Chocolate rain is coming back for sale!

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by ZamaMan, May 16, 2013.

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  1. Lane1

    Lane1 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2011 California

    2011 was a disaster, but if I remember it well, the 2012 Black Tuesday online release went smooth and there were incredibly few issues. And shit that was with the old site
    Uncleserg and ehammond1 like this.
  2. Lane1

    Lane1 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2011 California

    I'm in the Hoarders Society and I find it worth it. I split the membership with 3 other guys. Our original plan was to get 2 RS between the 4 of us. The cost for each of us if we had stuck with RS plan would have been about $160 each and then $190 each for the HS...all including tax. We figured the extra $30 each was worth it for the 20% and Hoarders Only beers. We have been very happy with the membership and the way it's going. Totally worth it in my mind.
  3. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Why can't they go with Brown Paper Tickets, or some other third party solution?
    GottaTickemAll likes this.
  4. nabeshin

    nabeshin Initiate (0) May 25, 2004 California

    When a single user can lock out your whole inventory for 15 minutes there are problems that go beyond scaling. I love not having to stand in line for releases, so I hope they get things fixed for future events like this.

    While I'm happy with the extra bottle I got, I was hoping to get a couple more to share with others. If a 1 bottle limit would have saved the site from dying I would have been perfectly okay with that though.
    m34josh likes this.
  5. pmarlowe

    pmarlowe Meyvn (1,171) Nov 27, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I was asking myself the same thing yesterday.

    I'm sure part of it is that they don't want to admit their brand new website can't handle the traffic it was supposed to.
    jmgrub likes this.
  6. rossthefireman

    rossthefireman Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2008 California
    Beer Trader

    The problem wasnt not getting an extra bottle, the problem was watching the timer tick down to zero and losing the bottle in my cart.
    I dont care if I lose out on a beer because its sold out, but when you have the bottle or bottles in your cart and 'their' countdown timer continues its march to zero and you lose those bottles because their site is completly jammed. I even tried, foolishly, to reorder the bottle I lost only for it to say 'sold out'.Thats what people are mad about.
    GottaTickemAll, Jaap, m34josh and 4 others like this.
  7. Rau71

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

    Nailed it.
    Beerontwowheels likes this.
  8. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    Apparently, BPT crashed pretty hard when Founders used it for KBS this year. I didn't follow that very closely so I don't know how, say, BT traffic would compare to KBS traffic, but BPT has their own scaling issues. It works well for Alesmith because the Alesmith releases are a smaller universe of people ordering than something like BT.
  9. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

  10. Kyle2k10

    Kyle2k10 Initiate (78) Jul 14, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    After selecting 'Pick-up' as my ship-way, my cart timed out with a prompt that said "Shipping method does not exist".
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  11. stxSS07

    stxSS07 Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Illinois

    This wasn't a release "to the masses" though, only people in the RS/HS. The site performance from that feeble amount of traffic was laughable.
    2beerdogs, ZamaMan, m34josh and 2 others like this.
  12. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Then I recant my "understood" comment to Xul. If this was a limited release, BPT should have had no problem with the traffic. I suspect that the Bruery's system should not have had a problem, either - people were probably seeing some other source of error.
  13. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    Well, my comment about BPT wasn't so much a comprehensive explanation of why The Bruery doesn't use it, as much as it was pointing out that BPT isn't necessarily set up to handle the peak traffic that The Bruery could throw at it.

    From the bigger picture point of view, I would imagine that The Bruery doesn't use them for a few reasons:
    1) Transaction fees don't really fit a model where you've already charged people a membership fee to join the societies, and would be a turn off for selling their regular beers online.
    2) The Bruery is an upscale brand in beer terms and their website reflects that from a visual perspective. Losing branding by going with BPT would be a step backwards. Perhaps BPT is set up to do deeper integration if a client so chooses, I don't know.
    3) The Bruery is trying to sell a lot more things online than BPT is really set up for, so they need their own ecommerce platform regardless. They could use BPT for special events (this Chocolate Rain sale, BT), but there would have to be some sort of verification for RS/HS members on the Chocolate Rain situation, plus processing the discounts...there would be a few technical challenges to overcome if they're only using it for a couple of sales per year.
  14. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Initiate (0) Jul 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I'd speculate that there was a not insignificant number of non-society members who, between this thread and other announcements were attempting to access the site in the hopes of getting some CR/Bois variants. I had to correct a few non-society friends that thought they'd have a chance at getting bottles.
  15. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    You get around this by slapping Society password access on top of the ordering program. They may still get a lot of hits, but they don't muck up the ordering system.
  16. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm not sure what you mean. They sell some beer to the general public, but you only see the special stuff once you've logged in. Unless you want them to completely shut down the site to non-members during a release like this there's nothing they can do to stop non-members from spamming F5 because they want CR.
  17. Thirsty_Rob

    Thirsty_Rob Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I was in the Bruery tasting room yesterday when CR went up for sale. There were about a dozen people on the Bruery's wi-fi trying to get bottles and I only know of one person that managed to complete the transaction. The funniest/worst thing about the sale was that Bruery employee's couldn't even get onto the site. haha
    queens1130 and jmgrub like this.
  18. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Yeah, I should have looked at it before openly opining. They are already doing what I said.

