Case Sales at Three Floyds

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Wseitz, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. Keffa

    Keffa Jan 8, 2009 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Having to make a beer repeatedly means that people like your beer and want to drink it. Your "brewing new things" argument is pretty thin. Brewing new things isn't always a good thing (see Shorts for an example).

    And honestly, the entitlement argument is invalid too. Locals complaining about a beer not being available isn't entitlement? "Oh boo hoo, Zombie Dust is selling out and I can't get it, although I have it on tap all the time, along with other one-offs and rarities that anyone who isn't local will never get to try. But, you know, I want to buy Zombie Dust whenever I want to, I'm local!!!!" Let me get out the world's smallest violin and play "I Weep For You". I'm sure that'll help you feel better.

    I'm going to put money on the case limit is being changed due to the Citra shortage and the beer stores buying and reselling it for ridiculous prices, because I'm betting that with the batches flying out of the brewpub, they've been chewing through a ton of their Citra supply, and people getting ripped off are complaining. Citra, being such a limited hop as it is can't help a beer that's single hopped with it. I'm betting that Gumballhead isn't helping the Amarillo situation either.
  2. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    it should be across you should only be able to buy 2 cases of zd, 2 cases of alpha king, 2 cases of gumballhead, etc....and then maybe a total cap of 6 or 8 cases period
  3. Elric73

    Elric73 Aug 10, 2005 Illinois

    That would seem to make more sense, but at the end of the day the brewery will do what they like. It bums me out as I travel a good distance to get their brews and they aren't available in Rockford, so it would be nice to make it worth while if I am going to make the trip. The problem is that the brewery will likely face no financial repercussions from this decision. I just don't think there should be any complaints when the black market that most people don't like increases due to this decision. It is what it is now. As good as their beers are, I will likely buy less, and I expect that to be of no difference to them.
    jegross2 likes this.
  4. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    This is why breweries like surly are so much better. I bought a flat four pack and instead of telling me to fuck off and buy less of their limited product, they sent me a real nice email and some really cool swag. I know companies like Avery, Duck rabbit and central water are similarly customer focused despite being a small regional brewery as well. And guess what. You'll never see me say anything bad about those companies.
  5. immobilisme

    immobilisme Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    Well, looking at the brewpub beer availability updated today, they are out of Zombie Dust, Gumballhead and Pride & Joy even with the new limits. There is a reason they are creating the limits... they are running out of their bottled beer.
  6. sarcastro

    sarcastro Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Are you equating 3 Floyds limiting purchasing to your buying a flat four pack from surly? How is the remotely similar issues?
    Rempo and MarkIntihar like this.
  7. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It's all related to customer service. Generally speaking, FFF has none. Zilch. Nada. They don't give two shits about you because for ever lost sale they have another lined up because of excess demand.

    The point is that surly goes out of its way to make its customers, even ones out of state, happy. So do a lot of small date and regional brewers. Three floyds does no such thing. There is no pressing need to limit how much alpha king or Robert the Bruce I get when I drive there. But fff also won't bottle date so that I need to goto the brewery to get certified fresh apa
    JerryM1984 likes this.
  8. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    We get it. You hate FFF. Yet you still buy 6 cases of beer every time you go there. It's going to be ok.
  9. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    agreed...not much customer service...they dont like selling beer to go and get all pissy about it but yet they offer it...and the bottle date thing is true as well.
  10. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    love the beer hate the people
  11. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Personally, I've never had anything but good experiences there.
    beerking, nicnut45, CWBlues and 4 others like this.
  12. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    yeah ive only been there i cant really say bad sure it was just a timing issue
  13. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Jul 19, 2009

    I am starting to think there is some bizarro-world FFF that I have never been to, at the one I go to I have never personally had, nor seen, anything sort of good customer service and friendly staff. Can someone give me the address to bizarro FFF so I don't ever mistakingly go there?
  14. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Mar 17, 2010 Michigan

    Must be the one that burns to the ground every other week.

    *low hanging fruit*
  15. Elric73

    Elric73 Aug 10, 2005 Illinois

    When I went there I had a very cool waitress that I nagged to find out what band was playing over the speaker system and she went out of her way to find out and write it down for me. Was this a big deal? No, but she could have said "I don't know" and left it at that. I appreciated it anyway. I think there is a tatoo requirement to work there. I don't mind tatoos, just an observation. I do enjoy a brewery filled with a bunch of metalheads. Are there any other breweries that are sort of metal music oriented? I know Surly has some guys up there working for them that I believe may be in some metal bands. I am sure this probably belongs in a new thread.

