Four Firkins

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by ToadiesForCody, Mar 26, 2014.

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  1. ToadiesForCody

    ToadiesForCody Aspirant (258) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Does this frustrate anyone else? They have been in business for 6 years, I know there is start up costs and everything but I think they should have enough money to build another store on there own. I like the store but I don't like this.
  2. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (362) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It's interesting. As one friend always says about crowd sourcing, "Why would I give money to someone to help them make more money?" It's a fair point. The rewards do not really cover the cost, so it's just free money to them. $1000 to have beer held for you? $500 for some swag? I hope nothing but the best for the store, but unless I get to be an investor, then it's just giving money to them with minimal return.
    Mnmaverick, McRyan and ToadiesForCody like this.
  3. BrettHead

    BrettHead Devotee (479) Sep 18, 2010 Nebraska

    Yeah, I'm not really a fan of any kickstarters/indiegogo/etc's
    jera1350 and ToadiesForCody like this.
  4. jackdaddy

    jackdaddy Initiate (136) Apr 10, 2010 Minnesota

    Free beer for life would do it for me! (not sure how much I would donate to achieve that status)
    ToadiesForCody likes this.
  5. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (362) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Some I'm ok with. If a product won't get made without me pre-ordering it through something, then I'll throw in my money early to support it. I've done it with some graphic novels and stuff. Likely wouldn't have been created without some early help. Really just a pre-order, but to fund a business without being an investor? I'll pass. Rather spend my money there and get my beer.
    SipIt and ToadiesForCody like this.
  6. ToadiesForCody

    ToadiesForCody Aspirant (258) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Or if this was a actual start up. If they didn't have a store I would be more inclined to donate.
  7. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Socialism. Seriously, that is what Kickstarter reminds me of. Just like that arcade in Minneapolis that opened without a business plan and had to Kickstarter "fundraisers" to stay open. Of course they eventually shut down.
  8. MCImes

    MCImes Disciple (353) Dec 31, 2010 Connecticut

    x2 to everything above. I like the FF a lot and have been buying from them since day 1, but they dont need more of my money while offering little in return. I can get my regular beer store to hold beer for me for free most of the time...
    InfraRen and Mnmaverick like this.
  9. Pug

    Pug Disciple (385) Jun 6, 2012 Minnesota

    I'm a big fan of the Firkins, and I have supported some Kickstarters that made sense to me (and wish I funded Northbound). But this one doesn't.

    I get that they have the bulk of the funding lined up from the bank, and that this is the downpayment - but if they don't have enough for a downpayment, I'm not sure they should be expanding. As much as I love the store, if they don't have enough profit to fund the downpayment for a second location, it probably isn't a good idea to expand.
    n8opot8o, Mnmaverick and gatornation like this.
  10. EJJ1848

    EJJ1848 Zealot (520) Jun 24, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Remember that one time Ziggy Wilf was worth Billions of dollars but still wanted to government to pay for his stadium... (ok , a bit of a stretch for this scenario, but you get the picture)

    I have nothing against the firkins, they are a friendly and knowledgable staff and I feel like they are always hosting tastings and a great starting point for beginners I also feel like this will be a nice store to have east of the river.

    Its also worth noting, there are people here in the metro have more expendable income than I can dream of, and Im sure there are people who can put down a large amount and write it off and not even blink. That person just doesn't happen to be me.
  11. McRyan

    McRyan Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2012 Minnesota

    Saying they have they offer the best customer service in the state is laughable. They lack in this area in my opinion.
    ZAP and surlytwinsfan like this.
  12. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    I like the offer to have your name immortalized in the "original" SLP location. What is that now? An Ax-Man annex?
    maximum12 likes this.
  13. EJJ1848

    EJJ1848 Zealot (520) Jun 24, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Im going to start a kickstarter for my beer fund. You guys pay me, in return, Ill send you a picture of me drinking the beer. You guys are then free to do what you like with the picture. Most likely fridge material.
    InfraRen and ToadiesForCody like this.
  14. JMN44

    JMN44 Aspirant (231) Sep 19, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    So FF is planning on someday having 5 stores across the Metro and they are looking for $50k while giving back some cheap swag and reserving the right to buy 1 or 2 limited releases? No thanks!

    I enjoyed how FF tried to play the small, independent store angle while they are on the side of the large, chain liquor stores to get Sunday sales while many (most?) of the small stores are against the idea. I guess now we really know why FF is campaigning for Sunday sales. It's all about $ and has little to do with customers having access on Sundays. If this funding request wasn't true, I would laugh at the idea.

