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Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by Mattmc1973, Mar 10, 2012.
What else you gonna do?...buy bigger caves
I like it and good for them
My point exactly. They might have to store the barrels somewhere else.
I didn't know it was stored in caves. That's pretty badass.
I like it. I had an amazing time this morning even with the cold. I think it was a very nice thing they took care of as many people as possible and everyone working was so nice and helpful even with the insanity of everything.
So it didn't go well huh?
Smart to nip this in the bud right away (looks at FFF... I kid!)
Is that a pic of me laying the smack down on FFF because if my original witty comment?
"There is no way for us to predict what the response will be to releases like this."
Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers
Are you guys fucking kidding me! This is Dark Horse 4Elf 2010 redux...
Seriously, don't these guys pay a lick of attention to their own industry?
On a positive note: the BA Sumatra Mountain Brown and Frangelic Mountain Brown were freakin' ridiculously good.
I blame myself for not getting KBS, as I got there at 6:30. I assumed that would be early enough (4.5 hours early)
I was right. It would have been, we're I one of the other 6:30 groups... We were at the doors when they ran out. We were in the first 10 to fail.
Lot's of line jumping.
That's life. That's a bummer.
I am totally done with Founders. That will save me hundreds.
They wait until 15 minutes before open, to hand out tickets.
This is intentional. They had guys coming and checking out the line.
They could have saved a few hundred people a whole day of standing out in freezing weather and whipping wind by handing out the tickets once the line reached an obvious capacity.
At 6:30, we were in front of the brewery, and the line wrapped all the way around. By 7 it had overlapped.
We could see this. They could see this. We waited 4 hours because we road tripped 4 hours to get there. When they passed out tickets (over 600) we were about 20 behind the last ticket.
Again, missing out is our fault, not theirs.
But they knew they couldn't support the demand, and they let people stand out there without a heads up for at least 5 hours before giving out any word.
By that time, we decided we were pot committed, and waited it out.
We wouldn't have made the road trip for 3 4 packs.
We wouldn't wait outside overnight for this beer (it's great. But there are plenty of great bbl options right now, and a few I like more.)
It's not laziness to try to make a considered decision on when to arrive for a beer. And again, not Founders fault that we missed it.
But for cutting the allotment (more or less invalidating the purpose of the trip... If I want to add $100 in gas to the cost of the beer, I know I can get 3 4 packs) and for watching from the rooftop (literally) and walking the grounds, knowing that most of these folks are screwed... And saying NOTHING...
THAT makes it one less craft brew for me. Yay, more for you guys. Enjoy the hype train.
Posts like this reaffirm my belief that announcing the lower allotments ahead of time would have alleviated so many issues,starting with people deciding their road trip probably wasn't worth it.
Very quick response to the fans. Classy, and they are even asking for feedback and comments. Good for them.
Just glad my friend counldnt get off work and i decided not to go solo. I might have been a little pissy if i had shown up early just to be told after a 5 hour drive the bottle limit was halved.
I understand why they did what they did, but still feel like they screwed the pooch by poor planning and have a feeling theres a lot of pissy Founders fans out there today.
Sell tickets to solve the problem - seems like a logical move going forward.
So next year they'll have three times as much....that's pretty awesome.
Might be a stupid question.....why aren't numbers passed out as people show up to wait in line? When number 300 or whatever gets their number, 301+ have nothing to bitch about.
I sympathize with what a wretched experience it must have been.
Halving the bottle limit was a complete fail. Just like other posters stated above, I wouldn't have driven 3 hours each way and waited in line for 14 hours for 12 beers. They should have stuck with the original committed allotment and informed everyone in excess of the ticket count that they were out of luck and free to wait in line to try it on draft in the taproom.
"you snooze, you lose" is ENTIRELY fair, in my opinion.
But changing allotment is bad form, and allowing people to just sit out there is, at least for me, unforgivable. Consider we were on 2 hours of sleep... PLENTY of respect for the cats that got there earlier. PLENTY of respect for folks who believe that this is a beer worth black-Friday-ing ... BUT doyou think there is a CHANCE IN HELL that we would have stood from 6:30 to 2 pm if we were told "sorry guys, you missed the cutoff?"
We are courteous people, who shared our beer with anyone and everyone. We joked with everyone and tried to help folks have a good time... We would NOT have complained if Founders had said "you snooze, you lose." But on the contrary, by saying nothing, they just lost a customer (probably several) permanently.
The only REMOTELY PLAUSIBLE reasons for not telling the line about the problem start with an absolutely unacceptable lack of consideration, and go much shadier from there. I run a service heavy business. If I had a problem like this at one of my events, I would be MORTIFIED, and I would make sure to rectify the situation. Not by summoning more beer, before anyone decides to be a smartass, but by sharing information, and being USEFUL to my clients, because I care about their business.
I do believe they wanted the line. I mean, they had one cashier by the time we got to the doors. Was there more than one earlier? You know it will take forever without a cash only line... They wanted people to ring their building, because they think it's good publicity. I believe they didn't hip people earlier, because they didn't want to see business leave, when it could end up in the tap room. It's my opinion that this was a measured decision, to not warn the line. I could be wrong, it could just be a fucking grossly inconsiderate group of people making that call. Either way, same result.