    Anyway, back to the case limit thing. If there is one good observation to come out of this is that there is room in the market for more breweries who are willing to buck the trend and make beer they love rather than beer for the masses, and if they do it well, you can price your beer higher than most of your peers and people will still buy it. I do sort of miss the old days, 5 years ago or more, lol, that craft beer drinkers were a smaller demographic I happen to be a part of, and virtually any beer I wanted I could get a hold of and even buy cases of it without some major headache involved. People wouldn't believe that Dark Lord Day, the event that now sells out in 5 minutes on the internet, used to be a modest event that only got enough people to fill up their parking lot, but everything changes, and those days are likely gone for good. If anything, sites like this and ratebeer bear as much responsibility for case limits as 3 Floyds because people can view an aggregate as to which breweries have the highest rated beers, and fortunately for 3 Floyds, they fall into the top of that heap. Without BA and ratebeer, it is unlikely you'd find this much controversy surrounding an individual brewery. I am not saying these sites should do anything about it. This is just the result of people having better access to information that allows each one of us to go after what beer we'd like to try the most, and for breweries that do their craft well, this obvious benefit leads to case limits till the day where they can better meet the demand.
    MarkIntihar likes this.
  16. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Jul 19, 2009

    Since this thread has derailed into several differing topics, I have a simple question :

    Which is a better example of advocacy : bitching and moaning because ZOMFG I CAN NO LONGER BUY SIX CASES or being happy that a two case limit will ensure more enthusiasts get a chance to get some beer?

    Pretty sure I know the answer, but I think a lot of people have lost sight of what we are supposedly here for.

    Feel free to hate away, I don't care and have thick skin.
  17. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    I agree with the two case limit.....they are small and thats all they can produce...and more people have the opportunity....that being said....if the demand is there and people want this beer, which is a good thing, and means they are making money...then I think they have to think about expanding
  18. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    more people have the opportunity to experience their beer is what i mean
  19. Steimie

    Steimie Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    I think it's pretty safe to assume that they have and that they've decided against it.
  20. JerryM1984

    JerryM1984 Apr 19, 2012 Michigan

    which is fine...everyone just has to live with their decisions the two case is what it is
  21. immobilisme

    immobilisme Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    If you are saying that 3 Floyds thought about expanding, but decided against it, you are obviously not paying attention.

    From a Chicago Tribune article earlier this year:
    "He acknowledges that the brewery "isn't as big as people think we should be," and said he plans to grow. He is working to open a brew pub in Chicago "in the near future" located "anywhere but the Loop," and he plans to buy a larger, more modern brewing system in Munster that will triple Three Floyds' output. But a New Belgium-type expansion into another state or a Goose Island-like sale to Anheuser-Busch? Not going to happen, Floyd said.",0,3768834,full.story
  22. Elric73

    Elric73 Aug 10, 2005 Illinois

    Here's the thing, and I promise to shut up after this as I have accepted their decision. If you have a policy in place one day where people can buy 6 cases, and then the next you cut it down to 2, naturally this benefits one group of people and hurts another, and regardless of which side of the debate you fall on, it shouldn't make anyone an asshole just because we may not agree with someone's viewpoint. If people are going to be assholes for their views on anything, it should probably be over politics at the very least, and not beer.
  23. Steimie

    Steimie Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    My bad. I knew that too but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.

    Thank God people in Chicago won't have to drive so far now. You know...2 case limit, half hour outside the city, not worth it.
  24. claaark13

    claaark13 Nov 29, 2007 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    How is this thread not dead??????

    Every angle of opinion/speculation that could possibly have been explored has been explored. FFF isn't going to read this thread and decide to change their mind.
    mbockstruck30 likes this.
  25. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Jul 19, 2009

    I agree, but it is disingenuous to state that reaction is any other than selfish. It is a brewery trying to get their beer into as many different hands as possible and they are getting crucified for it. It is CLEAR they have much more demand than supply and are aware of it and taking steps to hopefully improve that in the future.
  26. MordorMongo

    MordorMongo Jul 19, 2009

    Apparently this is your first day on the internet? ;)

    And some of us are bored, clearly!
    nicnut45 likes this.
  27. sarcastro

    sarcastro Sep 20, 2006 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Isn't this how many beer releases work? They limit how much people can buy, so more people can get some. Maybe this isn't a special one day release party, but it is the same principle. Wouldn't it make better business sense to clear the inventory faster by selling more to fewer people. It seems to me that this is good customer service by going out of their way to make sure more people get some. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't right now, but this way they probably make less people mad. It is a business decision. You obviously don't care about other people getting any, so you probably won't understand.
    chanokokoro likes this.
  28. chanokokoro

    chanokokoro Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    I love Surly's brews, and the other breweries you mentioned as well, but did you ever consider the reason that Surly, Avery, Duck Rabbit, Central Waters, etc. don't have limits is because they aren't one of the most popular craft breweries in the country and they aren't located within or in very close proximity to (depending on your definition, I usually consider NW Indiana as part of the Chicagoland area) the third largest metropolitan area by population in the U.S.? There is much greater demand for FFF brews than the brews of any of the other breweries you mentioned. It has nothing to do with not being "customer-focused." Why do you even care, anyhow? All you do is bitch about FFF.

