Liquor stores holding limited release beers for themselves

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by 4truth, Feb 4, 2015.

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  1. montman

    montman Maven (1,278) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia

    I've seen this both ways recently, an employee at a chain told me when I asked about if they had a FW limited release "well no, after our employees got thiers we only had a few bottles left and they are gone."
    And then at a local mom & pop store when asking the co-owner how he liked a new limited beer he said "Well I've never had it either, bc I sold it all" when I would have wrongly assumed he would saved one for himself to try.
  2. Vitacca

    Vitacca Pooh-Bah (2,034) Sep 15, 2010 Montana
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Lets paint a picture...It's late November, holidays are just around the corner, people are flocking to the store to stock up on Baileys, champagne, wine, cheap beer and what not. Preoccupied parents are letting their crazy children run around the liquor department like it's their playground. Knocking over displays, breaking bottles, pulling tags and signs off the shelf. Meanwhile I have to try and decipher some old ladies description on a wine label that has black font and a white label. Yada yada, 8 hours roll by. I forget, shit, I have about 1000 cases of product to put away and about another 100 to stock. Fuck it, I'll do it tomorrow. I walk in back to clock out, oh, what's that? A case of Bourbon County? Yes please. Damn skippy I'm going to buy a 4 pack while I single out the rest to customers. It's a small perk in the business. Is it really that big of a deal? No.
  3. cubanbeerguy

    cubanbeerguy Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2013 Florida

    Ive seen this happen at total wine i frequent. The manager has kept releases like hommage and vanilla rye for his own consumption and or trading. He also is very rude SOB and complaints have been filed for his poor attitude and clear and obvious instances where he has lied to customers trying to seek out limited beers.
  4. Highbrow

    Highbrow Pooh-Bah (1,684) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    not to sure about beers, as i try to patronize the smaller guys where possible, but BevMo here has taken on an approach to curb this issue with limited edition whiskey. they now have a lottery system for "Club Members" - if you are selected you get notified & can opt where to pick up your bottle or have it shipped. my understanding is they stopped physically placing limited ed. product in actual store locations because when corporate reviewed the prior few years, 95% of the Pappy Van Winkle & Antique Collection products had been purchased under "employee discount". :astonished:
  5. fredmugs

    fredmugs Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana

    Do I like it? Not really. Is there anything stopping me from opening my own liquor store? Not really.
  6. swilllover

    swilllover Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Wisconsin

    I can't believe how many people feel they are entitled to certain beers. There is a whole lot of whining going on here (I'm looking at you fibs). Chicago gobbles up so much small release stuff that where I live most of these releases aren't available at all. But I am not complaining because I have access to more great beer than I can drink, as does everyone else posting here I'm sure. So let's stop all of this "but I am entitled" bs.

    Additionally, what most of the cripers here are forgetting is that when a beer store purchases any beer it is their beer. They can do whatever the hell they want with it. If I owned a beer store I would sell it all and charge all the morons that need these limited release beers triple because they are so fanatical that they would pay it. As a business owner I would want to profit off of these beers but that's just me. If an owner wants to drink it all or give all to his friends or employees thats his choice to make. If you don't like it spend your money elsewhere.
  7. neckbeardnation22

    neckbeardnation22 Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2014 Maryland

    Wouldnt this be the same as saying a walmart employee should get first dibs on the cheap black friday TV's because they have to put up with consumers during the holidays? Just drawing a comparison.
  8. SomethingClever

    SomethingClever Grand Pooh-Bah (4,695) Feb 22, 2013 Ohio

    But then you would be whined about in another thread for making too much money off of the limited beers.

