If you work at a beer store (advice requested)

Discussion in 'South-Atlantic' started by raczkowski, Mar 13, 2013.

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  1. raczkowski

    raczkowski Disciple (323) May 16, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Hey guys, not sure if this is the right forum for this, but my buddy owns a fresh market and is expanding and i think he could have a lot of success in craft beer, so in a couple weeks i am going to propose the idea of him getting beer in and letting me help him/partner up. I am obviously into craft beer and think it would sell, and if he thinks you can make money, he will definitely do it. The county i live in is an untapped market...there are 2 stores that sell craft..one is indian owned and they dont know good beer from natty light...the other one is small, focuses on liquor and the prices are outragous (15.00 for a 6 pack of LH Milk stout nitro). any help would be greatly appreciated and if you want to send me a BM, that would be even better.

    1. I see a lot of outdated beer at stores and am curious about whether distributors will "swap" out the beer that is outdated or if the business has to eat that beer. Fresh beer is obviously something i would want my store to have.
    2. He sells wine at the store. Will he need a separate license to sell beer?
    3. If he has a beer (bottle) license, can we sell growlers without having to do anything separate?
    4. Lastly, the market. I would obviously try and find a location that is easy accessible and highly visible for a lot of traffic to see. I would keep some BMC stuff there to attract those type of people into the store, but it would be PRIMARILY craft. My question is, do people that dont drink much craft frequent your store (that would buy BMC, corona, XX type beer)?
    5. I know distributors will come in and deliver beer. How does the limited release beers work or does it change with certain distributors? Our county did not get much hopslam this year, but obviously the limited releases are what gets the repeat, regular customers. Do you just buy a lot of one brewery's beer and then start getting it? just curious about that. I may be off, but if you get a year or two worth of limited releases, i think thats when you establish yourself above the rest (as well as having great customer service...but anyone who works there would be knowledgable and courteous to the customer).
    I have been wanting to get into the craft beer work for about 2 years now and this is my opportunity to have my work be my passion (part-time). I think it woudl be successful, but i want to present this idea to answer some of his questiosn and i think these are the ones that he would ask. i know it was long, but appreciate any private messages or posts to help. Thanks again.
  2. thecommish101831

    thecommish101831 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2010 District of Columbia

    1. Generally distribs swap it out, but it can be a pain to get them to pick it up. The sales man has to pay for it out of his pocket if it's over $X amount. Your store would get a credit.

    2. No, at least not in NJ.

    3. No. You need a specific license, which is uber expensive. They've been going for upwards of $1,000,000 in NJ, since they can't be created. There's only so many out there, and they're in high demand.

    4. You need to carry BMC and all of their crap. There's no margins to be made, but your regular customers will buy that stuff.

    5. Depends on the beer, brewery, and distributor. Sometimes it's rated on how much business you've done in the last calendar year. Sometimes it's how many of that brewery's full line you carry. Sometimes it's just how much $ have you spent on that particular brewery. Plan ahead.

    You also need to remember you're a new kid on the block; it's going to take you months if not years to climb the ladder and leapfrog other stores. Don't open today and beg for KBS tomorrow.
  3. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,016) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The laws differ so much from state to state that any advice you get from outside Florida should be double checked against what's allowed under FL law.
    afksports likes this.
  4. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2010 Florida

    Hey Greg I have a few answers as I was in the bar business up until last year
    1-Usually the vendor will swap out the old beer, unless it is a "special" buy. You would need to speak with each vendor when you set up the account
    2-If he has a wine license then beer is fine. Its the same license.
    3-Only places with a Brewery license can fill growlers in FL. If anyone else is doing it they are breaking the law.
    4-Not sure who the different distributors are in Lake county but you will have to carry BMC stuff, but you wont have to carry natural light or any of the bottom of the barrel stuff. Or you wont get the good stuff they carry.
    5-It has to due with the relationship you have with your sales rep. Sometimes if they like you they can get you stuff. Most of the time the people that the get the good stuff spend alot with the company that distributes it. The brewery itself has no say. (unless they are specifically sending something to you).

