Columbus shop selling illegal Hopslam?

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Mister_Shifter, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    There is a very interesting story blowing up in Columbus at the moment.

    Last night a photo surfaced of any employee from local beer shop, Savor Growl, purchasing all of Giant Eagle grocery store's Hopslam, over $1,800 worth.

    Shortly afterwards, Savor Growl announced via social media that they will be selling more Hopslam starting Monday, notably at inflated prices of $3.99 per bottle (likely because they had to purchase the Hopslam at retail instead of wholesale).There is a thread on reddit that is being updated here: around 6pm on Saturday, Savor released a statement trying to sidestep the issue stating that an employee might have purchased the $1,800 worth of Hopslam, but it was for personal consumption and not done under their name. Likely hoping to dodge the bullet.
    It's fascinating, yet sad, that a local beer shop would try to create more scarcity and then try to price gouge the local community. It's not only underhanded, but hurts the local craft beer community. Really hoping this gets sorted out and Bell's sends a strong message that these ILLEGAL tactics won't be tolerated.
  2. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    If I wan't clear and to give a brief summation:There are 76 six packs on the cart in the photo...and shortly after it was taken, Savor advertised that 80 six packs were available for reservation...but some guy™ that happens to work there bought them for personal use.
  3. BeerBuckeye

    BeerBuckeye Zealot (597) Oct 2, 2009 Ohio

    This really turned into quite the crapfest today. All over facebook and reddit. Savor Growl was deleting posts and reviews on their FB page
  4. ne0m00re

    ne0m00re Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    Is there any evidence that this is illegal? I scanned the ORC/Ohio Liquor Control pages and could not find anything to indicate that the sale of alcohol between retailers is prohibited.
  5. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    In Ohio it's illegal to purchase beer and resell it (no matter what the price) if you aren't getting through a licensed wholesaler.
    Bung, Ferocious and GHphoto like this.
  6. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    $3.99 a bottle or $24 a six pack are inflated prices, let's avoid the incorrect gouging term, but in a few metropolitan markets this has been the going rate in years past. The point of my statement is not to condone the inflated prices or practice, but simply to state that these prices are not unheard of.

    While its sad that retailers would utilize such tactics, what disturbs me more is that I have little doubt that consumers will buy up all that Hopslam, inflated prices and all, in short order. As much as we want to paint the retailer as the bad guy, we (the consumers) are the ones shooting ourselves in the foot by continuing to purchase such products. Ultimately we have no one to blame but ourselves, our purchases justify the businesses actions.
    Bung, beerindex, RyanMM and 4 others like this.
  7. thisisforever

    thisisforever Initiate (0) Mar 3, 2010 Illinois

    That is reprehensible. It happens everywhere too. They just got caught this time.
    And people will buy it all up and forget about it in a week anyway
  8. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, but how is gouging the wrong term in this case? Every shop in Columbus has been selling six-packs of Hopslam for $17.99 for the past couple of years. What this shop did, was clean out the nearby local grocery store of all of their stock, and then advertise via social media that all of a sudden they were getting some "mystery 2nd shipment" that no other retailers in Columbus got. In the small town of Clintonville, they are dishonestly creating more scarcity, on an already scarce product, and then attempting to appear as the hero by having more Hopslam available. They're shamefully passing the buck onto the customers because the shop went and bought the beer at retail instead of wholesale. It's beyond shitty.
  9. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Beer is a luxury item, all purchases are completely voluntary transactions. Hopslam is not the only beer on the market, there are several comparable alternatives. The fact that we are talking about non-essential items that have reasonable alternatives available completely eliminates the word gouging from the discussion.

