in supporting it. I can't think of a beer that would be worth trading half my cellar, or pay a lot for.
  10. BltByKrmn

    BltByKrmn Defender (624) Jan 16, 2013 New York

    $22 for a 4 pack or a can? If you're in Burlington, why not just go buy it from a regular store?
  11. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,154) Mar 21, 2010 New York

    Would be the last time I would stay at the hotel.
  12. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    $22 for a 4 pack.
  13. Cadaver83

    Cadaver83 Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    "$22 for a 4 pack or a can? If you're in Burlington, why not just go buy it from a regular store?"

    Hard to find in stores as it gets bought up fast and isn't distro'd everywhere. 22 for a can of heady seems absurd though.
    Also, heady is good, but there are better NE IPAs. Try trading for anything treehouse.
  14. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    It doesn't last long after it's delivered. I texted them places they might find it but it's sort of difficult to find in stores on a long weekend.
  15. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (550) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Not at all actually. It's a totally cheat you fair market. And if you don't like it. Don't buy in, or report them to the appropriate people who can call them up repeatedly and hang up on them. i.e. the brewery.
    Fact: Hotels upcharge for ridiculous stuff all the time and this one has the additional service of selling beer illegally.

    That said. I really have no understanding about the co-relation of mofo's willing to chase trucks and wait in line for the better part of a day to get something and the other one where people are willing to pay many times over what the MSRP of that product is.
    sarcasm off.
    BoneyardBrewer and utopiajane like this.
  16. BltByKrmn

    BltByKrmn Defender (624) Jan 16, 2013 New York

    $22 for a 4 pack really isn't that bad.
  17. Cadaver83

    Cadaver83 Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2015 Massachusetts

    Oh, $22 for a 4 pack is not that bad for someone reselling their own stash. They paid 14-16 for it. They make 6-8 dollars on the pack. That's definitely not a gouge.
    Daveshek28, JDW4195, twizzard and 2 others like this.
  18. BltByKrmn

    BltByKrmn Defender (624) Jan 16, 2013 New York

    Yes I've hunted my fair share of Heady to know the deal. That said if you want it, it's easy to chase the truck.
  19. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    Right, thats what a lot of people do. They see the truck drive by and just follow it.
  20. jRocco2021

    jRocco2021 Disciple (311) Mar 13, 2010 Wisconsin

    Saw a vsb posted on website recently at $400 dollars was only listed for an hour before someone bought it. That beer is a pint bottle (500ml) and cost $9 at the brewery the weekend of the release.

    So yeah I agree its getting way out of hand.
    sonoma01 likes this.
  21. JAntony345

    JAntony345 Initiate (86) May 1, 2010 New York

    I've seen Rare 2010 sold for $600 on Craiglist. It only stops when buyers stop paying ridiculous prices otherwise it's a sellers' market.
  22. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,566) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Considering I've paid $8 for a Bud Light at the airport, $22 for Heady is sounding pretty good
  23. pagriley

    pagriley Meyvn (1,027) Oct 27, 2014 Illinois

    22 for a 4 pack is totally OK for Heady - I mean, the guy is paying $16 or so then tax on top, so he is barely covering the cost + gas money to chase the damn stuff down. Given that he is in about $17 or 18 after tax that is barely more than mates rates and he is doing you a favor to boot...
  24. DrRambis

    DrRambis Initiate (124) Jan 10, 2014 New Jersey

    Yeah but that's a hotel right? So there will be a huge up charge no matter what.

    It's the black market anyway so you are paying in excess because what you are purchasing isn't available easily and/or legally. The only two times I've had heady were at concerts, purchased by "illegal resale." Both times it was 12 for one, or 20 for two.

    From that hotels perspective they are offering a highly sought after tasting experience right at the customers fingertips. The customer doesnt have to spend any time hunting down a store on a specific date and time, waiting in line, etc. To many people an Andrew Jackson might be worth it to avoid that hassle and enjoy their vacation.
    utopiajane and chrismann65 like this.
  25. aleszu

    aleszu Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2012 Massachusetts

    Hey folks, for what it's worth, I wrote about this in the April 2014 issue of Beeradvocate

    It got into the three-tier system, cross-country beer rings and, of course, an interview with the Kimmichs. Here's an excerpt...

    Plenty of liquor stores, bars and consumers would be happy to work around what is criticized as an antiquated and flawed system of middle-men, fees and delays—not to mention problems ensuring freshness and maintaining a cold chain. But at the same time, the system has allowed countless craft breweries to deliver their creations—perishable, it should be noted—to consumers across the country.

    “We feel like a lot of it is out of our control,” says Jen Kimmich, co-owner of the Alchemist brewery(conceding that, “ironically, it is a bit of a compliment”).

    It’s great having people drive hundreds of miles to buy Heady Topper, chimes in her husband and Alchemist brewmaster John Kimmich, “but our priority is keeping our local accounts stocked with the freshest beer possible. We’re sorry if you’ve driven all the way from Kentucky and the beer’s all gone.” And if someone manages to get it back to California or Florida, or wherever, “at that point the beer is a shadow of what it once was,” he explains. “Come here and have it fresh!”