    I find it difficult to believe that a bunch of non-members hitting the site were causing the problem that was seen. From the descriptions here, the problem was with the ordering system itself. The system itself may be more than adequate; could have been a misbehaving web application and/or database access issue.
  19. stupac2

    stupac2 Zealot (518) Feb 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Yeah I'm not defending their system, I find that implausible too. Hopefully after this they stop up their game (my guess is that they had more resources dedicated to it than in the past, but the new site is more resource-intensive or something similar). PMR will probably be around sooner or later to tell us what happened.
    ehammond1 likes this.
  20. CAbeerCAbeerCA

    CAbeerCAbeerCA Initiate (89) Mar 3, 2011 Maryland
    Beer Trader

    Complainers gonna complain.
    Thirsty_Rob likes this.
  21. jmadrigal2

    jmadrigal2 Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

  22. JasonFromLA

    JasonFromLA Initiate (0) Jan 9, 2013 California

    I managed to get several, but expected to have none by the end. Got through checkout with a few minutes left on the countdown timer.

    Give us Brown Paper Tickets please.
  23. mattolesh

    mattolesh Initiate (52) Sep 30, 2007 California

    Dear Hoarder and Reserve Society Members,

    Yesterday, we re-released 600 bottles of Chocolate Rain and the barrel variants of Bois. Many of you tried unsuccessfully to purchase bottles, and we know that the sale did not run smoothly. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, or issue that you may have had with our eCommerce store or the release generally. We truly want to provide you with an incredible and valuable Bruery experience, and we are equally disappointed when our service does meet your (or our) expectations.

    We received many complaints related to the sale, which we’d like to address.

    “Society members already had a chance to purchase Chocolate Rain. Why did The Bruery decide to re-release this beer?”

    Our goal in re-releasing this beer was to make sure that the beer was sold to Society members -- which includes both Hoarders and Reserve Society members. We do our best to anticipate sales of beers, production of which frequently begins more than 12 months prior to the sale. We set an initial allocation of the beers based on our estimates of the number of Society members that will purchase the release, and the number of each bottle that each Society member will buy. Unfortunately, we cannot carry and indefinitely store beer that is not purchased, and we determined that re-releasing this to the Society members would help ensure that this beer is a Society exclusive.

    “Why didn’t The Bruery put limits on the number of bottles customers could purchase?”

    We probably should have put limits on this beer, and we apologize for the lack of foresight in not doing so. The vast majority of Society members did not purchase their full allotment of Chocolate Rain, and we took that to mean that demand for the remaining bottles would be lower than it actually was. While we may have sales in the future without limits, we will certainly reconsider our approach to beers that we expect to have particularly high demand, such as Chocolate Rain.

    “Why didn’t your eCommerce site work?”

    We transitioned to a new eCommerce site in January. For the most part, this new site has allowed us to customize a number of tools to help us serve all of our Societies and other online customers. Unfortunately, the transition has not been trouble-free, as each new innovation and tool carries complexities and unintended consequences. As these bugs are ironed out, hopefully your experience has been generally better than what our old off-the-shelf system provided. The re-release of Chocolate Rain was the first time our site experienced the load that it did, and, to all of our disappointment, it failed. At this point, all we can say is that we are looking into it with our eCommerce developer. Chocolate Rain was a small release compared to upcoming releases like Black Tuesday and fixing the functionality of this site is priority number one. We can’t always guarantee that beers will be available, but we will do our best to constantly improve the site and make sure your future eCommerce experience runs smoothly.

    “Why does the eCommerce site have the 15 minute timer?”

    We added the timer to help control inventory. As a customer adds a product to their cart, it is removed from inventory. If the customer doesn’t complete the purchase within the 15 minute period, the product is added back to inventory so that it is available for another customer to purchase. At least that was the plan. Unfortunately, given the load on the website, the timer became a hindrance to completing orders rather than an assurance that inventory would be available for purchase. We will be working with our eCommerce developer to ensure that the site and timer work as designed.

    “I wasn’t able to get any bottles, but I really wanted to buy some. Will you be releasing any more Chocolate Rain?”

    Chocolate Rain is included with all Hoarders and Reserve Society memberships (2 bottles for Hoarders, 1 bottle for Reserve Society members). We also produced enough to guarantee each member the ability to purchase an allotment during the 25 day purchase period, which ended on April 26th. After yesterday’s sale, we have depleted the majority of our inventory, saving some for future events and special cellar releases. We’re planning on releasing a new batch of Chocolate Rain will be in 2014. Until then, we have a lot of great beers coming out that we hope you’ll enjoy.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding, and your support most of all. It is our focus to continue improving in everything that we do, and your feedback is certainly helpful in achieving this.

