Completely unscientific poll about HS/RS renewals

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by Xul, Jul 16, 2014.


If you received a renewal notice today, what best describes your response?

  1. Definitely renew

  2. Unsure but probably renew

  3. Unsure but probably not renew

  4. Definitely not renew

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  1. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    Following from the discussion in the HS/RS Allocations thread about renewals and how many people are choosing to not renew, I was curious to get a more quantitative response. I realize that the poll is prone to be skewed in a number of different ways, and mostly pointless, but that describes most of what's discussed on beer forums anyway.
  2. eaterfan

    eaterfan Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2013 California

    I think my issue I raised in the other thread isn't so much that the Bruery won't see a good number of people not renew it's that there are plenty more people willing to replace them.
    albertq17 and CaptainFleeker like this.
  3. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    I would raise a few points to that:
    1) Increased churn rate is never good for a business trying to manage its client base.
    2) The RS did not sell out last year, so there's a finite demand to join that level. I'm sure there are people who couldn't swing it last year, or have just become fans of The Bruery this year, or any other number of reasons, but they don't have the same perceived level of demand that used to exist.
    3) For potential upgrades from RS to HS, people will frequently split an HS membership. If two RS members upgrade into one shared HS membership, the RS only gains $100 in membership fees - not a huge gain.

    I don't think the situation is doom and gloom by any means, but the memberships are a cash infusion to the tune of $750k/year (assuming ~450 HS and 1500 RS) - if that number shrinks, it reduces the amount of cash that they have to invest in improvements, expansion, new barrels, etc. I have zero inside knowledge of The Bruery's finances and I doubt that a bad year of renewals would put them in dire straits, but the landscape of available beer clubs today is drastically different from when the RS was first formed.
    DougOLis likes this.
  4. mhksuccess

    mhksuccess Zealot (564) Jul 7, 2012 California

    I did not get any renewal notice
    Are you kidding me??? The year is barely halfway and still have not got much good stuff for being Hoarder
    I just don't know if I can afford this anymore it is getting out of control expensive
    Skunkdrool likes this.
  5. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    The poll question very clearly asked "IF you received a renewal notice today..." It's a hypothetical question.
  6. Brewzer1010

    Brewzer1010 Initiate (92) Feb 17, 2010 New Jersey

    I plan to renew, however instead of going 50/50 with another BA, I am dropping to 25/25/50 (me being a 25) with a couple other BAs. So I guess that means I am definite, however my drop from 50 to 25 should be a good indication that this year has been disappointing.

    Edit: speaking to HS memberships in this post.
    #6 Brewzer1010, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  7. eaterfan

    eaterfan Initiate (0) Jul 10, 2013 California

    1) Agreed. Turnover is never the way to run a business. I think once the QC issues are resolved this will stabilize. If they still have QC issues once they have begun distributing beers from the separate facilities then this model will be unsustainable.

    2. I know it took awhile to sell out but I thought it eventually did. One thing I've noticed is that the tasting room has gotten more crowded over the last year. There probably are a decent number more Bruery fans than even a year ago. I think demand for RS membership is where we differ most in our assessment.
    3. Many RS members (like myself) split memberships too. Many split just so they can purchase more and get into the HS.

    Edit: If my buddy and I got invited we would join the HS.
  8. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Disciple (308) May 13, 2014 California

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but is there an ability to jump from a PS all the way up to a HS? Or do you have to stop at the RS for a year first...

    I'm PS now.
  9. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    That's entirely possible, I only get up there six to eight times per year and while it's definitely crowded, I'm not really able to make a judgment on whether the increased traffic carries with it more people who are big enough fans to invest in the RS, or whether they're content to drink Humulus, Saison Rue, etc.

    Also a fair point that I didn't really consider.

