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How to break into trading

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by BurgeoningBrewhead, Dec 30, 2014.

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  1. BurgeoningBrewhead

    BurgeoningBrewhead Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Hopefully this won't seem too whiny, as I'm sure I'm not the first to have this problem, but anyway:

    How do you get past the catch 22 of living in a crappy distro area? I would love to trade for rare beers that aren't in my region, but anyone who has them only wants other rare beers for them. Whalez only trade for other whalez.
    I live in the middle of nowhere, so even the breweries we do get here don't distribute their limited releases to us at all, or in the rare chance they do, we get ridiculously tiny amounts.
    I've tried to set up trades with stuff I thought was good only to be told that the beers I barely managed to get my hands on were "nothing special," "everywhere in my area," "still on the shelves," etc..
    How do you break into trading when you have nothing anyone wants to trade for?
  2. sunnrider

    sunnrider Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2013 Spain

    One possible alternative for you is to trade international. I've traded good euro sours and lambics for what would be basically shelf beers to you.( I've also been lucky enough to grab a few whales along the way. )

    This gives you the opportunity to both drink some great beer and save a few for trading.

    For example, I've traded for Dogfish, Stone, Ballast Point and Victory beers. Mostly IPAs because it's rare to find a US IPA fresh over here.
  3. Vanlingleipa

    Vanlingleipa Maven (1,424) May 19, 2011 California

    Spend money. Become familiar with the on-line beer sales websites - search this website and google for names.

    Like I said, it's expensive. For example, beership.com charges a packing fee and an adult authorization fee on top of their shipping fee and markup. An arctic devil winds up over 30 bucks. But it's instant trading fodder that you wouldn't have had otherwise. Other sites don't cost quite as much. Have fun.
  4. LopeJuice

    LopeJuice Initiate (0) Aug 23, 2012 New York

    There are a bunch of breweries in the middle-of-nowhere PA that release bottles with plenty of trade value
    wittyname and mythaeus like this.
  5. Kevin_Young

    Kevin_Young Initiate (0) Aug 23, 2013 Illinois

    the main thing is that most of these special releases people don't just drive a mile to their local spot and grab them. they involve driving hour/s to breweries on the weekends and it is a time consuming/addicting experience. that being said, there are tons of great people on this site that will help ease you into trading. this might mean driving to pick up something from a local spot to you or if you seek "whales" this might mean that you have to do some leg work and either visit breweries special releases or something else. give it a shot and be open minded. trade locals for locals and see where it goes from there. trading can get very expensive so also keep that in mind
    Yohann, Janeinma and macesq like this.
  6. cultclassic89

    cultclassic89 Initiate (0) Oct 19, 2013 Texas

    My best advice is to establish a relationship with a regular trading partner. Start out with locals for locals type stuff. I started that way basically with a regular trading partner of mine and I've gotten to try my all time wants that way. I would say we're friends at this point, even though we've never met, but we always try to send each other our favorite beers.

    And as others have said, it does take a certain dedication. True, there are people that live in an area where they can quickly drive to a sought after brewery for big releases, but most of us aren't that fortunate and have to work at it. Even then, you're still looking at a lot of money to spend. I've spent hundreds of dollars month after month making the 3+ hour drive from Houston to Austin so I could come home with Jester King fruited sour releases.
    wcu80 and jruno like this.
  7. nograz

    nograz Maven (1,378) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota

    Another route would be to target areas of the more limited beer you are seeking and find a regular trading partner by starting off with just trading shelf beer. Once you establish a few trading partners, it is a lot easier to trade for limited stuff as you don't have to win a trade. Once you have more limited stuff, you then will have ammo to go after more of what you want.
  8. King_Ranch

    King_Ranch Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2014 Texas

    Take a little trip to a brewery only release.

    Hit up Voodoo, Jackie O's, Bullfrog, East End, all should not be too far away depending on where you are at in PA.
    The atmosphere is half the fun at beer releases getting to meet likeminded beer drinkers.

    Warning though:
    Once you start trading, something happens to a lot of people...
    Many come down with a horrible illness where they forget to communicate or even log on to BA.
    There are also many cases of "life happening". You may want to take out extra insurance.

    Don't let it happen to you.
    craft_is_king, cfh64 and BeerMeBro720 like this.
  9. KMitch

    KMitch Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2012 Alabama

    You need to do like I did and invest some time and shelf beers in establishing a trading partnership. Don't go straight for whalez. Establish a partnership with someone in a state that has A LOT of breweries that you'd like to try beer from and let the partnership land you some whalez naturally. I have partners in various states that each offer different regional beers. The guys were all willing to start trading with basically "shelf" beers and the partnerships have naturally progressed to the point where on Black Friday one of the guys messaged me and asked if I'd like for him to pick me up some BCBS since it was plentiful where he was. Now that I know what styles of beer the guys like I'm always on the lookout for a beer I know they'd like as well.