    Matt Olesh
    Director of Retail Operations
    The Bruery
  24. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Beta testing woes. :)
  25. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (257) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Holy shit what a bunch of whiners. Haven't seen so much entitled whining since the citra release in kernville. It's only beer.
  26. Thirsty_Rob

    Thirsty_Rob Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    If I were you I would have said, "Dear Bruery Society member, It is not our fault you didn't buy all of your allocations. Nor is it our fault that you traded all of your allocations. Grow up and stop whining."

    But cheers to you for being a better man. haha
    ridglens, jdmandel, 1up and 13 others like this.
  27. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (257) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Exactly! These were excess of your entitled allotments. Whether you scored anything or not, you should be thanking the bruery for tossing these out there and the chance to grab extra. Silliness. If you sent an email and complained to the bruery, you have issues.
  28. CyberMonk

    CyberMonk Initiate (35) May 18, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Hopefully next year this will just mean a bigger allocation per Reserve Society member--perhaps with the caveat that only X bottles will be guaranteed, but those who act fast can get Y bottles (whatever the temporary max allocation is). That, or just add a bottle limit to the extras sale as they seem to imply in their response.

    I'm bummed I didn't score any extras yesterday, but c'est la vie; I've still got my full allocation. (I did find it pretty funny that the checkout timer--which I've always felt is a bit too short--was timing out before people could even make it through the checkout process due to server load. Design decisions :wink: )
    AirborneBeer likes this.
  29. Franch

    Franch Devotee (450) Mar 22, 2011 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    dear vast majority: you are doing RS/HS wrong.
  30. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    The Bruery made in the neighborhood of $20,000 last night in the span of 15 minutes, and their eCommerce system is what allows them to effectively service RS and HS members, who also happen to be the groups of people that give them an influx of cash to the tune of $500,000 every fall.

    You can call people whiners all you want, but The Bruery has made their eCommerce platform an integral part of their business - expecting it to work properly and providing feedback when it doesn't is hardly unreasonable. I'm sure some people are bitching beyond what is reasonable, and I'm not going to defend those people. However, providing feedback and asking why something isn't working isn't silliness, it's interacting with a business that you're a customer of.

    It seems like so many people want to take a polar position with breweries - either they need to cater to your every whim and you'll boycott them if they don't, or they should get a pass on every failure they have, be it flat beer, infections, or technology issues. There's a nice big middle ground where you can be a fan of a brewery's beers, yet still provide criticism and feedback when they make mistakes.

    Credit where credit is due to The Bruery - as usual, they're willing to discuss it in public and want to fix it. Hopefully they get it fixed before BT, otherwise, that will be an interesting release to watch.
  31. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (264) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I think that comparing the two releases are apples and oranges. I tried (and missed out) to get both CR and Citra. I was indifferent with one experience and pissed off with the other. For CR, I managed to get my five bottles already, so I would have to be a real entitled asshole to get pissed about a glitch where I couldn't greedily stockpile more. I also only waited 15 minutes before my attempted purchase crashed. Not a huge waste of time or effort at all. I understand the frustration though, simply because The Bruery should have anticipated the site issues.

    For Citra on the other hand, you have to consider the long-ass drive, lack of sleep, gas money, the three-hour wait, the line-cutting, that they did not hand out tickets until an hour before they opened, and having employees laugh and snap photos at the "amazing" line when more than half were going to be shit out of luck. That experience made me swear off Kern's beers all together and I made a promise to myself that I'd never wait in a poorly run line like that again. In my world, the CR re-release may be a mild irritation that borders on whining, but the venom toward the Citra release was entirely justifiable.
  32. iebforever

    iebforever Initiate (27) Jan 19, 2009 California

    I had similar experiences (yes, I was stupid enough to let it happen to me more than once) at Alesmith, won't be back there again for a special release.
  33. Thirsty_Rob

    Thirsty_Rob Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Still complaining about Citra? Talk about butt hurt... Maybe you should think about gettting there earlier next year? Just my 2 cents.
  34. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Devotee (442) Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Or wait in line for a better beer :wink:
    domtronzero and Thirsty_Rob like this.
  35. vacax

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

    The Hoarder's Society is not an ironic title, for future reference.
  36. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    You do realize they stopped doing it that way, right?
  37. salzar

    salzar Initiate (0) Dec 27, 2008 California

    If you don't max allocations, then how will you get to the next society level?
  38. heatwaves

    heatwaves Aspirant (264) Oct 17, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    Exactly, genius. Because wasting 4-5 hours in line is much better than wasting 3.
  39. 3rdto1st

    3rdto1st Aspirant (211) Dec 1, 2011 California

    I do appriceiate all that wais said, depsite how I quoted it. But seriously, kick your eCommerce people in the ass or come BT release time you will be fuct.
  40. Earlycsquid

    Earlycsquid Zealot (529) Jan 7, 2013 California
    Beer Trader

    Still complaining about Citra? Ha! Drink a beer, you're probably sitting on a bundle of them, and just let it go, man.
    Thirsty_Rob likes this.
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