    Sitting around the Alchemist’s second-floor conference table, surrounded by their tired yet lively employees, the Kimmichs ponder their brewery’s future aloud. The emphasis will be on local; it always has been. So even though they’re opening up a new cannery and releasing two new beers, production will be capped at 9,000 barrels a year.

    The Alchemist has issued authorized retailer stickers to Heady Topper salespoints to guarantee their consumers are getting the freshest beer possible. What people do with the beer beyond those salespoints is out of their hands—as it is for all breweries. When she heard someone was arrested for selling Heady Topper, Jen says she was practically sick. “We don’t want to get anybody in trouble.”

    Brewers may relinquish control once a shipment leaves the loading dock, but the black market—both online and in stores—puts the consumer at even greater risk of ending up with an overpriced bottle of stale beer.

    “Without a trusted chain of custody for the product, who’s to say what beer is in that bottle?Or how it’s been treated along the way,” says Szymankiewicz.“That can lead to consumers getting substandard or even adulterated product"
    Aestro and jimboothdesigns like this.
  26. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,392) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    Only if you buy it...
  27. thebeers

    thebeers Poo-Bah (2,999) Sep 10, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Never had Focal Banger, but Heady sure as he'll isn't worth anything close to that. That said, you should expect a crazy mark up for black market hotel anything. M&Ms go for $7 a bag.

    [edit: $22 for a four pack at a hotel actually sounds perfectly reasonable. Thought you were talking a can.]
  28. Evmo31

    Evmo31 Initiate (168) Feb 3, 2015 Connecticut

    I would buy a 4 pack of focal for $20 in a heartbeat. It is not normally sold in stores, and the bars/restaraunts/hotels that get it are not supposed to sell it for off premise consumption. Thats a little much for heady considering some stores sell it for less than $14, but not having to chase it and wait in line could make that price worth it for some people. I would assume that the hotel manager was actually giving him a deal, assuming they sell heady/focal for more than $5-$5:50 a can at the bar. Was this at hotel vermont, i don't know of any other hotels that get focal in burlington.
    Rysk22 likes this.
  29. NanookinTexas

    NanookinTexas Initiate (79) Jul 5, 2015 Texas

    @smakawhat, so true! The market is controlled by the consumer. 'Nough said!
  30. NanookinTexas

    NanookinTexas Initiate (79) Jul 5, 2015 Texas

    It's beer! You're going to die if you don't get it?
    #30 NanookinTexas, Jan 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
    LuskusDelph likes this.
  31. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (441) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    FB isn't sold in stores at this point - only bars and restaurants -- so the fact that the dude was willing to sell it at all for take away is a bonus. HT can be had at market price w/ the tiniest bit of Internet research. It's all about timing. Supply and demand and informed consumer forces in action here. I love it.
  32. RpZhivago

    RpZhivago Initiate (107) Jan 25, 2015 Illinois

    If I was staying in Burlington and my hotel offered Heady Topper for $22 4/pack, I would buy a bunch of them. Not only would you not have to track it down, you don't even have to leave the hotel! Worth $4-$5 easily to me. :slight_smile:

    That being said, I'm with you on secondary beer prices being ridiculous. Seeing what Bourbon County variants "sell" for on Craigslist (not sure how many sell) here in Chicago is totally crazy to me. Then I go on * and see people selling things like Abraxas for $75, and of course other bottles for way more $. People can do what they want with their beer, but I think it's such a gross thing to do and so opposite of everything that's cool about beer. Not to mention, it seems like an incredibly inefficient way to make money. But, whatever. Nothing you can do but not buy.
  33. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,415) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    It's a free market economy, it's never out of hand unless it's something you absolutely need, and your being held hostage. Your don't need it, so you don't buy at those prices.
  34. CGuil220

    CGuil220 Initiate (0) Feb 11, 2015 New Hampshire

    I'm aware that HT can be acquired through an internet search and some patience. I dont think my parents are willing to wait for the truck though.
  35. berto714

    berto714 Aspirant (280) Oct 16, 2014 New York

    Yea I'm just gonna chime in now that I've read the whole thread and say that 4-packs of Heady for $22 and Focal for $20 at a hotel are really not bad at all. I would pay that for sure. In fact I'd go as far as saying if I knew I could reliably get it at that hotel I'd go there all the time and just buy from them instead of wasting time tracking down Heady.
  36. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (441) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Errr...then I guess a short jaunt to Greensboro Bend by the folks is out of the question? That would have been the move -- "Dad - it's a short drive up the road from Stowe -- Mom could mule for us (I will explain what that means later) -- along w a bunch of growlers and farmstead bottles please make sure to get me a 750 of that Bourban Barrell aged maple syrup -- it's only $40 -- and please say hi to Phil for me!"
  37. chavinparty

    chavinparty Initiate (128) Jan 4, 2015 New Hampshire

    Totally reasonable tell your dad to drop em at my place on his way home
  38. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,326) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    I would have told my parents "Get 2 of each!"
  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,415) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Just curious, I took a peek on Craig's list only one listing a case of BCBS for $350. So he's selling it for 3x his cost. You laugh and move on.
  40. Karnivool1

    Karnivool1 Initiate (0) Dec 28, 2014 Illinois

    Best post of year so far!
    taylordane, TrojanRB, 4truth and 2 others like this.
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