    I guess there are suckers, FF already has $4k of free money raised.
  15. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    As much as I disagree with their methods of raising capital, your notions are much more laughable. FF is on the side of the consumer and on the side of their best interest when it comes to Sunday sales. How does the fact that they aspire to have multiple locations put them on the side of the chain stores (which most have not come out in support of lifting the Sunday ban)? I mean by that logic Grumpy's is the same as Applebee's, Republic is equatable to Red Lobster, Punch is the same as Pizza Hut...
    SipIt, HoppyHawk, grantcty and 6 others like this.
  16. DBijnagte

    DBijnagte Initiate (109) Dec 7, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Maximum disappoint. Not only are they a business that has been running for years successfully asking for a Kickstarter-type cash infusion but the rewards they are offering are for the most part laughable. Almost everything there is available in the store for cheaper.

    If they need the money, they aren't running an effective enough business to expand. If they don't then they are just asking for a handout. Kickstarters are justifiable for start ups, although I like FF, they are not a start up.
  17. HoudiniRN

    HoudiniRN Aspirant (258) Feb 28, 2014 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    To me this is a slippery slope... Paying a "premium" to have the "right" to have beers held for you... step one in the wrong direction.
    n8opot8o, Chasmill70, PerHops and 5 others like this.
  18. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Aspirant (246) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    You know, you don't HAVE to give to them. That's kinda how these things get determined to be successful or not. Judging by their fundraising page though, it looks like they've built up enough goodwill with a lot of their other customers that they'll have enough supporters to get them to their goal.

    So many negative posts right out of the gate here, you would've thought Zach Braff was behind this one!
    cmannes likes this.
  19. GeezLynn

    GeezLynn Champion (856) May 10, 2009 Colorado

    One consumer's perspective: Store A wants to have multiple locations where they sell to customers 7 days a week. Store B wants to prevent competition from selling to consumers on Sunday in order to (in theory) save themselves money paid to an employee.

    If in fact, both stores are making these moves because "It's all about $", I know which one I prefer as a consumer.

    And your accusation that FF is "on the side of" chain stores is transparent MBLA rhetoric for "if you're not with us, you're against us".
    #19 GeezLynn, Mar 26, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  20. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Disciple (341) Apr 30, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    If this is successful, I wonder how long it will take for others to essentially "charge" their loyal customers for access to limited releases. $300 (plus the cost of the beer) gets three years of one limited release per year? Sounds like a great deal (*insert Internet sarcasm here).

    In the name of fairness and transparency, this is not an attack on Alvey or anyone else associated with the Four Firkins. I do like their store and what they represent; they are always friendly and have never come off as pompous (like the staff at a store I used to frequent in Roseville). However, I fully disagree with this method of obtaining funds for any business expansion.
  21. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,787) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    frustrated by this.. i like 4 firkens but i already Tithe to them with their omnipresent 10% percent mark up across the board on most brews they sell .. yes the beer is fresh its a cool store but if you FF do not have the money for the down payment for expansion then dont expand to the chain of 5 stores that you covet and ask us to help you .. WOW
    surlytwinsfan and pillzsix like this.
  22. MNBeer1017

    MNBeer1017 Devotee (490) Mar 27, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    $1000 for a dinner with a beer store owner


    Sounds like a swell deal

    The whole thing is laughable
  23. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    I think any business looking for a cash infusion for whatever legitimate reasons would be crazy not to consider something like Kickstarter. Why would anyone see this as a negative thing?
    cmannes likes this.
  24. McRyan

    McRyan Initiate (0) Jul 25, 2012 Minnesota

    Guys, we now know Alvey's consulting fee per hour. A mere grand per hour!

    But, don't ask for help within his area of expertise, he will consult you on anything other than running a beer store.
  25. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    As a business, sure why not, it's basically free capital. From the outside it just looks like they are panhandling.
    Ungertaker likes this.
  26. mkhartnett

    mkhartnett Disciple (362) Oct 27, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    On their part it makes a fair amount of sense. It's free money. Not arguing that. I view it poorly as a consumer as they are asking for free money to run and expand their business.
    MNBeer1017 likes this.
  27. MCImes

    MCImes Disciple (353) Dec 31, 2010 Connecticut

    the joke is on us (haters). They went from 2200 to $8400 in the last 4 hours. I think they'll hit their goal...

    afterthought: 5 people have paid $1000 for a lifetime of twice yearly rare beer reservation with a max of 20. Depending on how many bottles they have access to, that could put a hamper on the remaining supply methinks. (mostly for things with less than a few cases per store, but still, thats what we nerds chase, and its becoming more common as the rare releases are spread thinner)
    maximum12 likes this.
  28. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    No hating. I am amazed at how willing people are to give away money. I guess business is finally catching onto what religious outfits have been doing for years.
    jera1350, GeezLynn, ballenc and 2 others like this.
  29. HoudiniRN

    HoudiniRN Aspirant (258) Feb 28, 2014 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Most companies that need to raise revenue sell equity...

    aka they go public...
  30. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Yes, but when you invest you receive an amount of transferable ownership as compensation for your capital infusion.
  31. mmulebarn

    mmulebarn Initiate (0) Sep 1, 2013 Minnesota

    If only pour decisions had gone the kickstarter route.
    Cyclone8, Pug and McRyan like this.
  32. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (3,744) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I thought precisely this when I read their "plea".

