Currently on the Shelves at Hill Farmstead (May 2015)

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by MarkJC1018, May 2, 2015.

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  1. MarkJC1018

    MarkJC1018 Aspirant (271) Dec 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    Since Hill Farmstead is no longer holding official release events, please use this thread to post the bottles available on the shelves along with costs, sizes, limits, and so forth.

    It's OK to include the beers available in growlers too.

    As always, looking at the HF retail page

    or calling the brewery

    are your best sources for up-to-date information.

    **Updated bottle release policy:
    Janeinma likes this.
  2. wehaveamap

    wehaveamap Aspirant (222) Jan 16, 2010 Massachusetts

    22/375 is absolutely insane. I don't blame him for doing it but I suspect there aren't too many HF special releases that I'll be buying any time soon.
    backbaybrewer likes this.
  3. bahnfire

    bahnfire Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2011 Vermont

    Yeah $22 is steep no matter how you look at it. I'm guessing the pricing differences between the fruited variants is at least partially due to differe cost of the fruit, and amount of beer it yielded. Regardless, if I can make it up there while it's available you can bet I'm buying my two bottles.
  4. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    so Flora Plum is the most expensive HF beer per oz this side of Ann, correct?
  5. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    $1.74/oz is easily up there with the most expensive beers in the world.
  6. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2012 New York

    Not just a beer , It's a "farmhouse ale".
    breadwinner likes this.
  7. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    Also this logic that they have to charge more so that it's on the shelves longer really makes me scratch my head.
  8. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    for much less than that you can just order Cantillons from Belgium, incl. s/h
  9. woodfinish

    woodfinish Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2005 Massachusetts

    They don't "have" to do anything, but if we agree that charging more means it's on the shelves longer, then there are at least two advantages to that longevity:

    First, there's only so much 'limited' beer they are going to produce in a year, and its presence on shelves gets more people into the retail shop. I'd be surprised if they don't see a measurable difference in growler and rotating bottle sales depending on the presence or absence of the BA specialties. Keep each one around longer and you can have limited releases available consistently year-round.

    Second, it fights the feedback loop of "hyped beer spurs long, early lines, sells out quickly, spurring more hype and longer, earlier lines". Shaun hates crazy crowds, and not without reason: He's got to keep peace with his neighbors, and a reputation for two hour+ lines at opening scares away customers who aren't there just for the latest BA Damon.

    Again, I don't see the point of complaining about the price if people are still taking multi-hour drives to get up there and hundreds of bottles are selling in a few weeks. $44/750ml is a moderately priced bottle of California wine. I'd rather have the Flora. So would, apparently, a lot of other people.
    BoldRulerVT and seanchai like this.
  10. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    the wine comparison is an awful one. for starters, $44 isn't moderately priced wine, it's actually on the more expensive side. but beyond that, wine pricing reflects that there is ONE growing season/ONE bottling per vintage. vineyards have to recoup their time, effort, and yes, cost.
    ThatsThatDude and brownswisscow like this.
  11. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    I'm less complaining and more expressing disbelief.

    I am surprised that you don't think its worth discussing, though. I think pricing like that does have implications for the craft beer community.
    markgugs likes this.
  12. woodfinish

    woodfinish Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2005 Massachusetts

    Nothing wrong with discussing it, I'd just contrast complaining about something being too high priced that doesn't sell (a lot of MBC around here, for example) vs. something that will sell out fairly quickly. At that point you're arguing that people don't know what's good for them and have just bought into the hype.

    Absolutely. I think it's inevitable that craft beer will eventually have a true "high end" and pricing to match. The law of supply and demand is called that for a reason.
    breadwinner likes this.
  13. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    You can actually find quite a few breweries out here in Oregon (and elsewhere) who produce high quality, barrel aged beer often with premium fruit ingredients (see: de Garde, Upright) who actually put a tremendous amount of energy and effort towards keeping prices affordable. And that goes a really long way with me - those are the breweries that are going to get my respect and money (again and again and again).
  14. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    exactly. and for that matter Jester King does the same thing in Austin. Most expensive 500ml bottle of fruited AWA they've produced was $18 (Fen Tao, because the peaches were so damned expensive). And again, those are 500ml bottles. De Garde is an awesome example, 750ml for at most $12-14? yes please