    There may be more demand for RS memberships than I'm considering, and I certainly don't begrudge the Bruery that - I've been a fan since they opened and genuinely hope to see a return to form, but the past year has left not left me entirely optimistic.
  10. rossthefireman

    rossthefireman Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2008 California

    Unsure. I share my HS membership with a small group of guys. (I know The Bruery frowns upon it) The group will have to decide. I know not everyone is thrilled with all the 'bad' beers this year.
  11. JohnCassillo

    JohnCassillo Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2013 California

    As someone in PS, I was pretty set on moving up to RS next year -- but yeah, now I'm not so sure based on all the QC issues. If I did go to RS, it wouldn't be by myself, that's for sure... though also think there's an element forgotten here about how Terreux will affect a lot of things on the society side.
  12. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    IMO, it's too much of an unknown to even figure into thoughts until they're willing to explain more. If they use Terreux to brew more beers like Tumescence and Soroburuo, it likely won't sway many people. If they use it to create more beers like Griffon Bruxellois, White Zin, and expand their wild saison program, it could be intriguing. Even then though, they'll be competing with breweries like Crooked Stave, de Garde, SARA, and The Rare Barrel. I like a lot of the Bruery's sours (not as much as I like others, but $16 fruited sours that I don't have to trade for, stand in line for, or have shipped are pretty appealing) and Terreux could do a lot to renew some people's interest, but as I said before, the landscape of competition has changed.
  13. SDReaper

    SDReaper Defender (690) Aug 15, 2013 California

    First year RS member, apparently won the lottery with finding the Courverteur issue (yay!), but will likely be renewing RS again. While I am not a huge fan of their entire lineup I do still enjoy many of their beers. Having the ability to buy bottles not open to the public will keep me renewing.

    Although I must admit, I am now intrigued about getting into the League from Modern Times, although I am not extraordinary...nor a gentleman most of the time (tough to be a gentleman when you look/dress like a hobo every day, good thing work doesn't care!).
    TTC likes this.
  14. Saxmusik45

    Saxmusik45 Initiate (199) Nov 18, 2011 California

    Did they publish a list of what's included in the initial package and some of the beers they hope to release next year? I think that'll be what spurs my overall interest in renewing. Since the membership fees almost add up to the initial package beer cost, it's not an huge added cost/barrier to entry.

    I also imagine that if the membership numbers decline to any point that's considered drastic, they would just expand distribution for beers that are currently society only. It doesn't necessarily devalue the society as members still get a discount and guaranteed allotments.
  15. Rocket80

    Rocket80 Initiate (114) Nov 18, 2011 California

    I haven't received an e-mail but assuming my co-HS member and myself are invited back I'm pretty sure we will re-join. I just first look at it from the perspective of what I get for the initial $350 investment - the 10 bottles of beer, some merch, first dibs on/access to events, access to HS exclusive beers... That's basically worth it even if I proceeded to order no beers all year.

    The biggest selling point for me though is just the pure convenience of the entire thing. I no longer have the time or energy to rush off to a local bottle shop when new stuff comes out, or wait in long lines at bottle releases - the fact that I can order beer straight from my couch and pick it up at my convenience is huge for me, and not something I'm ready to give up. Plus it gives me a good excuse to go to the Bruery every month or so.
    Justinsosmart and CaptainFleeker like this.
  16. LKFH

    LKFH Disciple (301) Apr 9, 2007 California

    This is my first year as a RS member. So far I am happy, although I think I will end up spending more than expected. I am leaning strongly towards renewing, but my wife and I are expecting our first kid. While the RS expense fits in the budget, I can't help but think it would be better served going into the kids' savings account.
  17. skelliott

    skelliott Initiate (78) Jul 2, 2013 California

    My indecision has more to do with the excessive amount of Bruery beer I have in my house, rather than the QC issues.
  18. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (91) Aug 15, 2008 California

    Probably will renew but this will be the first year that I really have to reconsider it. When they announce the list of next year's beers it will help sway my decision, but it'd definitely take more sours next year for me to firmly go yes.
    mhksuccess likes this.
  19. m34josh

    m34josh Initiate (92) Oct 19, 2009 California

    Probably will renew. Would definitely prefer a split with the new Terreux line, so I don't receive any sours
    mike409 likes this.
  20. Dad_of_Rad