Anyway, I vote with my dollar... Founders doesn't need the few hundred I spend on their beer annually. And now they simply won't have it.
Because that would make too much sense! Oh, you silly...
It wasn't a harrowing experience (thanks though)... Total first world problems. But I do believe that it is necessary to have standards, and that a customer should expect respect. It SUCKS to put all that travel (and expense) in and lose a weekend and a night of sleep, to get NOTHING but I accept that it's clearly my fault that I got no KBS. It's Founders' fault that the rest went sour, and I'm over it, in the sense of being angry. I just think that a measured response is appropriate. Now another craft brewery will get my money, and I'll hit another brewery for release events. We have options, so one of them is simply NOT to accept this sort of bullshit, to be frank.
I'm sure the overnighters had a good time, and I imagine MOST are okay with getting half their allotment. But it was still a bad idea, and would have still been a bad idea had they run out of beer AFTER I got some.
They were just trying to make their fans happy. Why shouldn't they want that? And why, if your ticket number was over 315 would you have any reason to complain? You do realize that half a case is more than none, correct?
Are you choosing not to read? I've explained this pretty even handedly. I don't think it's a complex situation to understand. You do realize that we were in line for 300 minutes before they handed out tickets, right? According to this thread some people waited even longer and were skunked (though there couldn't have been more than 10 people in front of us when they ran out)
And I didn't mention that they did not hand out the last ticket and say "that's all the tickets, all the beer is spoken for."
They were totally non committal. The 4.5 hours in the cold BEFORE any official mention is made that there MIGHT not be enough, to the people standing there... That's the problem. Should I have gone with a clicker and counted everyone in the line? That wouldn't have solved anything anyway, with the line cutters. The only way to solve it would have been ticketing people as they arrived, and warning people when all tickets were gone. That would have taken no effort. But they wouldn't have had an extra 500+ people standing around.
I was number 188. My group got there at 1:45 A.M. I'm happy that we got the beer, but expecting to get a full case only to be told while they were passing out tickets at 10:00 A.M. that the allotment was cut is disappointing. We invested significant time and effort only to see others who didn't do as much as us get the same reward.
In the future, they can start passing out tickets the night before and distribute them to people as they arrive. They can also give twitter and FB updates every 1/2 hour or so informing people of the number of tickets remaining and when they are exhausted. In my experience, people don't mind when obtaining something is difficult, but they do like to be kept informed and receive full disclosure as to what is expected in order to obtain said objective.
I see what you are saying but I do have a question: If they ticket people as they arrive then how do they stop people from coming back to the ticket people twice after a quick outfit change or grabbing an similar ID? That could open up some more problems. I'm sure there is a way to make it work.
For a brewery like Founders to think that with the popularity of craft beer, especially their beer, that a case limit is still acceptable, it is silly, at best. The half case limit should have been the original limit. Whether I was or wasn't supposed to be waiting in line early, if I showed up and then wasn't told to leave.....only to 8 or 9 hours after be told that the allocation would be changed, I would not be happy. Yes, it is just beer, but people spend time and money to come to releases, and they are supposed to be fun. Make the limit 4 bottles per, and almost everyone gets some, because my made up statistical number of 20 percent of the people that came, probably wouldn't have if the limit was cut by 2/3rds. Or, if you are going to keep the case limit, sell tickets. Everyone knows what they are getting into, and I'm sure a majority of people, even if they don't like paying $10 a ticket to go, would rather do that and have the security of knowing than the uncertainty of the circumstances.
I am sorry to hear that people were line jumping at the event, which is why the lower limit/tickets will also eliminate more of that behavior too.
There really is no good way to do something like this. Whether its how they did it this near or selling tickets online or giving them out as people show up, someone's going to find a way to cheat and someone is going to be let down. Limited releases mean someone is going to leave empty handed.
But you have to remember, Founders doesn't open until 11am, so if you line up before they open there's no reason to assume an employee will be there. I know they were, obviously.
Just like everyone who expects Founders to have seen this coming, you should have expected them to reduce allocations. It has been happening at many releases across the country. If you are about the beer community, then they did the right thing. If you are about #1, then carry in with the entitlement diatribe. We, the consumer, create this situation.
Which is why the lower limit or pre-arrival ticket is best. If they didn't want to do that, they could have issued specific wristbands with a number that is tightly put around the wrist and then a blacklighted hand stamp that wasn't anything anyone could get their hand on before the release. Once you get your band and the stamp, that's it...come back at 10 and get in line. If the band is tampered with or the stamp is altered, no entry...and you need both to get in.
So it's someone else's fault that Founders can't honor their business commitments and manage expectations. Right.
Let me preface the following with this: I believe this release was bigger than Founders expected. I believe they could have anticipated it better (even I had a pretty good idea how big this would be, and I've only looked at one thread on here about it). I appreciate them attempting to get beers into the hands of as many people as possible, though I understand the frustration of those who waited in the cold overnight on the basis of being able to get a full case. I don't necessarily fault Founders for how this played out, but I think in hindsight they may see some of the issues that went overlooked or unplanned for...