    I'm not shitting on HF, I fucking love their beer! his "shelf" saisons are, ironically, the best value in beer IMO. but the pricing on his limited stuff has gotten absurd and "breaking point"-ish for me
    backbaybrewer, MattXT, Shilt and 3 others like this.
  15. brownswisscow

    brownswisscow Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2012 Vermont

    I don't think anyone is disputing it will sell. They are simply laughing at the absurdity of the pricing in comparison to other similar breweries.
    $8M expansion won't pay for itself.
  16. tylerk88

    tylerk88 Aspirant (245) Nov 17, 2013 Massachusetts

    Price is high, but I'm sure it's a delicious beer. If I go up to grab some, and I'm hoping to, I'll overlook the inflated price because growler fills & "shelf" beers are ridiculously affordable. Just wish the limit was more than 2.
    RedMedicine likes this.
  17. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Totally don't mean to pick on you, man, but this is a great example of why all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over big prices doesn't mean jack. There are legions upon legions of folks more than happy to shell out $22/375ml for an HF beer, just like there were for $40 Arts and $50 Anns.

    Again, to those up in arms I ask: if the demand for HF beer is so staggeringly high, do you really blame them for altering prices to reflect that demand? Economically, the move makes 100%, Waterford crystal-clear sense. The chance that higher pricing puts off enough people to materially affect sales is almost nonexistent.

    Now, philosophically you might disagree with the move. That's perfectly fine. (And I'm in that camp -- I've almost ceased buying bombers altogether, because I think, philosophically, they're a bad f-ing deal.) But the objections so far have basically centered around a notion of "price gouging", which just isn't an apt explanation for what's going on here.
    GeoffreyM likes this.
  18. ejeffer11

    ejeffer11 Aspirant (223) Feb 15, 2008 New York

    a few years ago, Shaun Hill himself would have said that no beer is worth what he is today charging.
    BarRoomHero88 likes this.
  19. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    Yes from a pure economic standpoint they stand to make more money in the short and probably long term. I have a philosophical disagreement with it because I think it's out of line with the values of the craft beer community (which is why the "wine is just as expensive" argument holds no weight with me).

    One point about it being crystal clear economically: there is a very slight chance that breweries charging this much risk alienating a substantial enough portion of consumers that they will lose part of their loyal customer base for the long term. No one wants to feel taken advantage of and I think HF is at risk of making people feel that way here.. That said, I know there are enough folks with disposable incomes willing to drive for 18 hours straight to buy this stuff and the size of that contingent in the craft beer community only seems to be growing.
    bring likes this.
  20. bahnfire

    bahnfire Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2011 Vermont

    If all their offerings were seeing pricing like this than yes I think there is a very good chance of turning off a lot of regulars. But the fact remains their standard offerings are very fairy priced. The $10 rotating saisons are arguably one of the best deals in craft beer anywhere. If pricing the limited BA offerings more aggressively keeps their other prices low, I as a HF regular am totally fine with that.

    Also, it isn't unusual to see posts in the hauls thread of folks coming home with $500+ worth of HF bottles/growlers. To those folks this just means instead of taking home 48 bottles of Arthur/Anna/etc they can only get 44 bottles if they want their two Flora plum. But what is more likely is they still get the 48 regulars and the 2 Flora plum because they're buying their allotment of whatever is available.
  21. concealed

    concealed Initiate (0) May 7, 2009 Georgia

    Shelf saisons are still cheap/fairly priced as are the outstanding beers for growler fills. No problem with raising the prices on the limited offerings, I will still buy at this price level, but its getting pretty close to the max I would pay. If saisons/750ml growler fills were $15, then I would be much less likely to drive to Vermont.
    tylerk88 likes this.
  22. goldspire

    goldspire Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2010 California

    Barrel Aged Dark Lords = $50 / 750 mL
    Bourbon County Rare = $50 / 22 ounce
    Veritas 015 = $41 / 750 mL
    HotD Matt/Otto/etc = $15 / 12 ounce
    Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock = $30 / 375 mL

    Just to name a few. Seems on par to me
    Ken_P, breadwinner and woodfinish like this.
  23. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Certainly there's a chance that a brewery could alienate its customers by increasing prices too much. As you concede, though, and as I surmise, HF isn't anywhere near that point, because the demand they have is so astronomically high (and, again as you rightly point out, probably still growing).