    Dad_of_Rad Initiate (135) Jan 24, 2013 Illinois

    1st year RS member and would likely renew. I don't have an issue with QC issues as long as they're discovered and brewery is disclosing early and/or refunding depending on circumstances. My biggest issue has been shipping to Illinois. Definitely is harder as an out of state RS member IMO.
  21. Scottie_A25

    Scottie_A25 Initiate (172) Nov 4, 2013 California

    This being my first year in RS I'm not as fed up with the QC issues as most members seem to be, so I'm in the Definitely Renew boat. I can understand the frustrations though, having bought some White Chocolate last year, and the BA Autumn Maple, then all of the issues this year. Willing to stick it out though.
  22. FrogOut69

    FrogOut69 Zealot (500) Sep 24, 2013 California

    I'd be curious to see a further breakdown of this poll related to new vs old members.
    Retsinis likes this.
  23. Black_Rider

    Black_Rider Zealot (569) Mar 26, 2013 California

    i'm first year RS and plan to renew. i have faith in the Bruery, despite a rocky year.

    for you Hoarders members who got invited from RS, how much beer were you buying in those days? like, maxing out every allocation?

    i'm very interested to see what they're going to do with the memberships, if anything, when the new facility is up. personally i wouldn't mind separate societies as i'm not too keen on sours
  24. Xul

    Xul Champion (820) May 18, 2008 California

    I thought about further options - old vs. new, would you upgrade to HS if you're RS, would you downgrade to RS if you're HS, would you split a membership but not have one solo, etc, but that becomes pretty hard to manage, especially since we've already had multiple people who don't understand the concept of a hypothetical question.
    HopHead84 and Scottie_A25 like this.
  25. SHODriver

    SHODriver Poo-Bah (2,447) Aug 13, 2010 North Carolina

    I'm in distro hell so I don't have much of a choice
  26. FrogOut69

    FrogOut69 Zealot (500) Sep 24, 2013 California

    Agreed, way too difficult for such a basic poll format. Judging from the replies, I'd venture to guess there's more reluctance towards renewing from members who have done this for awhile.
  27. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Disciple (361) Dec 31, 2012 New York

    I'm a first year rs member and am deff not going to renew for next year. Paying to ship bottles of cacaonut was crappy and rue d'floyd really made my mind. If i didn't have to hook up and ship to my trustee and then pay shipping again I would probably keep it. I just see too much risk with their qc issues.
  28. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (385) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    First year RS, definitely staying and hoping to get invited to HS. I've spent way more than I planned on this year but have made it work and I've loved 99% of the new stuff and 99.9% of the old. Being in GA there is such a limited footprint of the distro stuff it's hard to snatch up enough of it and I love getting access to everything else. My cellar has gone from 20% Bruery beers to about 75% and growing. I've also consumed a lot during that time, if that tells anything, so there's virtually nothing else I'm buying anymore.
  29. Drunkensloth

    Drunkensloth Initiate (66) Aug 22, 2013 California

    I'm first year RS. I was definitely going to re-up for next year. Then I added up how much I have spent so far this year. Wow. I can't think of one beer I have gotten that blew me away. And I think I could do a lot better for the money I spent. Even if it's just upgrading my homebrew system. I hope I don't get a hoarders invite so this remains an easy decision for me.
  30. DougOLis

    DougOLis Initiate (91) Aug 15, 2008 California

    How did a first year member get Cacaonut? That was a beer from last year.
  31. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Disciple (361) Dec 31, 2012 New York

    I did a some PS 3rd and 4th qtr last year
  32. Original_Fake

    Original_Fake Aspirant (224) Nov 15, 2013 North Carolina

    Same here.
  33. SUBER

    SUBER Aspirant (200) Jan 26, 2013 California

    Im in for next year. Kinda been a lackluster year so far, hopefully they bounce back the second half of this year.
    I haven't bought shit this year(please dont let s.h.i.t be infected) only maxed out on two beers so far, last year i was over a grand at this point(split membership)..Looking forward to Blue BBl's.
  34. 64vdub