    Edit: For the business owner its damn you for not selling every scrap to non-employees, damn you for not letting employees buy the beer, damn you for making too much money if you do sell it, and damn you if you didn't get it because you didn't sell enough of their core beers, and damn you for not selling enough of the core beers to get allocated more raare beers so we could have more than one bottle.
  9. readyski

    readyski Maven (1,411) Jun 4, 2005 California

    How is this any different than the truck chasers / hoarder "getting" your share? I don't have a big problem with it since there always seems to be a lot of great beer around. I do suspect it happens at all the stores I frequent though, but I don't blame them for doing it (I probably would too).
  10. pnelting

    pnelting Pundit (901) Nov 17, 2014 Texas

    ISO: Part time job at beer store. :wink:
    Uniobrew31, AndyEdgar, rather and 4 others like this.
  11. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    I hear as much entitlement coming from the employees in this thread as the average consumer. About whose entitlement are you complaining?

    And what you forget is that beer is being sold to the store at a wholesale price. It is intended for resale to the customer. It is taxed differently as well (I believe. Someone feel free to correct me on that. Either way, the point remains.) So no, it is not in fact as simple as, that store "can do whatever the hell they want with it".
    yemenmocha likes this.
  12. LeRose

    LeRose Grand Pooh-Bah (3,427) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    The biggest advantage is the employees are either there when a shipment drops or they know the schedule. That's fine - nothing can be done about it. So they get a discount - a whopping 5 - 10% that amounts to pennies? I don't have a problem with either "advantage" - first dibs or a minor discount. That doesn't seem to be the point. I don't think anyone can or should deny that small perk to somebody who stocks shelves for minimum wage and has to put up with the public. @Vitacca has a pretty damned accurate description in that post.

    Setting aside the entire allotment (or the majority) seems over the line, but if the store has the policy in place, is consistent about it, and you don't like it, shop elsewhere. Show the people who make the decisions that what they do is bad for business. it up..."I'm only one guy it won't matter"...whatever. You don't like what a store does, there's other stores. By comments in this very thread, it is obvious that procedures and policies vary. That doesn't make things any less frustrating, but there are choices.

    As a former retail employee who received and inventoried shipments, I literally had first dibs on anything that came in the store (not liquor-related). There was no policy in place either way, but I'd just put the stuff out and take my chances. Some customers were great (even though they'd put beer "geeks" to shame in terms of "geekishness"), some were just confused, others were outright dickheads. I agree with @RDMII - there is absolutely no way on God's good green earth to make everyone happy regardless what you are selling.
    FutureJack, RDMII and rozzom like this.
  13. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,635) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Half an allotment of what? it's beer... they own it... they can do whatever they want with it.
  14. MyIronLung

    MyIronLung Initiate (0) Oct 28, 2011 Massachusetts

    Well said...
    SouthAtholSuds likes this.
  15. Moose90

    Moose90 Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2012 Washington

    When I worked at the bottle shop I would set aside a bomber if something unique came in. I paid roughly the same as anyone else would have to for it. I just got the job of having to check in the product off of the truck, so if it looked good, limited release or not, I would snag one to try. I only see a problem with this if the store gets one case, and employee buys one case, leaving none for the customers.
    SouthAtholSuds likes this.
  16. swilllover

    swilllover Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Wisconsin

    Actually it is that simple. The owner of any store owns the products on their shelves (except of course a consinement store). They pay taxes on them, same as the consumer. There is no law that says they have to sell you a particular beer.
  17. swilllover

    swilllover Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Wisconsin

    I was refering to everyone that feels they are entitled to certain beers.
  18. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,635) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    People got to get off their entitlement angle here... didn't get some beer... that's how it goes... nothing else in the store worth buying at Binny's?? or wherever?? I am sure there's plenty of other beer worth drinking / purchasing.

    I don't get beers I want either... do you see me bitching moaning and complaining about it ?? move on.

    Another thing people have to get in their head hear as well.

    When a store owner has beer, the own it... not you... and they can do whatever they want
  19. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,635) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Bingo... I was just going to say this.

    people have to get it through their head, they also have the ability to NOT sell you the beer as well. This goes over peoples heads.
  20. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Crusader (446) Nov 11, 2009 Wisconsin

    I can see both sides of this (it's a character flaw of mine). I can totally see being annoyed if a store I went to got 24 bottles of Barrel-Aged Captain Ahab Stout, and I really wanted one, and employees got 20 of them. On the other hand, they don't have great jobs, and it's one of the perks, and if I don't like it, I can just go to another store.