    Bingo. I would say that FFF are the "advocates" in this situation.

    Perhaps, I'm wrong, but FFF doing their best to ensure that everyone getting a chance to bring home some ZD, Gumballhead, etc. is exactly what advocacy is about.

    There are some BA's in this thread that claim to be advocates. However, when it might mean they only get a six pack or two instead of that whole case that's where the advocacy stops. Screw the schmuck passing through from the east coast, west coast, etc. who just wants one 6 pack of ZD if it means less for me and others I'm picking up brews for...
    tmarretti, Vav and MordorMongo like this.
  29. SpottedZombie

    SpottedZombie Feb 7, 2012 Illinois

    Seems like two things are being wholly ignored by everyone in this thread as viable alternatives to limiting how much beer someone can buy on any given day (maybe 3):

    1. Instead of lowering case limits, increase case prices. ---> FFF makes more money, and still sells out due to excess demand for their product. Hopefully this would detract people from buying as much as they would originally (the same affect as limiting case prices, but without all the "I'm entitled to X amount of beer (or not)" talk).

    2. Places that are buying any amount of beer from FFF directly, to resell, are in constant danger of loosing their liquor license (which is worth way more than the $100+ they'd make from reselling beer over the course of X amount of days). I find it hard to believe that the affect of resale by liquor stores forgoing the 3-tier system has any impact on FFF's ability to have ZD available. This change really should only affect people driving from any significant distance to FFF, as locals can make trips every day to restock if they want.

    Question: If I (or we) arrive at FFF at 11:00 pm, and purchase our allotments, and then wait until 12:01, can we purchase our allotments for the new day? (Probably not, but worth asking since they mention that it is 2 cases per day, and not per business day)

    3 (maybe). Haymarket Pub & brewery makes a beer called Mathias. Drink it.
  30. BeerMeFitz

    BeerMeFitz Oct 24, 2011 Illinois

    Well said!
  31. Steimie

    Steimie Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    I suspect if you tried this on the wrong person at FFF, they'd punch you in the throat.
  32. cpz28

    cpz28 Dec 31, 2007 Indiana

    Relatively speaking, I think most people buying to-go beer at 3 Floyds are going to be unaffected by this rule. Personally I don't believe most people buying 6+ cases of something at 3 Floyds are doing it for personal use. Two cases is enough for most individuals, and if not, bring a friend or go to one of the 10 other places within 10 minutes of 3 Floyds that will sell you all of the beer you want.

    This limit, I believe, is 3 Floyds doing what they think is best for the consumer first and not what is best for 3 Floyds first. Why, you ask? First it slows down the people who are buying huge quantities of beer at the brewery and reselling it for an increased rate. Thus, the consumer isn't going to get price gouged. Second, more people will have access to the beer whether it's because the guy in front of them didn't buy the last 6 cases of Zombie Dust, but only 2 (more for everyone, less for someone), or because holding back at the brewery means more going into distribution. What would be in 3 Floyds best interest would be to sell as much beer to the first person with money as that person is willing to buy, but they aren't doing it. It would also be worth it to them to sell as much beer as possible out of the brewpub, because there is no middle man, but they aren't doing that.

    The 6 case limit was clearly working just fine for 3 Floyds if they were constantly selling out of certain beers; they made their money. They could stop there, but it wasn't working out for the (average) consumer, so they made a change.

    Yeah, some people aren't going to be able to stock up on their way through and bring back beer for friends, and that sucks. Don't hate 3 Floyds, hate the greedy assholes doing illegal shit and negative things for the beer business as a whole. This is their fault.
    yock and Zoso2772 like this.
  33. Retail1LO

