Pliny the Younger cleverly sold as Miller High Life

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by cmmcdonn, Feb 27, 2014.

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  1. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,619) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    I love everything about this.
    digita7693 likes this.
  2. PatKorn

    PatKorn Initiate (150) Aug 30, 2007 Texas

    Have you ever met Vinnie and Natalie? Or been to RRBP and met the people who work there? To sit there and rip on any of those people if bullshit. They make that beer because they want to. They make how much because they want to. They do what they want because they can. If you have a problem with the "shitshow" dont fucking go! Stay home and drink something else. Every year a bunch of you get on this site and bash Younger. Then you bash Dark Lord days. Then you bash Elcipse prices. Then you bash..... Maybe we should all getting over our fucking entitlment of being in the know on all these great beers that the general public doesnt know about but wants to try now. How dare they want what I want. To say that RR does makes PTY to stick it to the people is obtuse and short sighted. Most of it what goes out is sold at cost as long as the bar gives part of the proceeds to to charities. Might as well say "Fuck those kids with cancer,I had to stand in line 2 hours to get this beer". Maybe we should all look at the positive instead of the negative a little more. Good day to you.
    BrettHead, pgrenvicz, Beer4B and 5 others like this.
  3. JD_Bogerdy

    JD_Bogerdy Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2013 Florida

    There is nothing wrong with an establishment saying thank you to their regulars. When i got a case of Life is Like, i did not put it on the shelf, i asked my regulars if they were interested as they came in. it's not going to insult "non-regulars" or stop them from coming back if they don't know it's happening. Loyalty pays off in ALL facets of life.
    ufmj likes this.
  4. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,811) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I think that's the problem with a lot of the posts I've seen on this thread. The reaction most folks in the SE PDX area had (at least those that I encountered) was a brief chuckle once they heard the story. Knowing BM and the folks working there, I wasn't hugely surprised that they would pull some sort of prank like that. Anyone who goes to BM on a regular basis (and that's clearly who they were catering to) would realize something was up as soon as they saw that on the draft menu (does BM even sell any BMC products?).
  5. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    Was the actual tap handle not labeled as Pliny The Younger?
  6. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    Anyone who just randomly wandered in off the street looking for a pint of BMC would immediately realize it's not that kind of place when they see the 10 cooler doors full of (mostly) good beer and the walls/shelves lined with crazy bottles from around the country. It's a tiny bottle shop / tap room with a chalkboard behind the bar detailing what's pouring on their 8 taps, and the average price is $4-5/pint. You would have to be blind to look a menu like this and not see the one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb:

    Boneyard RPM IPA - $5/16oz
    Georgetown Porter - $4/16oz
    Ballast Point Calico - $5/16oz
    Miller High Life - $7/12oz
    Great Divide Espresso Yeti Imperial Stout - $5/12oz
    The Commons New Years Beer - $5/16oz
    Orlison Lizzy's Red Lager - $4/16oz

    I frequently see people drinking PBR tall boys.
  7. ontherocks

    ontherocks Initiate (0) Mar 4, 2008 Georgia

    Regarding the first paragraph, perhaps it might be a good idea to ask during each visit if there is anything "special" on tap.
  8. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    For the record, Sean (the owner) posted on their FB page in the comments about this story that not a single person actually tried to order a MHL thinking it was MHL, and they would have dealt with the situation accordingly had that happened. As every person who's ever visited Mongers has pointed out - having MHL on tap is something that would never occur there, so it was almost immediately apparent what was going on.

    I strolled in around 5:30, had a good laugh at the board, and got one of the last glasses myself. The 'stunt' worked exactly as intended - regulars got to enjoy PtY in a relaxed atmosphere and no one was deceived into ordering MHL thinking it was actually MHL.
    drtth, HRamz3 and ASak10 like this.
  9. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    This would be way funnier had it been the other way around.
    PierogiSmash likes this.
  10. paulys55

    paulys55 Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Can you explain how RR "created" this "artificialized hype"? Also would like more info about RR's "PtY practice" so I can better understand your comments.
  11. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (761) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Simple, they refuse to make more of this beer more often even though they have the capacity to do it. As I said in my original comment, it's not a BA beer that they have to wait for barrels, it's a DIPA/TIPA. Unless there is some special ingredient that only comes once a year at the beginning of each year, I don't see a reason for it. This practice of making PtY limited creates the hype.

