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Discussion in 'Pacific' started by MetalMountainMastiff, Oct 19, 2013.
1. Because they'll get caught on their own and
2. Anonymous comments don't really do much
I have no idea who you guys are talking about or which store he works at, but as a consumer I just don't see a huge problem with providing out-of-distro beer. I will say I can see how it would be really, really annoying if I were a shop owner who played straight, though.
1 is clearly not true, right? I mean they've been doing much the same thing for years with no apparent repercussions.
As for 2, if anonymous comments don't do much, what does? If it's actually impacting your business and your sales, why not do something proactive to stop it? Relying on customers to vote with their dollars against their near-term interests seems like an incredibly unlikely path to success.
1 is true. It will happen. When, I don't know, but it will. Plenty of stores have gotten busted for grey market wine. Only a matter of time before it happens with beer.
And to be totally honest, it doesn't affect my business to the point where I would actively campaign to stop it. The people that seek those beers are usually only seeking those beers. And I'm lucky enough to have been doing this for so long that Cantillon, 3F, Russian River, etc. send me everything possible already (which the places around here that do that stuff can't get legally).
What are the potential penalties for selling grey market beers? Fines? Temporary or Permanent loss of liquor license?
I think he actually owns the store.
I find it quite amusing that just about everybody that defends Freddy has never been there, nor do they live in San Diego.
I'm not defending him at all--if what has been said about him in here is true then he's awful--I'm just not butthurt over places that sell out of distro beers. It's the OTHER stuff he does that sounds deplorable.
The other stuff is what makes people really hate him. There are some other stores in SoCal that sell a few out of distro beers, but people don't hate them because they don't do all of the other crap that he does.
Freddy sold Sede Vacante from Lost Abbey for $70 and only sold to those outside of San Diego.
Mind you it was $35 at LA and obviously meant to be a brewery only release.
Sweet, Heady is back in stock! Buy 5 bottles and you get to buy 1 can.
Can you explain to me why I, as a consumer, should care about that? Why do I care what the brewers wishes were, especially if the wishes of the brewer are drastically different than the market economics?
I have a bottle in my fridge, and I didn't go to the release - do you frown on trading as well?
Did you read the earlier posts, because I clearly stated that trading and selling are two completely different concepts. So because you are a fan of trading, do you have no issue buying out of distro beer too? If so, Freddy has you covered bro.
He muled bottles, marks them at 2x the price and refused to sell them to San Diegans that missed out buying them at the release (which unlike DDG, required you to be at the brewery to buy). Why would a local have an issue with that? Here I thought it was obvious.
You should care about it because it artifically inflated what you had to trade for it. When mules sit in lines they reduce the number of bottles available for the local trading public. Not to mention having others who went down get shut out. This also creates more raffle/random drawings situations for sought after beers (as to prevent muling) which further pushes up what you would need to get one of these beers.
What is remarkable to me is that Alpine Pat *likes* Freddy.
I want to be clear as there is a lot of misunderstanding in this thread. California allows any manufacturer, except those with a type 75 brewpub license, to sell directly to licensed retailers. This means that retail outlets can buy directly from the brewery within the state (e.g. Reserve Society, rare beer releases, etc.) and resell the product at their store.
This obviously does not mean that retailers can purchase beer manufactured out-of-state, as there are rules governing import into California (for tax purposes). This is why Freddy's Heady is illegal, bro. More info here.
Freddy's Heady is illegal. But maybe the Lost Abbey beers aren't (Sede Vacante, DDG, etc.). I have seen his chussain-like harem in line getting their max allocations and then it shows up on his website for sale (to out-of-towners only of course). Maybe he sends his mules up there with a copy of his resale license, but I seriously doubt it.
His Alpine beers are legit. As HeavySpeedway said above:
Why? Who knows. He should have slapped Freddy to the curb a long, long time ago. Especially back when all the Alpine bottles were kept in that stack in the middle of the store, with the sunlight from the windows and swealtering 90*F+ heat in the summer.
Freddy love you though. He the only one in San Diego who get it.
I've seen people joke about Freddy's mules being at the special releases. Are they big beer fans / traders as well, or does this stuff end up getting sold to special customers on his extra secret list?
Kind of...They have to buy it through the brewery as a retailer (I am sure there are some fees and legality about it) and not as a regular customer. This was clarified when I asked someone at ABC about this:
A retailer cannot import alcoholic beverages into California. The alcoholic beverages would have to be sent from out of state to a licensed importer in the State of California then the importer/wholesaler would have to sell it to the retailer. A retailer cannot purchase alcoholic beverages from an unlicensed source and resell it in their licensed premises. Retailers should not be purchasing beer from a brewery as a consumer then reselling that beer in their licensed premises.
Notice that the bold section does not say cannot. I believe that was done on purpose, as there is no stipulation in the law regarding this situation. If the brewery can legally self-distribute, and the buyer has a retail license, the law states that the retailer can purchase beers directly from the manufacturer for resale.
I chatted with a couple of guys who own retail establishments and after talks with their ABC contacts, they are under the same impression. The drawback is that going through the proper channels usually gives retailers a better price on the beer.
I've read through the Business and Professions Code, and nearly everything from the ABC regarding licenses. I have yet to see anything that states retailers cannot purchase beer from a brewery for resale.
very true on the "should". I am not sure on the exact legality of it, wording like that is what gets lawyers there yachts. Here is a previous response from them.
A licensed beer manufacturer in the State of California can sell their beer directly to retailers. Brewery is located in San Diego so I’m assuming that they sell their beer directly to Liquor Store which is permitted in California. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you.