    If you ever make it to one of the tastings in Lk mary we can talk more about it.
    afksports likes this.
  5. Handle

    Handle Initiate (145) Mar 16, 2009 North Carolina

    Doesn't your buddy need to plead his case to corporate first? Without him selling them on the idea, there's not much you can do. Of course, I don't know how The Fresh Market works and maybe they play no part in individual store selections.
  6. BeastLU

    BeastLU Disciple (326) Dec 20, 2012 Virginia

    The Fresh markets here hava about a 20 foot open air cooler for beers. Limited BMC selection sixers and 12s of stuff like Bud, BL and Mich. About 90% craft. Nothing special though, the same or slightly better than a regular grocery store around here. They do not do much volume.
  7. raczkowski

    raczkowski Disciple (323) May 16, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    His is not a corporate fresh market. It is individually owned. It's called sprouts fresh market so I wouldn't have to go trough corporate. Gene I'm planning on making this tasting coming up. Maybe we could talk then?
    Handle likes this.
  8. chefkevlar

    chefkevlar Disciple (335) Apr 17, 2010 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    My Advice: Don't be like the one here that got a case of Hopslam and when it didn't ring up at the registers had the cashiers sell them as 6-packs of 2 Hearted. That's bad for your margins.
    woodchopper likes this.
  9. raczkowski

    raczkowski Disciple (323) May 16, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    lol i wouldnt have a beer store that inept. each person that worked there would have knowledge of beer coming in and styles etc. that way, each employee would be able to establish relationships with the patrons. in the infancy stages, it would be me running it and another guy, and niether one of us would make that kind of mistake.
  10. madnismo

    madnismo Disciple (314) Jan 30, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I wish we could've traded:slight_frown:
    1. They switch it out to a point, but it can get hard. The smaller distributors don't.
    2. Wine and beer are on the same license just make sure he has an "on premise license" if you want to do tastings.
    3. Not legal in FL, yet.
    4. Meh im trying to stop carrying that shit. Not only does it take up space but you make less $$ on it.
    5. Somebody once told me "support the core and you will get more". (carry the core brands and you should get the limited and seasonals) It also helps if you talk to your sales reps and email breweries (get to know the breweries sales rep). Breweries have power, they know how much each store sells and what you order. They do a 90 day check to see how you are doing and if youre doing well, they will allocate limited and seasonals to you.
    Deltoro likes this.
  11. ewright

    ewright Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2007 North Carolina

    On a note related to #3, it is illegal for anyone but the brewery to FILL a growler in NC. However, once it is filled, anyone with a beer license can SELL a growler. Any chance it is similar in FL? I know 64 oz growlers are illegal, but 32 oz and 128 oz are ok (talk about a weird law!)

    There are plenty of places around here that sell pre-filled growlers. If I ever find them with filling dates that are relatively recent, I'll consider picking them up. Otherwise, no date = no sale. Oh, and avoid the hell out of clear glass growlers. Can you say skunked?!?
  12. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (446) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    LOL sorry man but I gotta call BS on this one...a million dollars for a beer license?? That doesn't make any sense at all.
  13. thecommish101831

    thecommish101831 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2010 District of Columbia

    It's a growler license. Again, they can't be created. There's about 10-15 in NJ of this particular kind. So if you've been sitting on one since the 1970s, and somebody wants a growler license, you set your price.

    I won't drop the store's name, but their owner told me he got his for $800,000.

    There's ways around it, like restaurants/supermarkets. Something like X food sales to Y alcohol sales.
  14. GetTheYayo

    GetTheYayo Devotee (446) Aug 26, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Texas had the same limited supply problem with actual LIQUOR (not beer) licenses in the '90s and they were selling for around $10,000. I just cannot believe that a growler license would sell for close to a mil. Doesn't make any business sense.
  15. thecommish101831

    thecommish101831 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2010 District of Columbia

    That was 20 years ago, and craft beer was nothing compared to what it is now.

    I'm just saying what I was told. Growlers are insanely hot in NJ right now

    Don't shoot the messenger brah
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