    I have the same problem with Kern Citra and Hopslam, not just PtY.
  12. paulys55

    paulys55 Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Sorry. To me it seems like just another person telling a brewery how to run their business. I think RR has earned a reputation for running a pretty good business. Guess all will not agree.
    StuartCarter likes this.
  13. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (761) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Believe me, I'm the last to tell someone to run their business. I however believe in consumer advocacy because business needs to balance customers demands, feedbacks, and production. You asked about why it's artificial and through what pratice, I answered.

    Obviously artificially create the hype is a way to keep some people excited...something to look forward to and that's good for the business. This doesn't mean that it's good for the consumers because it's the shit shows that are created each year. Alchemist doesn't do it that way, they do as much as they can with their given capacity and don't go out of their way to to create limited releases on purpose. I prefer that practice. If you preferred getting in line for hours once a year to enjoy an 8oz pour of a great DIPA for $10, then we definitely don't agree.
  14. paulys55

    paulys55 Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I have never seen any Alchemist beers in bars or on shelves near me. I've had Heady Topper and it was great and I didn't go through any trouble to get it. I'm no expert on The Alchemist Brewery but do they even make any other beers? I have never had PtY and I would never wait in line for hours for any beer. But I know PtY gets sent out of RR's immediate area to a few lucky locations (at least to Oregon and Philly to my knowledge). And RR makes a ton of different beers, some year round, some seasonal/limited. I just feel that the hype is created by the consumers and/or the bars that serve it and not the brewery itself. People around here trade their left nuts and first borns for bottles of 3F and Cantillon but I doubt that Armand or Jean Van Roy are sitting over there thinking about the beer nerds over here when they are deciding how much beer to brew. PtY does not pay the bills for RR. I'm ranting now. We will just have to agree to disagree. Cheers. If you're ever in the Whitehall area, hit me up and I'll break something out of the cellar.
    mythaeus likes this.
  15. honkey

    honkey Disciple (319) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona
    Brewery Trader

    Other than all those hops are insanely expensive, the profit margin is low, and they would burn through their hop contracts in no time if they brewed it more, your logic makes great sense,
    BrettHead and ASak10 like this.
  16. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon

    If RR made all of their beers all the time, they'd presumably need a lot more equipment. Seasonal / rotating beers are quite common, and I have a hard time getting too upset about it.
  17. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (761) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Cheers man! Will do!

    Alchemist just released 2 new limited beers (Focal Banger and Petit Mutant). They also made El Jefe a few weeks before that. I'm not sure what the plans are for long-term, but I do get your point that their focus is on just Heady and limited distribution.

    That actually makes sense, but why not cut back on PtE and Blind Pig production so you can release it more often? Consumers would gladly pay for the expensive ingredients that go into the beer. I know I would if I don't have to get in line.

    I'm not asking for them to make it year round, but at least several times a year. I feel that they are capable of doing that, but they choose not to. If they come right out and say what honkey said above and that they don't have the equipment to brew PtY more than once a year as you said, then it's all fine and good. They haven't, as far as I know, and that's why I consider it a conscious practice.
  18. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well you can put your mind at rest then since they have said they don't have the capacity because of choices about how the business should grow, etc. They are at capacity limit now and not ready to take on the debts and business risks that financing further growth would entail.

    Edit: BTW, cutting back on PtE would mean depriving many people of one of their favoritie beers and one that is already in short supply. In addition, they have taken steps to reduce and control the hysteria associated with release of PtY so that aspect of it is not something they promote or want.
    #138 drtth, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
    ASak10 and mythaeus like this.
  19. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    That makes it even stranger. If it's a serious craft bar, that would NEVER been found to have Miller on tap, whats the point of putting it on there, when people would know it's not, ever, ever going to be a BMC beer?

    Hows that for hiding in plain view?

    It's just rather odd. Helping out the regular, or not. If everyone that came in there figured something wasn't amiss, whats the point?
  20. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Odd? Guessing here that you've never been there. As with many jokes it helps to have been there to get the joke-- that bar, those regular customers, in that town, with that history of preference for craft beers. As one person pointed out you actually have to know where to look in PDX to find a Miller at all.