    Y'all are being nice but I'll say it: fucking ridiculous. Of course the Four Firkins may do as they please, but if they start "holding" their "special releases" for their buddies who throw a bunch of money at them, I won't bother to stop there anymore & pay the premium for whatever I walk out with. There are simply too many good liquor stores around nowadays for me to give my money to a place that's going to give special preference to people with money.
    Hopsiam14, n8opot8o, jera1350 and 8 others like this.
  33. will1256

    will1256 Disciple (373) Dec 4, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    This. It may get them the capital they need (want?) but it definitely leaves a sour taste in my mouth. In a bad way. I guess that metaphor doesn't work as well on a beer site...
    BrettHead and mmulebarn like this.
  34. hoeg0015

    hoeg0015 Aspirant (234) Jul 15, 2008 Minnesota

    I feel compelled to weigh in, as my wife's new (open for 8 months) baby store just finished a successful (seeking a paltry $5000 in comparison) kickstarter campaign. So, I'll try to be as transparent as possible, whilst reserving the right to pass judgment. Here are the differences I see: our kickstarter was to renovate the basement and turn it into a FREE, community-accessible baby and toddler room, offering FREE music, yoga, parenting, and art classes, as well as a FREE weekly play date for babies and families to come hang and play with a ton of cool stuff in a no-stress, supportive environment. Many of these things were already taking place and were very successful. In addition, the room would be available to anyone with a certain expertise to hold classes of their own; again, at no charge to them. The only way we would ask the community for money was if it was going to be used in a way that would directly benefit the community.

    As far as the rewards go...these programs typically don't allow you to offer discounts or anything from your store that has a retail value as incentives, so it can be tricky to come up with good ones. However, the FF rewards cost the store NOTHING. Those "rare beers" people are shelling out a grand for will sell in minutes whether they're being held for someone or not. And they certainly aren't $1000 rare...I pity the person who will ask to have Darkness reserved. The rewards we offered were tangible and actually cost us $$, so the contributors aren't just walking away with a promise or a one-man seminar.

    Hopefully I don't sound hypocritical...
    WillRadar, elshaggy, Ridder and 6 others like this.
  35. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Disciple (341) Apr 30, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It does if one is referring to Abyssident or any of the past three years' Peruvian Morning!
    will1256 likes this.
  36. Ungertaker

    Ungertaker Disciple (341) Apr 30, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Not hypocritical at all! Your wife's campaign is EXACTLY the type of thing Kickstarter (and others like it) are supposed to be for, IMHO. There is a true benefit to all who donate (and even those who don't). Granted, the improvements on the basement will likely yield more business, but that is not all that will come out of it.

    The second location of FF will help the beer community, somewhat, in that it will provide another outlet. However, it will (at the same time) take business from other stores in the area (Haskell's, Top Ten, Dennis Brothers, The Cellars, etc). Woodbury is not an area that anyone would liken to a beer purgatory, another store is nowhere near necessary.
    surlytwinsfan, JMN44 and HoppyHawk like this.
  37. bitterbeerguy

    bitterbeerguy Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2011 Minnesota

    I would be more excited to support this if I experienced better customer service. Every time I am there I get more and more frustrated about how I am treated. The reward piece is less important- I am almost always up for supporting a good cause. Supporting a highly successful business that treats me terrible isn't one of those.
    McRyan likes this.
  38. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Yeah, but it ain't free money. Cheap money I guess lol.
  39. mnbearsfan

    mnbearsfan Aspirant (249) Dec 25, 2009 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    $1,000 for someone to get to the front of the line to get rare beer twice a year? In this market, would that CBS (if it comes out), KBS, Black Note, BCBS and maybe Cantillon when we get that back? What else is rare or limited that I would want twice a year?

    If I spent that money, I better be getting more than a 4 pack of most of that. If it is a bottle, this is the biggest money grab ever. And in turn, pissing people off as well.
    surlytwinsfan, JMN44, SipIt and 2 others like this.
  40. dzyneguru

    dzyneguru Initiate (0) Jan 15, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Love the Firkins and all they have done and are doing for the MN craft beer community - but I have to agree with many of the sentiments above. They're obviously doing pretty well, but want us to help fund their accelerated growth strategy. I'm all for helping startups that have no funding, but FF does not fit that criteria.
    JMN44 likes this.
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