    64vdub Aspirant (283) Feb 20, 2014 California

    I live 45min from The Bruery. I have thought long and hard about joining especially since I can just go pick up my order....long story short, I have refrained from joining due to quality control issues, and the simple fact that you can find beer as good or better at a far more reasonable price. Sorry to say.
  35. mdfb79

    mdfb79 Poo-Bah (5,470) Jan 11, 2010 New York

    Same here. For the most part over the last year and half I've still been very happy with the Bruery, especially considering RdF ended up being great in my opinion, and I feel confident that if a beer is truly infected they will give me a refund. They still make plenty of good/great beers for me to want to join in general. I also love the fact that I can get beers through a great trustee, and not have to fight at releases to get things like CR, GM, BT, various sours. I used to love going to releases but they've become such a crap-show in the last few years I rarely go's nice having a month to log in and be
    guaranteed several bottles of a beer I want.

    That being said however, I am most likely out next year as I have been in the RS the last 4 years, and my cellar is full of various Bruery's the same reason I passed on the HS this past year. Couple that with a wedding coming up next year and trying to save more money for it, I'm going to spend 2015 drinking all the Bruery beers in my cellar, not buying into the RS and the monthly allocations, and most likely come back in 2016.

    I'll be interested to see what happens with Terreux vs. RS, regarding pricing, offers, etc., but I am most likely out due to cost/money/surplus built up from many RS years, rather than QC/quality of the beers.
    Retsinis likes this.
  36. AndrewK

    AndrewK Aspirant (288) Oct 20, 2006 California

    I will most likely be renewing HS this year. Between the included bottles and discounts Ive already saved/received over $500 in beers that I want and enjoy. Im not too concerned about how the year has gone so far, because the HS exclusives have been fantastic, and I never buy more than 1 or 2 bottles of any new release. I am mostly in it to buy quantity of the beers that I stock up on every year (M3, BT, Anniversary), and if a beer like Couverteur, which I was never too excited about, doesnt make it to me, Im not going to be upset about it.
    Buck86 likes this.
  37. johnInLA

    johnInLA Savant (927) Jun 12, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    I joined the PS this year because I wasn’t ready to make the larger full year commitment to RS. I thought I would start smaller and see how it goes.

    I’ve been happy with my PS membership for the most part. My main issue with it, the lack of access to many of their beers, will be resolved by joining RS. So, I plan to join RS this year when it becomes available to PS members.

    That’s not to say the quality control issues are of no concern. But from what I have seen and experienced, The Bruery has tried to make it right when they have quality issues. In my mind, that doesn’t give them extra points, but it does bring them back to neutral for this issue.

    HS seems like over kill for me. I am unlikely to ever buy more then one or two bottles of any specific RS allocations. So I will probably never be invited to HS in the first place.
  38. PlinyBeMiney

    PlinyBeMiney Aspirant (248) Jan 12, 2011 California

    I'm with a few of you others in deciding to opt out next year. I used to think Black Tuesday, Chocolate Rain and Grey Monday were beers I couldn't get enough of. Now with a cellar full of them...I hope I can drink them before they fall off. The Bruery should consider a smaller bottle size for 12%+ beers. No one whose not an alcoholic wants to get faded on a school night (yes, I am referring specifically to all the Reserve/Hoarders events that don't fit in the schedule of people w/ careers). I like their beer, and love their sours and their price point. But unless their larger beers come in a format I can handle, I can't hang.

    That being said, I know a bottle stopper will help in this situation. But I'd prefer to enjoy 1/2 of my $30+ beer without any portion of it being oxidized, thank you.
    drewone, Scalawags, pmarlowe and 3 others like this.
  39. yoitsarch

    yoitsarch Disciple (324) Nov 13, 2012 California

    Hoarder society invites should be going out soon, right?
  40. mike409

    mike409 Initiate (160) Jan 25, 2012 Michigan

    I am a first year member also and will probably be renewing i found a FANTASTIC trustee who has been buying all of the sours and items i do not max out on. I have high hopes for So Happens.
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