    As a few others have noted as well, there's pretty ample evidence of high end pricing already occuring in the craft world, and, at least to my eyes, it hasn't affected sales in the least. I get the philosophical disagreement, but my guess is that, for better or worse, that sort of pricing is only going to increase in frequency in the coming years. And, though this will sound simplistic, it really does come back to supply and demand -- with limited supply stuff like HF, and extremely high demand, the pricing has loads of room to increase. Only way for that to stop is for the supply to increase (which will satiate demand) or for people to decide such prices are too high. Gauging what I see on this site (as well as verboten sites like * and such), we're nowhere near close to the day where folks are ready to say, "Okay, enough is enough."
    concealed likes this.
  24. concealed

    concealed Initiate (0) May 7, 2009 Georgia

    I don't think the grey market activity is relevant for price discussion. Just because a few people are willing to pay that much, doesn't mean they could sell the whole production run at that anything near those prices in a reasonable time frame.
    breadwinner and ThatsThatDude like this.
  25. woodfinish

    woodfinish Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2005 Massachusetts

    Very true. But indeed it's all about setting prices and limits so things sell out in a "reasonable time frame". If they stop doing so, prices will go down and/or limits will go up. Personally, I'm in favor of the latter because of how much time/money I spend to get up to HF in the first place.
    breadwinner and concealed like this.
  26. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    No, not an entire production run at those prices, but consider that if some folks are willing to pay some astronomical price on *, there are probably many others who may not have paid quite that much but were willing to pay quite a bit more than retail. So, sure, a few consumers might get out of the game entirely if prices get too high (again, I readily admit I got out of the game, generally speaking, a while back, because the value quotient of bombers was too minimal for me). But, there are others to take their place, and grey market evidence of extreme purchase prices is at least one data point that tells us the market isn't close to equilibrium for HF products.
    concealed likes this.
  27. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    I should probably add that, to be sure, damaging good will with locals and others via high pricing does have a cost. I don't mean to dispute that or brush it aside. I may not think we're all that close to that point yet, but it's certainly a consideration HF is going to have to take into account.
  28. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (128) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    The market is what sets the price. It might not be perfectly efficient, but its what works.

    And there are far more than a few people willing to pay top dollar to get Hill Farmstead beers.

    I understand the arguments about Hill not wanting to damage his relationship with local customers, but they also need to understand that he is making some of the best beers ON THE PLANET right now.

    There is no reason for him to sell it at less than market price just to keep locals happy when there are plenty of beers available at HF that are more reasonably priced.

    Being from the Northeast Kingdom doesn't entitle you to a discount at HF any more than living in Boston entitles us to a discount at Trillium or Night Shift.
    Ken_P, GeoffreyM and concealed like this.
  29. FFreak

    FFreak Defender (665) Nov 10, 2013 Vermont

    Are they selling Flora Plum this week? I don't see it listed on their web site.
  30. woodfinish

    woodfinish Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2005 Massachusetts

    Yes. It's marked for release 5/6 on the bottle release page and was announced on Twitter.
  31. MrExit23

    MrExit23 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2014 North Carolina

    I've reviewed all of the comments on the forum and their own website, but I wonder about visiting Hill Farmstead later in the day. They are open until 5pm - if I arrive at 3:30pm or 4:00pm, would I be able to get in? Or do they stop accepting customers when they know the line will take too long?

    Also, is it only growler fills or do they sell some bottles?
  32. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,620) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    If you're in line before closing time you're essentially fine.

    Yes they sell bottles, but only of non hop forward beers. Available bottles are noted on their website.
  33. MrExit23

    MrExit23 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2014 North Carolina

    Awesome, thanks for this.
  34. bobbypaulson

    bobbypaulson Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2010 Rhode Island

    They just updated the retail shop page. And it's impressive!!!! 10 beers on for growler fills and 5 solid bottle offerings. See you up there tomorrow!!!!! Cheers
  35. goldspire

    goldspire Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2010 California

    Anyone in the Lebanon, nh area need a ride up tomorrow afternoon?
    ajfa531 likes this.
  36. XpensiveBieros

    XpensiveBieros Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    How crazy was it today/any mags available?
  37. tylerk88

    tylerk88 Aspirant (245) Nov 17, 2013 Massachusetts

    Any guesses to how crazy it'll be tomorrow at open? Assuming they still have Plum, I'm thinking of making the voyage.
  38. woodfinish

    woodfinish Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2005 Massachusetts

    Wasn't crazy at all Thursday morning. Regular-sized crowd.
  39. tylerk88

    tylerk88 Aspirant (245) Nov 17, 2013 Massachusetts

    Good to know. My last trip up was for Flora B/B, and that was madness. Wasn't sure if the weekend crowd for this iteration of Flora would be similar... Thanks!
  40. Persdawg

    Persdawg Initiate (198) Mar 12, 2015 Texas

    Any inkling if Flora will be around if one gets there around 3 today?
    Bottle only line should fly right, but can you taste from that line?
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