    Again, I cannot condone the actions of the retailer but people have a choice to make the purchase too. I understand the frustration with the situation, I would be upset too. It is unfortunate other will not feel the same way and will line up to hand over their money for Hopslam at an inflated price. T
    beertunes likes this.
  10. md655321

    md655321 Aspirant (213) Dec 4, 2007 Michigan

    To add on to Kzoo, gouging is a legal term that applies to retailers grossly overcharging for essential commodities during a market disruption, usually caused by natural disasters. Price gouging is illegal. "Overcharging" for beer is not.
  11. ne0m00re

    ne0m00re Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    Could you provide some reference for that? I was looking for some information to that effect in the legal codes and couldn't find anything. Also, I was under the impression that certain retailers could act as wholesalers.
  12. a1369864214864

    a1369864214864 Initiate (0) Jul 19, 2011 North Carolina

    I don't really see the financial incentive to this. If they bought all 80 six packs at the other store, they're only going to make a total of $480 or so from all of this. And I'm sure they lost more than $480 worth of business from the fallout.
  13. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (257) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    It's federal, not state. Alcohol must go through the Three Tier system. From manufacturer/importer -> wholesale -> retailer. States may have different ways of dealing with it (making exceptions for small brewers, as an example,) but either way, what is alleged above is illegal. Full stop.
  14. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (257) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    Edit: look up Three Tier System for more information.
  15. ne0m00re

    ne0m00re Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    The three-tier system is intended to exclude manufacturers from owning distribution and retail of their product. Laws in Ohio specify who a manufacturer or a distributor may sell to, but not to whom a retailer may sell to as far as I can tell. Haven't there been examples of "beer recalls," in which a manufacturer or a producer will buy back/compensate for bad beer from a retailer? First instance that comes to mind was the Abyss infection in 2009, but I can't remember all the details from that event.
  16. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    Thanks for the clarification. Fair play, I stand corrected.
    bozodogbreath likes this.
  17. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    I'm guessing it had less to do with turning a profit on what they bought, and more to do with getting people in the door and also to appear that they are some kind of local leader by having way more Hopslam than the other shops who got the usual allotted amount.
    forrestbetts likes this.
  18. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Savant (938) Sep 4, 2010 California

    Agreed. Almost $500 isn't chump change by any means and if you brought people in who each bought another 6 pack or bomber you would be making much more than that.

    Shady and lame way to go about things and I'm sure they are already regretting they did it.
  19. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (257) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    Apples and Oranges...a recall is between a brewery and a distributor. A "Buy Back" generally means the wholesaler destroys the product and is credited the amount by the brewery.

    ugh fine i'll do the research for you.

    4301:1-1-22 Consent for importing alcoholic beverages for resale in Ohio.
    (A) No alcoholic beverages shall be imported into the state of Ohio for resale except upon the written consent of the division. Application for such consent shall be upon forms provided by the division. Consent must be granted by the division prior to said importation. The division shall not grant consent to any party if consent has already been granted to any other party, and is currently in effect. The division shall not grant consent to any supplier to import alcoholic beverages in any calendar year unless the supplier files an affidavit with the division stating that said supplier will comply with all laws of the state of Ohio and rules of the commission concerning alcoholic beverages. Violation of any of the laws or rules may be cause for suspension or revocation of the authorization to import by the commission.

    (B) All alcoholic beverages imported into this state for purposes of re-sale to retail permit holders must be consigned and delivered to the warehouse of a wholesale distributor.

    R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/28/2012 and 11/28/2017
    Promulgated Under: 119.03
    Statutory Authority: 4301.03
    Rule Amplifies: 4301.03
    Prior Effective Dates: 7/5/50, 12/1/81, 9/30/85, 6/20/02

    And, more importantly:

    4301:1-1-46 Miscellaneous restrictions.

    (B) No retail permit holder shall sell any alcoholic beverages to other permit holders or any other persons for the purpose of resale. No retail permit holder shall loan, exchange, transfer, allocate, or deliver any alcoholic beverages to another permit holder or to another permit premises. A retail permit holder may transfer alcoholic beverages from a permit premises where the permit is not renewed, the right to sell alcoholic beverages has been cancelled in any manner by law, or the operations have ceased permanently, to another permit premises for which that retail permit holder holds the permit, or to another permit premises for which the retail permit holder receiving the alcoholic beverages has, in the opinion of the superintendent, substantially the same principals as the retail permit holder transferring the alcoholic beverages, but only upon receiving written consent from the division of liquor control. The retail permit holder requesting to transfer the product shall provide a written request for consent to the division, which shall include proof that the retail permit holder offered the wholesale distributor the alcoholic beverages and that the wholesale distributor declined to repurchase the alcoholic beverages, and proof of ownership of the inventory.