    I have no idea where to draw the line, and I wouldn't be too interested in arguing about where it is.

    My solution is to try to want what I can get, rather than getting what I want. It's easier to adjust my wants than it is for me to adjust what beer is available. One I have control over, the other is mostly in others' control. Great now I sound like a wannabe zen master.
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  21. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey

    While I am of the opinion that the store can do whatever they want with a particular beer, I think it is bad business to let the employees have first shot at the limited releases. If it were my store they wouldn't.
    rozzom likes this.
  22. Beer-Me-Bryan

    Beer-Me-Bryan Aspirant (286) May 17, 2014 Illinois

    So what you mean is since they purchased this inventory they cant do what they want with it? its there choice to sell or keep for themselves, friends employees. All it does is make them look like lesser of a bottle shop by not having all the limited releases available to the customers who support there business.
  23. BigPandaHunter

    BigPandaHunter Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2014 Texas

    When I was in college I worked in the beer department of a large liquor store. While I never got an employee discount, I did proceed to buy many of the limited release beers our store got in. I also bought shelf beers, whenever I wanted beers. I bought wines and liquor whenever I wanted wine and liquor. Not to mention buying snacks and drinks everyday I worked to get through my shift. Point being when I was working at that liquor/wine/beer store, ALL of my alcohol related purchases came from them. I'm sure a lot of you remember being in school, I spent more than enough money on booze to be considered a good customer. Whether retail, grocery or alcohol, employees spend a good portion of their paycheck at the store they work at. In most cases they are better customers than the guys who come in for limited release beers or stop by every couple of weeks to grab their 2 $10 six packs. Just because one is employeed somewhere does not mean they should not be considered a customer, and loyal, consistent one at that.
  24. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    First, they don't pay the same as the consumer. They pay taxes based on the fact a product is intended for resale. This may vary from state-to-state, county-to-county (again, I'm not a tax authority, but there ARE differences in products intended for resale vs products intended for personal use) Second, beyond their legal rights, maintaining a practice that puts the employees ahead of customers is not a sustainable business practice. I'm not trying to legislate them. I'm saying it is not a good faith business practice to elevate the whims of of your employees above the people who keep your store in business.
    gopens44 likes this.
  25. Magbas

    Magbas Initiate (0) Oct 4, 2013 Oregon

    We do tend to pull a bottle aside if we get something in that isn't super available. It is a perk and it's also true that we are the ones that are chasing down the harder to get beers. That said, we're paying the same price you are at least where I am at and I have pulled plenty of beers from my stash box for people if they ask for it. Most of the time, beers are stored in the back for the customers who always buy them. Otherwise, if we just put it out, one person will end up buying everything and nobody else will get to try it.
  26. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    "Entitlement" is one of those drop-the-mic buzzwords people use when they want to end the conversation and appear to be taking the high road over others who are voicing a different position. People are voicing differing opinions in a fairly civilized discussion as best as I can tell.
  27. Vitacca

    Vitacca Pooh-Bah (2,034) Sep 15, 2010 Montana
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Sure. Go ahead and take one tv. I'm not siding with the stores who keep their entire allotment of something. I have stores in my chain where the managers hoard all the good stuff. It's not cool but there are plenty of other places to shop. I get a case of KBS or what not, I buy a 4 pack. No more. I always sell the rest. People get that. They ask and I don't lie. Never heard any gripe from anyone.
  28. FutureJack