    Retail1LO May 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    The problem is, anyone that was reselling it is going to continue to do so. They'll just bring friends and family to mule. And, since they're local, they'll be back for more the following day. It's more inconvenient for the "scalpers", but it's not going to end it. At all. It's quite simply going to prevent people who want to spend more money there from doing so. *shrug* Again, they're free to do what they want...I just think it's counter productive to send people out the door with money in their pocket when they were there to spend it. Personally, to make sure there's enough beer on tap for everyone, I think they should limit each person to two pours of beer. You know, that way no one shows up at the brewery and has to worry abou there being any there for them. :rolleyes: I traveled over 1200 miles to get to FFF, and if they'd have been out of something I wanted, I'd have said "Oh fuck well." Apparently that's not acceptable if you live within an hour of the brewery. Again, I guess my aggravation stems from having zero access to it when I'm in PA, and now pretty much NEXT to zero access even when I pass through. Greater tragedies in life, I suppose.
    Keffa likes this.
  34. immobilisme

    immobilisme Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    Last time I checked, 48 12oz bottles per person or 24 22oz bombers was not "next to zero"... and that is if you don't have anyone else with you on a 10-12 hour one-way road trip!
  35. immobilisme

    immobilisme Nov 8, 2005 Illinois

    I swear this is my last damn post on this thread...

    If you have the means to spend around $1,000 at Three Floyds (whether or not you got money from friends to buy stuff), you certainly can trade for their beers. I have never traded anything from Three Floyds besides Dark Lord for $4$ shelf beer or local growlers. Sure, shipping costs suck, but there is no shortage of Chicago traders who can hook you up.
  36. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Nov 23, 2010 Illinois


    Apparently not.
    raymo55 and Retail1LO like this.
  37. tmarretti

    tmarretti Apr 1, 2012 Indiana

    Here's a point that it seems to be lost on a lot of people. FFF has limitations of their own. They not only can brew so much product at once, FFF also has a state limit as to how much they are allowed to produce in a year (currently 30,000 barrels, which they helped to get raised in 2011 from 20,000). Going over this limit would take away tax breaks, on-site sale privileges, and self-distibution rights - which I guess would suck for both FFF and their customers.
    Also having to produce larger quantities of ZD and GH more often is slowing down (and may be even limiting) the production of their seasonal beers (apocalypse cow is a good, recent example of this). What makes FFF a great brewery is not just ZD and GH, but the other brews that show up for a small part of the year that are excellent as well. If limiting case sales means being able to produce a wider variety of beers consistently, then I'm for it.
    I would imagine that we all enjoy the fact that ZD is now produced year-round (it was not too long ago that is was not). Again I would much rather have my purchases limited to only 2 cases if it means keeping ZD year-round (not saying this would've happened, but it's not like FFF is afraid of doing the "unpopular" thing). The bottom line is that FFF will never be able to produce enough of any of their beers to meet demand, and if limiting cases means that a wider variety of people get a chance to take FFF home, then I'm for it. I understand that it sucks for those that make the trek to FFF from multiple hours and 100's of miles away to only be able to walk away with 2 cases and 4 bombers, but I think FFF really is trying to put all of their customers first.
    Retail1LO and beerking like this.
  38. cpz28

    cpz28 Dec 31, 2007 Indiana

    Sure, they could get mules and make more trips, but that gets more expensive and less convenient, thus lowering the desirability of doing it, which means the new limit is effective. By that virtue, you can just bring a mule too, or make multiple trips, but you probably won't because it's inconvenient.

    I'm not saying it doesn't suck for you, but there aren't always perfect solutions. 3 Floyds isn't doing what’s best for them as a business in the interest of doing what's better for the average consumer. You can say that locals are the only ones who benefit from this, but it's not true. This may offer you the opportunity to buy 2 cases of Zombie Dust instead of there being no cases of Zombie Dust when you do pass through. If them being out of something only elicits an accepting "oh fuck well" response out of you, then I think you'd be elated to walk out with two cases of it, rather than pissed off that it wasn't 6.

    You're most likely being satirical in saying they should limit pours to make it fair (but I'm just making sure) , as we're both aware that there is no way of taking that beer and reselling it by the glass and nobody is going to drink six cases worth in a sitting, making it an apples to oranges comparison, so it isn't an issue.

    I do sympathize with non-locals that can't stock up on their way through, but you are the minority in a decision that is trying to benefit the majority of people. Again, thank the assholes who are doing something they aren't supposed to. It's not a perfect solution, and it's one that doesn't seem to benefit 3 Floyds, rather the majority of their customers.
    Retail1LO and nicnut45 like this.
  39. cpz28

    cpz28 Dec 31, 2007 Indiana

    Also, though it won't work for Zombie Dust, anyone, local or not, can still go to any of the liquor stores within 5 miles of the brewery and buy their lion's share.
  40. Msmith8814

    Msmith8814 Feb 25, 2011 Illinois

    Yea but you don't get the case discount. Which with everyone complaining be happy we still get a case discount for bombers and sixers.
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