    (C) No deliveries of beer, or wine and mixed beverages to retail permit holders shall be made by anyone who is not a bona fide employee of the B-1, B-2, B-4, B-5, A-1, A-2, or A-4 permit holder making the sale, except such deliveries may be made as provided by section 4301.60 of the Revised Code.
    BrettHead, ojgio, s_wit and 7 others like this.
  20. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I wish each of these statements were true but I really doubt that they are. Craft beer consumers do a very poor job of keeping retailers accountable. Ticks and landing limited release beers are far more important than taking appropriate actions to prevent such retailer behavior from occurring. Even many of those who are upset today will forgive them tomorrow when they are the only place in town who has the beer that they "need to have".

    For as many people who are outraged by a thread such as this, you are going to have a handful of people who will use this as a source of information regarding where they can score some beer. Beyond that, the large majority of the craft customer base is still completely unaware that there is any controversy at all, we must remember that those of us on this site are still the minority. This store is going to be remembered by most as "the store that had the beer" rather than "the store that screwed people over". I very much doubt they have hurt their reputation or pocket book with their actions.
  21. meltsintowonder

    meltsintowonder Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2009 Ohio

    Agree. At the end of the day, as long as we get what we want.
  22. ne0m00re

    ne0m00re Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2008 Ohio

    Ah, thanks! I missed it. According to the wording, would this mean that Giant Eagle is equally at fault for selling it to them?
  23. Vav

    Vav Aspirant (257) Jul 27, 2008 Illinois

    Not necessarily. If they knowingly sold to another license holder, then yes...e.g if dude paid with a Savor Growl check/credit card, they'd be liable. If dude paid cash and no one knew who he was, then most likely not...that would be up to the Liquor Commission to decide (and if appealed, a judge.)

    Here in Illinois, the fines are quite steep...if knowingly sold booze to a bar, as an example, it'd cost me $1,000 per bottle in fines (if i remember correctly.)
  24. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    @Mister_Shifter Just out of curiosity, I notice you created an account on BA just to "shed light" on this issue...Any reason in particular or are you just trying to inform the masses? Serious question.
  25. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    No problem. I'm actually more of a lurker. I joined the site years ago but only used the forums on rare occasions. I went to post this story yesterday and couldn't remember my old login so I lazily just created a new account.

    I'm just a local homebrewer and fan of craft beer. I have no dog in this fight whatsoever, but I have been hearing similar stories from my friends about Savor over the past year. I figured it was newsworthy, so I posted it.
  26. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    Right on. Brew on!
  27. Cynic-ale

    Cynic-ale Meyvn (1,018) Feb 21, 2013 Texas

    Great sign. Time to reconsider your review?

    I'll be avoiding these guys. In addition to the Hopslam shitstorm, they did a drawing for "IPA Day" and tried to sell a DFH 120. Ohio's ABV cap is 12%.

    Another time they posted pictures of themselves at Three Floyd's, and amazingly had Zombie Dust for sale shortly thereafter. They seem to be releasing six bottles of Zombie Dust at a time, periodically. Holding back what they purchased to milk it as long as possible. As you all know, FFF doesn't bottle date, so this practice could be releasing dated beer to market. I can see how FFF hates stuff like this.

    Sadly, this only scratches the surface.
    #27 Cynic-ale, Jan 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
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  28. riemster

    riemster Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2011 Ohio

    Ahhh, good call. The 120min sale was actually when I made that sign. Oops. During that ordeal, I made some comments on their Facebook that they did not appreciate. Surprisingly, they never deleted them and actually replied to it.
    Cynic-ale likes this.
  29. dwduncan2

    dwduncan2 Aspirant (205) Feb 8, 2012 Illinois

    If Hopslam was so available that grocery stores got $1800 worth of it, then I don't see why a liquor store would need to buy and resell it.