    FutureJack Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2007 California

    And to clarify, I don't begrudge ANY employee for getting a crack at rare beers. Perks of the job, employee discount, etc. What I do object to is a proprietor who consistently affects a beer's public availability by rationing out all or most of a sought-after beer to its own employees. That is not in the interest of satisfying its customers - ostensibly a fundamental aspect of owning a business.
    4truth likes this.
  29. neckbeardnation22

    neckbeardnation22 Initiate (0) Mar 5, 2014 Maryland

    well said, i agree
  30. swilllover

    swilllover Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2012 Wisconsin

    I never said it was good business practice. Actually I said I would sell the beer. But it is still their product and they can do whatever they want with it. If they wanted to pour it out in front of the people waiting in line to get it they could.
  31. KrajDoesBeer

    KrajDoesBeer Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2014 Illinois

    What do you do for a living? I have ZERO issue with people getting perks from their job. ALL kinds of jobs get different perks... working at Binnys doesnt have a ton so this is one of them.
  32. KrajDoesBeer

    KrajDoesBeer Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2014 Illinois

    it is not against store policy at Binnys... if they are telling you it is they are lying... but either way... Binnys is the best their is for getting the wide range of beer. Want a suggestion? MAKE FRIENDS with beer buyers... I have at least 10 on my phone... i had 2 full sets of BCBS and variants and didnt have to deal with crowds... its not hard... dont be a nerd.. be outgoing and talk to people.. you can ask them what their days are. For instance. PW delivers to this store at 11am on Tuesdays... so i ask my friends what came in... talk to beer people. it will help ALOT
  33. rozzom

    rozzom Pooh-Bah (2,534) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Sounds like a good way for scoring beers. But not everyone has the inclination and/or personality-type that would lead them to have the numbers of 10 beer buyers on their phone (unless by some coincidence, they had a disproportionately large number of friends who were beer buyers)

    Edit - this reminds me - in a similar thread a while ago, was there not some guy who boasted about knowing the names of a beer buyer's wife, dog and kids - and didn't seem to think that was a little creepy
  34. urethrafranklin13

    urethrafranklin13 Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2014 Michigan

    Employees should get first crack, but not all or even 50%, im the sole beer buyer for my store and would never hoard special releases, i do keep the majority of the special stuff for loyal patrons, if i only see you when something cool drops, chances are your going to be on your own. Bottom line- frequent a store, talk to your local beer guy and youll be fine
    Gurtie likes this.
  35. WhoKnew23

    WhoKnew23 Initiate (0) Oct 20, 2014 Michigan

    I am not asking this is a dickish way, but why do you feel like you are any more entitled to buy it than the employees?
    bozodogbreath and JDubbelStout like this.
  36. urethrafranklin13

    urethrafranklin13 Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2014 Michigan

    couldnt agree more, you dont need to know 10 but the majority of buyers were in your shoes at one time and should empathize
  37. jlsims04

    jlsims04 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 Illinois

    You could you know always drive to St. Louis for Abraxas ( did it this year, was tons of fun) where it is available by the pallet instead of whining that you didnt get 1 of 12 bottles that most stores got, and for christ sakes if your in chicago FFF is 45 min away, just go there.
    #77 jlsims04, Feb 4, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
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  38. rozzom

    rozzom Pooh-Bah (2,534) Jan 22, 2011 New York
    Pooh-Bah Trader

  39. KBS

    KBS Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2014 Michigan

    My story. Recent went into a big box store and saw a 4 pack of BCBBW and BCBS sitting in the locked cage in the back room. I have access to the back through my job. I asked if I could purchase them and was told no because he was saving it for a good customer who was in China. This was 7 weeks after the release. Went in the next day and it was gone, no doubt hidden somewhere. I get saving something for a good customer for a few days that was not able to make it in but this was just a joke. I know this may be a little off topic since it wasn't an employee but needed to rant. Have to mention that it is against store policy to do this and also a retailer that I spend thousands of dollars at a year, just not in the liquor department. End rant.
    mymrnngjckt likes this.
  40. dont_be_a_snob

    dont_be_a_snob Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2015 Alabama

    I make basically minimum wage and have to help everyone from beer nerd extreme to choades requesting hot slam. I spend hours a day reading about new releases, calling distro tracking down said releases. I wouldn't do this job without the perks of buying a bottle before it hits the shelfs.
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