    Also,be willing to do some growler swaps...you can get some great beers that way that you would otherwise never be able to get and it opens up more beer for you to be able to send.
    maximum12 likes this.
  10. macesq

    macesq Pundit (943) Apr 17, 2014 California

    I'm curious OP, where in PA are you?
    mythaeus likes this.
  11. Beerisheaven

    Beerisheaven Initiate (0) Dec 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    If you are close to Pizza Boy, you have some great trading ammo there if you are willing to put in the time for limited run bottle releases. If you are close to Pizza Boy, you are also close enough to Selinsgrove. S-grove will only fill growlers and I must say that I am always less than happy with their growler fills, but their fruit beers are a great trading beer since their fruit beers are as good as any fruit beers made. If you are close to Pizza Boy and S-grove, you can always check out some of the lesser run beers at Troegs, either bottles or growlers. If you are close to Bullfrog, you have a great opportunity there in that Bullfrog limited bottle beers will also return a huge booty as well. Some of these will take the investment of time, but you can build some nice trading bottles if you are close enough to any of these.
    cavedave, maximum12 and mythaeus like this.
  12. krustster

    krustster Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2013 Maine

    This is pretty much the key. Even in "middle of nowhere" Pennsylvania you're still relatively close to who knows how many wildly sought-after breweries and if you're really dedicated, or even just a little dedicated, do some research to find out when a special release that you (or other people) are interested in is coming up, request the time off from work in advance if necessary, save up some money, then drive an hour or a couple of hours and stock up. Make a day of it, go to some bottle shops in the area and get some things that are desirable to yourself and others. Go to a couple breweries and have a few drinks. Most people have to invest some time and money to get to big releases if they really want them, for trade fodder or otherwise.
    Kevin_Young likes this.
  13. Dan_Inreallife

    Dan_Inreallife Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2012 Colorado

    Get in your car and start traveling. Regardless of where you are in PA, you're still a hell of a lot closer to HF and lots of New England breweries than someone in CA.
    youbrewidrink likes this.
  14. vurt

    vurt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,348) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Maybe you shouldn't try to trade for rare beers/whalez? Not every trade needs to involve a "limited" beer. Honestly.
    cavedave likes this.
  15. nograz

    nograz Maven (1,378) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota

    Like trading for Grain Belt?

    I laughed when I saw that ISO. It was funny to me to see a MN staple like that being requested and I had to do a double take.
    vurt likes this.
  16. vurt

    vurt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,348) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    It used to be a lot more common to see locals-for-locals trades like that. (To be fair, there used to be a lot fewer brewery-only releases. Insert the standard old-timey complaint about today's traders only being interested in whalez.)

    The Grain Belt cans were gratefully received at Thanksgiving by folks who grew up drinking the stuff in MN and SD.
    cavedave likes this.
  17. nograz

    nograz Maven (1,378) Oct 30, 2013 Minnesota

    I haven't been trading long, but I still enjoy doing locals for locals. I feel like there is a lot of great stuff out there that gets overlooked since it isn't limited, rare or the current hot beer.

    That is awesome you did that for MN and SD folks to enjoy. I am glad Schell's picked up the rights to make Grain Belt. They also recently bought an old Grain Belt sign that is part of the Minneapolis skyline, are paying to restore it and light it again (been over 20 years) and donated it to a historic society. You happen to get the tall boy Brain Belt cans? They release them for the Zombie Pub Crawl, same beer, just funny label.
    cavedave likes this.
  18. SanDimas1988

    SanDimas1988 Initiate (0) May 12, 2013 New York

    Where are you in Pennsylvania? If you can make a trip to the Philadelphia area, it took me no time at all to find a bunch of the Russian River beers on my last trip through. You may be able to get some great beers by taking a trip there.

    Or send me a message, let me know what you're looking for that I might be able to get in the Buffalo, NY area and you don't. I'm looking to do my first trade, your post is exactly what I was asking myself and had planned on posting.
    Phoam likes this.
  19. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Unfortunately Pa is not a ship to state, and then you just find on line stores that carry things you want, but that won't work here. Depends on where you live in Pa, I'm from Bucks Co, close to Philly and NJ, some great Distro. If you live in State College for example your kinda beat I guess. Locals for locals are a good place to start, Ca doesn't get Founders or Bells I Believe, you could flip FBS for say Ca ipas as an example.
  20. SurlyUtopia

    SurlyUtopia Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2013 Minnesota

    Do yourself a favor and don't try! There will come a day when after trying so many wonderful beers, and lots of $'s later plus the refined palette you will acquire, you'll long for the day when you were quite content with the awesomeness you already have available to you!
    TheBronze and zookerman182 like this.
  21. DawgPhan

    DawgPhan Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2012 Georgia

    create trading partners and go from there.

    Trading with someone in GA/SC, VA, and maybe New England is going to be the way to go. Lots of great shelf type beer there that doesnt get a larger distro. And shipping to those states is going to be a lot cheaper then trying to set up cross country trades to CA every month or so. Buy a couple of 12 bottle shippers to make shipping and packing easier.
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