    Jokes on them for buying $1800 of shelf turds.
  30. BaronRVH

    BaronRVH Initiate (177) Jan 18, 2010 Ohio

    The Columbus market is pretty tight and these guys are as high profile as it gets for the bandwagon jumpers. They have been savvy marketers but social media can haunt you, as well.

    Many retailers who have been offering craft/micros for the past 25 years would never jeopardize their license like these guys have and their reputation is ruined within this tight community possibly beyond repair.
  31. Brianw508

    Brianw508 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2013 Michigan

    Not trying to be a dick, but why not report them to liquor commission instead of a few beer forums?
  32. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    Because other people already have before I posted this. This was discussed at length on Savor's Facebook page before it was eventually taken down. Also, reps from Bell's were tweeting yesterday that they were aware of the situation and looking into it.
  33. BaronRVH

    BaronRVH Initiate (177) Jan 18, 2010 Ohio

    You won't see this beer show up in their store after all the publicity. Who knows what they will do with it but somebody is going to have to drink a lot of Hopslam!
  34. Brianw508

    Brianw508 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2013 Michigan

    You should boycott the store that sold them that amount as well if you feel this strongly
  35. ScottJWing

    ScottJWing Disciple (350) Aug 21, 2013 Ohio

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed the Three Floyds trip posts and sudden Zbie Dust for sale, when no one else in the area was distributed any. I didn't really raise much of a stink about it because it's hard to bitch about ZD being brought into Cbus, illegal or not. But Hopslam-gate was just way too much to ignore.
    Total pieces of shit at that place. My friend worked there for a week or so, never got paid, never got called to work again. FYI they're hoarding KBS in the back to overcharge a ton individually once its aged a year.
  36. Cynic-ale

    Cynic-ale Meyvn (1,018) Feb 21, 2013 Texas

    Few points here. First, this post is appropriate to notify other beer geeks of this matter. Locals want to know about this kind of activity. Second, according to the reddit thread on this issue, it has been reported to the liquor commission. And, lastly, for locals, this is a place where we have spent time and our money. Bullshit like this feels personal. Not being able to purchase the beer at Giant Eagle because these ass hats purchased all of it, intending to mark it up, sell it illegally, and unfairly cut out competition should be discussed.
    Zaphog, Vav, MarcatGSB and 1 other person like this.
  37. Mister_Shifter

    Mister_Shifter Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Ohio

    Thanks, but I don't need your condescending remark to help me decide where and where not to shop.

    Also, for the record, the brewmaster from Barley's called Giant Eagle to inquire about the situation and spoke with the night manager, Paul, who sold the beer. The manager kept refusing to sell all of the cases, but the individual kept pressing them by stating that there was no printed notice of any buying limit on Hopslam, in store or in advertisements, and Giant Eagle eventually had to give in.
    Vav, Cynic-ale and BaronRVH like this.
  38. BaronRVH

    BaronRVH Initiate (177) Jan 18, 2010 Ohio

    The liquor commission only posts results in a publication or two. This IS the appropriate forum which to post this kind of information for our local beer nerd community.

    That's what forums are created for - to discuss issues impacting our community especially when it is this close to home.
    Vav, Cynic-ale and Mister_Shifter like this.
  39. Brianw508

    Brianw508 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2013 Michigan

    I'm not being condescending. Until people stop buying it, it will continue. I know of a local metro Detroit bar that drove to Chicago and bought every bottle, case, 6 pack of every Bourbon county he could and sold it for $18 a bottle. I just think the store selling that amount to the other store is just as guilty. Greed wins out. They knew what was going on.
  40. BaronRVH

    BaronRVH Initiate (177) Jan 18, 2010 Ohio

    Did you read his reply or are you just being defensive.

    He said Angelo called and talked to the manager at GE. The explanation was right there and you choose to ignore it so you are being a defensive dick now.
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