How I interpret this is that there is a formal way for a brewery to self distribute to a store, not just sending employees or themselves to go pick up the beer (p.s. I cut out the names of the brewery and store, but the person from ABC underlined and emphasized the "assumming"). For one, this seems like a way the retailer could be skipping specific taxes/licenses. Though if you have read through all of the documentation then you probably know better than me
Freddy only store that carry "Madern Times". Why you all be so jealous.
I don't actually have a problem with buying out of distribution beer, not entirely sure why I should? I'm not going to buy from Freddy though, because he seems to run a generally shady business.
Your main concerns with reselling seem to be that it deprives locals, drives up the price and goes against the wishes of the brewers. I don't really care about the wishes of brewers, so maybe that's where we don't see eye-to-eye, but I think that trading drives up prices and deprives locals as much, if not more, of the beer than reselling. Is trading OK because you partake? I just don't get the blind hate for reselling, care to expound?
If Freddy's mark up was comparable to his mark up on regularly priced beers I don't think people would have nearly as big of a problem with it. It just makes him come off as a thief. I also think if he waited a significant amount of time before putting these rare beers out (with the exception of the stuff that can't age) people would dislike it a whole lot more. It comes off as more of a service to the customer if they can walk into a store and buy a properly stored 2009 Black Tuesday for $$$ instead of buying it off of someone that could have potentially not given a fuck about storage conditions (not that Freddy cares about how beers are stored).
This conversation has been had...and had...and had, but I'll sum it up quickly.
1) As a consumer, I'm generally happy for the opportunity to buy something locally that isn't distributed here. If the seller is asking more than I'm willing to pay for whatever that something is, I don't have to buy it. No skin off my ass.
2) If I were a store owner/manager playing by the rules, I would hate that other stores put me in a situation where I either had to do something illegal to compete or, alternatively, risk losing some portion of my business.
Are you sure that is true?
Maybe Freddy moved to Alpine to get on his good side?
I feel like I'm the poster child for this. Years ago when I was new and naive to the craft beer scene, I'd heard all about many great beers from all over the country that I could not obtain. Trading seemed like such a foreign concept to me at that time, so I thought I'd never get to try many out-of-state "wants". When I found myself in Santee for work, I went to Freddy's place because I'd heard a lot about it. I was immediately struck that he carried Southern Tier! It may seem funny now, but in 2008 Pumking, Choklat and Creme Brulee were pretty incredible finds. I asked Freddy why he was the only store who could get these and he cryptically said "connections". Then he proceeded to boast that he always got hooked up because of his passion for beer... yada, yada, yada. I happily bought two bottles of each... at $17.99 or $18.99 a bottle. Shortly thereafter I found out that retail price at that time was around $7.99. I was conflicted. I got what I wanted, but felt really gouged and taken advantage of. The weird thing is that if I had traded for those beers, it probably would have cost about the same due to shipping, extras, shipping supplies, etc. I think if you're going in there and you aren't naive like I was, you may be perfectly fine paying a premium for non-distributed beers. My overall impression was that he was a little dishonest, shady, and disingenuous on his "passion" for beer. I wouldn't buy from him again.
Well said. I imagine there are a lot of other people with a similar story.
The blind hate?
I gave you a reason.
You don't think reselling beers at 2x the normal price isn't driving up the price and doesn't deprive locals. I do. Obviously we disagree. But hey I'll trade $4$ and you'll pay more. I'm cool with that.
Go read the links in my post. I put them there on purpose .
Sorry, but even as a consumer I think he'd be a fool to only put a regular mark-up on these. Especially if he's going to the trouble of employing mules, or having beer shipped across the country to him, or paying his "connections" to get these beers.
heatwaves had a good point about taking advantage of naive customers who don't realize just HOW MUCH MORE they are paying, but I don't fall into that category and I'd be more than happy to spend 2x the regular price for for something I couldn't normally get, maybe even 3x for a can of Heady or a Jai Alai or something else off my top 10 want list.
ISO: Someone nearby to take too much of my $ for Heady, Jai Alai, Wet, or Furious.
Beer idiots keep Freddy in business.
You've been one of the Freddy protagonists, so I am going to ask this once again, as nicely as I can:
Have you shopped there for beer. Simple question, so answer it.
Not this one...never been there and not planning on changing that.
there's always "best damn beer shop" that charges 50$ for bottleworks xii
Isn't the grey market wine busts related more to counterfeit wine as opposed to dancing around the legal system in place? For me, I am not concerned with all the idiosyncrasies of legality drawn up on outdated laws (growler, three tier, etc). I am concerned that if I bought a bottle for X amount assuming it was Y product and it turned out to be a fake. As far as I know, this doesnt happen in the beer industry, but I fear that this could be a problem in the future.
Freddy would have no problem selling bootleg beer. I guarantee it.
The way he spells beers make them sound bootleg enough.
Simple answer is no, I've not. Never been to the store, never even been to the website.
And I haven't been a protagonist for him, I think that in general it sounds like he runs a pretty shady business, which I have no interest in supporting.
I am a protagonist for places bootlegging beer from out of state for me in general though. And I don't really mind places marking beer way up from special releases. I'm of the general opinion that special releases are severely underpriced, by and large, which is why that happens.
Ok, let me try again. I agree that reselling drives the price up and diminishes supply for locals. But trading does the same thing. And way more people trade than resell beer. So why are you ok with trading but not with reselling? Because you're a trader?