    So maybe the point was just to have a bit of fun with a tapping of that particular beer, or maybe it was to be able to ask each person, one on one, to not use social media to put out the word beyond the folks already in the bar or who were already planning on coming into the bar anyway, or maybe it was a mix of both.
    digita7693 likes this.
  21. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,822) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Bells has said 5500 barrels of Hopslam were made this year. The limit is certain hops availability.
  22. target88

    target88 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2013 Kentucky

    D U M B If I was a newbee there and missed out I would never return. The customer comes second to the elitist beer snob club at this bar.
  23. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Poo-Bah (2,566) Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    Would you expect McDonalds to cut back production of the Big Mac or Quarter Pounder (PtE) so they could sell more McRib sandwiches (PtY)? I don't understand why you are demanding them make more PTY? Shouldn't they be able to run a business the way they choose? Are you pissed that Founders doesn't make more KBS or Breakfast stout, or Bells make more Hopslam?
  24. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (761) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I've already addressed why barrel-aged beers, including KBS, limited releases are different in my very first and subsequent responses. Breakfast Stout is rotating, and not once a year AND it's being produced as much as Founder's could. Until I see lines wrap around McD's around the country once a year for McRib where people stand in line for hours to get half a sandwich for 2x the price, let's not introduce faulty analogies into this.

    I'm also not sure why people think that I'm telling someone how to do their business because I wanted more of the product being available and less hassle to get the product. Not sure why people think I'm pissed about this, either. I just prefer that they make a few more batches of PtY a year to ease consumer demands and shit shows. I simply feel there is a conscious decision being made by RR to only make PtY once a year regardless of logistic and cost given the overwhelming demand, i.e people are willing to pay handsomely, that can offset cost. Since PtY is shipped only to markets where PtE are shipped to, like to Philly where I am, PtE fans would absolutely give up a several batches of PtE for a few more batches of PtY if hops and ingredients are capped.
  25. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia

    Understandable, but I guess I'm just missing the point. In the context of the situation, if everyone that goes there knows beer, wouldn't the MHL stick out like a sore thumb and people know it's something else. If so, why the charades?

    Passing it as a joke... bit of a stretch. Thats like claiming a guy you know, who is pretty vulgar, and throws around racial epithets like they are everyday things to him. You bring some friends over, and he offends someone. It gets excused because, "Well, he's just like that, if you hang out with him, you expect that, and you shouldn't be offended, he's just joking."

    Regardless, I get the whole 'fun' factor, I just think it's pretty messed up to label a beer, another beer, for the sake of hiding it under the guise of helping the "regular guy" out. I see where the locals probably had fun with it, so in the end thats all that matters to the bar.
  26. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I promise I'm not trying to start a fight here, but do you have any idea how entitled this sounds? Let's be reasonable here:

    - if a bar is too loud for you, that's tough but that's life. You do not get to choose what bars get popular and who patronizes them
    - Regarding music that was "yours" then became popular and you were annoyed that more people jumped on the bandwagon? I remember feeling this way in high school, and now I look back and am ashamed. It's the way of all things: music, art, movies, and yes even beer.
    - Regarding "craft" "Muzak"ing you, dude please. If you are going to stop enjoying something because other people enjoy it, time to take a deep breath, step back and re-assess.

    I really didn't want to respond here, I just see so much entitlement among beer geeks it's dizzying. Just remember, drink/listen to/enjoy what you like.
    andys_war_hall and digita7693 like this.
  27. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I take your point, but your analogy is a bit over the top. They did it once (it's not their common practice) in a town where there had already been multiple PtY tappings and its capacity to offend hardly comes close to the level of offense involved in routine loose use of racial epithets, intentional of otherwise.
    digita7693 likes this.
  28. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,811) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    You're entitled to your opinion of course, but if you really do feel that way, my guess is you would be very unhappy in Portland. The city is absolutely teeming with "elitist" beer bars as you call them.

    If you have a chance, read over some of the other PtY threads. Even cities that do get younger, only get a few kegs; some places choose to make an event out of it and some choose to do what BM did in this case (a silent, unpublicised tapping that rewards regular customers who come there all the time). Either way it's pretty much guaranteed that the keg won't last long (a few hours is fairly typical). My point is that there is/was nothing about this little prank on the part of BM that would have made it more or less likely that someone new to the craft beer scene would be able to get a glass of younger.
    #148 John_M, Mar 5, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  29. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    More comments from people who haven't read the thread and have probably never visited PDX or Mongers. A decent chunk of that 'elitist beer snob club' you speak of are the 'average', blue collar, etc. folks you'd find at bars in any other city except they drink (and are knowledgeable about) craft beer instead of BMC because that's the culture here.
    deeblo, drtth, John_M and 4 others like this.
  30. RelentlessLefty