I drove 3 hours to get this, and I was going to be content with a single 4-pack, as it's incredibly hard to come by here. I arrived at 7:30 or so, and waited for the beer release. I can say I got to meet some great people, and had some great beers in line, so in the end I guess the trip was worth it. However, as time passed, we all felt like we might not be able to get any KBS. At 1:30pm, after 6 hours of waiting, we were near the rear entrance doors, and that's when we were notified they were out. I'm not sure how else they could have handled that, but for the people who waited and never had a chance, some sort of notification would have been appreciated.
I overheard a few suggestions that bear considerations. One was to bring the beer outside for cash sales to people in line (those with tickets) which would have sped the line up considerably. Also, I understand Founders' desire to allow as many people to enjoy the beer as possible, as well as to keep their distributors happy, but a brewery-only release is also an option. Clearly there were enough people willing to travel long distances for it, and that would be a nice show of appreciation for their dedicated consumers. If Founders is to continue with their current system, I see no reason the tickets couldn't have been handed out as early as 8:00am, as the line was clearly beyond the limits of bottles for sale. However, a pre-sale ticket would be also be a good idea to consider so that those of us that need to travel extended distances will know if we should make the trip.
I know that production will be higher next year with the help of the brewery expansion, so I suspect that will help with the problem, but some other options should be considered. At the very least, announcing the total quantity would help people decide if they are going to spend the time and money to travel for the release. Also, if some sort of notification can be made when tickets are handed out so that those who didn't get one don't need to wonder if the tickets HAVE been handed out, or how away from the last ticket holder they are, would be very helpful.
At the moment, I'm unsure if I will attend next year. After walking away empty-handed after a 3 hour drive and a hour wait outside, I admittedly have a somewhat sour taste in my mouth. I'll make a decision on if I will attend net year as that time draws closer, but without some changes, I think there will continue to be issues.
Fortunately, I did not attend this years KBS but I have been to plenty of releases and feel for those that missed out. My issue is with the people that complain about them lowering the limit and say you wouldn't go if you knew you would only get 3 4-packs. You do realize that is still 6 bombers worth which is the allotment of Darkness and still more than Dark Lord. Would you not drive hours for those releases? Sure they advertised it as a case but give me a break. People getting there at 5am would not have got any. If anyone says they thought 5am was not going to be early enough they are full of it. If I had gone early enough to secure a case and knew that someone waiting since 5am didn't get any, I would have happily sold them half my case. BAs seem to be a greedy bunch these days. Reducing the allotment was the right decision.
With that said, Founders should have never advertised it as 1-case/person. It was 1-case/person last year and there was still a long line waiting when it sold out.
This was annoying, but by far my largest complaint with Founders is the inability to properly support their local market (both in GR and in MI as a whole) at the retail level. It is unbelievably annoying that I have to beg and plead with every local beer store to land even 1-2 bottles of this while I talk to friends outside the state who seem to be able to walk into almost any of their local stores and buy as much as they want with limited-to-no hassle. I clearly have no idea what their total distribution numbers are by state, but everyone I have spoken with about this shares my annoyance.
FOUNDERS, PLEASE SHOW YOUR LOCAL MARKETS SOME MORE SUPPORT!
Either decision was bad. Either way Founders was going to chafe 300 people. Overall, I'm glad that more people got to try the beer with the decision that they made.
Still a PR gaffe though. It's just unfortunate when I give my bottles to friends they're only going to get half as much and they're not going to hear great things about the event. I'll think twice about grabbing a Centennial IPA over a Daisy Cutter next time. My friends probably will too.
Very glad I couldn't make the trip from Mass like I wanted to!
My face and body hurt... epic time... but seriously I feel shafted. Say what you want people who weren't there so early. I planned ahead and put myself through some hellish conditions for a full case. This was a terrible move. They made other people happy while then making others feel shafted. I would have had no issue if they announced this sooner, I just would have stayed home or came later in the morning. It isn't greed... that's like saying if I worked 8 hours and my boss at the end said he was only paying me for four hours.. would that make me greedy? No.
On a positive note I met some amazing people! I hope to talk to you guys on here!
This is the point. Recognizing that the supply/demand means altering if they want more people to have the product. If any brewery with some sense that they are recognized highly in the beer community knows that people will show up, and they have some valid proof of this (last year's release, taking 10 mins to read a forum, etc.), then adjustments need to be made prior. If I'm selling a product, I want to know what is going on with my competition, as well as how my sales are. More than likely, I want to know how others are handling releases, so that I am not making the same mistakes they are. If making people happy is what this is about, lower limits from the get go is the adjustment that is needed. Making changes on the fly, whether the right or wrong call, is debatable. This isn't an issue on the morality of an individual, self-entitlement, or giving it up for the greater good. If the call is made prior to the event, people might not like it, but at least they know what the expectation is going into the situation.