    RelentlessLefty Initiate (0) Nov 1, 2012 Iowa

    This is the problem I see trending with beer sales. It garbage way of trying to screw people who are not favorites running the bar. I hope karma gets them back!
  31. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Sour grapes? The flip side is a business rewarding it's best/loyalist customers. Do you have a problem with Frequent Flyer Miles??
  32. SipIt

    SipIt Initiate (176) Jul 18, 2013 Minnesota

    Man, this thread has been quite an entertaining read while bored at work. With the exception of one guy(on this forum), everyone from Portland got the joke and chuckled about it. A bunch of others, whom aren't from there basically seem to not understand the situation/joke, or are wound to tight, get all bent out of shape. This somehow leads to a dude claiming music was his because he heard it first, until others came along and ruined it for him and craft beer is headed in the same direction?

    $hit, there is more unnecessary drama in this thread then on that god awful Bravo station my wife watches. I'm no genius, but am assuming this is why all the dudes in Portland are getting a good laugh - they want to avoid such drama, grab a glass of PtY if they happened to be there, or admit it's just a beer and move on because there's a $hitload of other great ones they can get their hands on(in that very same shop/bar).
  33. RelentlessLefty

    RelentlessLefty Initiate (0) Nov 1, 2012 Iowa

    Sour grapes, not really. I maybe have been spurned once or twice, but if you put in the effort to drink great beer you typically result in drinking great beer. I understand giving buddies a heads up because they have supported you and your business, but hiding from other beer drinkers who enjoy quality beer, so you and your small group of friends can drink your specialty keg. Your not really advocating to others at that point they should drink good beer. Your saying if you kiss my ass here, we will let you drink our higher quality brews.

    I see this more and more with beer sales as the demand for beer grows. The sad part is it typically pushes consumers away from wanting to pursue these high quality beers when they can never find an opportunity to purchase them.
  34. exitmusic00

    exitmusic00 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2010 Oregon

    Seriously...who cares? And how/why is this thread still going?
    kscaldef and digita7693 like this.
  35. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    Because people quote replies that are several days old...
  36. Coco

    Coco Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2014 Oregon

    I might need to re-read my OLCC handbook, but I'm pretty sure it's not legal to serve a customer something other than "what's been ordered". And if what's advertised isn't what's actually pouring...Well, I'm not a judge. BUT I do detest the elitist attitude at BM, which is why I just plain don't go there. Beer is meant to be shared and enjoyed!
  37. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    First, it's not about being "buddies". It is a business. A living. The bar is there to provide for the owner. It's not a clubhouse.

    Second, being a loyal customer is not "kissing ass". If you feel that way, I can see why you've been spurned.

    Third, it's nothing new. Always been that way, always will. I can only assume you haven't spent that much time in bars.
  38. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon

    Wait, the what?
    digita7693 likes this.
  39. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    Once again, have you ever visited PDX or visited BM? Belmont Station heavily advertised ticket sales for PtY at the exact same time Mongers tapped their keg. So people who wanted to put in the effort to be at Belmont Station for PtY tickets ended up drinking PtY.

    The regulars at Mongers span just about all walks of life and there are many of them. So many in fact that if they let everyone know, there would not be enough PtY to go around. It certainly wasn't just the owners/bartenders and their small group of friends drinking it. They didn't tell anyone or give a heads up. If you had visited Mongers even a few times before to get the vibe of the place and you walked in that day, you noticed what was up and got PtY. It was painfully obvious.

    Mongers advocates to everyone that they should drink good beer just by being themselves. They focus 99% on quality craft beer, so anyone who happens to be in there at any given time is by default, drinking good beer. There is zero 'ass kissing' for higher quality brews there. Any limited/rare/specialty bottle release is placed right in front of the register for everyone to see and it's first come, first served for purchasing.

    Again, this was a one-time thing for them and it operated exactly as intended.
    digita7693 and TheeWalrusHunter like this.
  40. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    I'm curious what happened to give you that opinion. In my experience they're about the most laid-back, nicest group of owners/bartenders that can be found in PDX. Regarding you saying 'beer is meant to be shared and enjoyed', they frequently allow fairly large BA bottle shares and the like as long as you arrange it with them before hand and follow a few basic rules, so I'm really not sure what you're getting at there at all.
    digita7693 and exitmusic00 like this.
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