Rant about stores marking up previous Goose Island BCBS releases

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Burt, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. Burt

    Burt Crusader (760) Nov 27, 2005 Rhode Island

    Bourbon County is still one of the few that I will try to get the day of its release. Even though inbev owns it, yes I said it. I hit up one local spot every year and most times than not they are already out, or at least that is what I am told. Couple years back I asked if they have one of the variants was told they did not get any this year. I go yesterday and they have the same beer that I was told that they never got any sitting in there marked up because it is aged. Do they re-release BCBS? Did this owner sit on the brew for a couple of years and sell it marked up to make a little extra cash? Is it common thing to do?

    Am I pissed/bitter? A little. More disappointed for being lied to, especially to a place that I have supported for years.
    rodbeermunch and BrewsOverHoes like this.
  2. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,957) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    It could be the store or the distributor that squirreled it away. Over the summer, our distributor released cases of 2015 through 2018 BCBS regular that they were sitting on, and a couple of weeks ago a new liquor "superstore" opened here and the distributor got them two cases of 2018 variants and a case of 2018 regular for their opening.

    Last spring our distributor released 2012 through 2018 The Abyss and other aged Deschutes bombers. At least around here it's the distributor holding back cult beers for later release. Stores do too, to a lesser extent. Either way, you can count on them wanting the surprise factor rather than be nagged/begged if people knew.

    SILVER Aspirant (205) Jan 3, 2007 Florida

    I wonder if these cases the are kept for a later release are indeed kept at proper temperatures or just in any old corner of the warehouse.
    Is it the vintage date on the bottle that brings the mark up?
    Of course it could just be the normal variations from year to year.
  4. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,816) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    It’s not unusual for stores by me to include previous years releases in their BCBS events. Either ask the store if it’s new old stock or give them the benefit of the doubt without more information.
    rgordon, Bitterbill and JackHorzempa like this.
  5. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (545) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I can’t imagine a situation where holding onto these beers for later release would be the type of windfall that would be worth it...

    what’s the ‘premium’ these are marked up to?
    officerbill, AWA, sharpski and 2 others like this.
  6. ypsifly

    ypsifly Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2004 Michigan

    My distributor was sitting on a few of last year's variants and used them as leverage to unload some old 312 Wheat and some non GI stuff. They do it every year.
  7. Burt

    Burt Crusader (760) Nov 27, 2005 Rhode Island

    39.95 is price for 2017 variant
  8. HouseofWortship

    HouseofWortship Meyvn (1,408) May 3, 2016 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Two things are extremely common- (1) GI or the distributor release vintage BCBS and variants every year to select retailers(and more common now for recurring drops throughout the year of the current ones). It's been a joke for at least the past 5 years in Illinois- "We sold out of X/Y/Z" and then magically more bottles appear for sale every year from the previous few years. GI was unloading cases of Prop 2013 and 14 for Prop Day last year for a random bottle raffles. Nothing about these beers is scarce or rare, they just hold stock back to create artificial scarcity. (2)Some retailers do go nuts and sit on their bottles or they price them so high they sit as a result. I had one place with Prop 2014 sitting on an upper shelf at $90 for a few years with a guy telling me people will pay that price (yet somehow it sat there for 2 years...in direct sunlight...).

    Had a Goose Island employee say "If you see people heavily marking up bottles, we don't support it and have no say in that pricing. We want to sell these bottles as quickly as possible so we aren't sitting on them" at which point I wanted to ask if this is the case why does their taproom still have wall to wall bottles of all the 2018 variants at 2-3 times retail....
  9. surfcaster

    surfcaster Zealot (526) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina

    There are too many good things out there to fret 30 secs on this.

    I will enjoy one here and there--no sour grapes--but the number of really good BBA stouts on the shelves these days is unmatched.
  10. Steve_Studnuts

    Steve_Studnuts Crusader (770) Apr 21, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Well that's just absurd. Don't shop there.
  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,103) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    Remember when our distributors rereleased some October 2014 bottles into the distribution chain in 2015? Boy. That was good times. :heavymetal:
    ManBearPat likes this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,820) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As has already been mentioned there are just lots of choices for barrel aged beers nowadays. A recent example is this year's Lagunitas Willetized Stout which is excellent IMO. As a bonus this beer is economically priced relatively speaking (e.g., 13 bucks a 4-pack). Nobody can force you to spend the 'inflated' prices for these various versions of BCBS. Last year I purchased one bottle of regular BCBS and that was it. I am thinking that this year I won't even do that.

  13. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Disciple (334) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    I wouldn't pay top dollar for anything like that.

    I bought 1 bottle of the 2019 for $12.99
    rodbeermunch and mikeinportc like this.
  14. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,320) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I agree. There's probably a simple explanation. It is, after all, the store's business how they handle their inventory. It sounds to me like a tempest on a big mole hill, or something not to worry about, he said in third person.
    mikeinportc and surfcaster like this.
  15. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,523) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    The Willetized 2018 and 2019 are on tap at my local bottle store....a 32 oz crowler is $9...that same crowler of BCS is over $30 .... I bought a 16 oz pour of the BCS to say I've had this years...I will go back for more of the Willetized... it's a delicious beer at 1/3 the price....
  16. Burt

    Burt Crusader (760) Nov 27, 2005 Rhode Island

    Thanks all for your insights. As an old school beer geek, I see things that just doesn't make sense. I hope that my local spot wasn't doing what I think they did.

    I will have a brew or two and move on because it is just beer.
    mikeinportc likes this.
  17. raynmoon

    raynmoon Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado

    A local store had a 3 year vertical with price descending as the vintage got older: 2019: $16, 2018: $14, 2017: $12... :grin:
  18. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,957) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Yeah, who wants old beer?
    MikeWard, officerbill and laketang like this.
  19. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Poo-Bah (4,789) Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader


    That's hillarious, does anyone actually buy that?
  20. Skabiski

    Skabiski Crusader (715) Feb 2, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    Last year, the only store in the area that got 2018 BCBS sold it for $30 a bottle. They still have 2 left,so yes, some people do pay those prices.
  21. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,957) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    It will all sell, but could take weeks or months. And a lot of the buyers will regret it.
  22. islay

    islay Disciple (342) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    It's interesting that some people would rather spend hours standing in lines or running around town* getting told, "Sorry, we just ran out," than simply paying market-clearing prices for beers. You walk in; you see the beer you want sitting on the shelf; "oh, it $40?;" you decide if that's worth it to you; if it is, you walk out with the beer; if it's not, you go home empty-handed just like if the beer had been sold out. Way more efficient. All complaints about beer shortages should start with the fact that the beers are intentionally underpriced to generate hype.

    * I do get it; people are having fun with the chase or the hunt (or the communal aspects of standing in line), and they demonstrate their beer geek bona fides through their impracticality. I'll state yet again that many people in this hobby care far less about what's in the bottle than they do about the cultural trappings of the craft beer scene.
  23. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (545) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Still no answer to this.
    Assuming that means some old fart didn’t get his beer and is still in shock about it...
    AWA likes this.
  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    There’s no re release, you need to find a new beer store with an honest owner. He’s just driving up his price is all, I wouldn’t support a store who did this crap.
    AWA likes this.
  25. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (824) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island

    What store and what variant?
  26. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Me too, zero internist at all. I much prefer something along the lines of KBS anyway, its not even close. Now I’ve had two bottles of Rare back in the day and I traded them both, along with every other variant I’ve ever bought except for the coffee. But I don’t trade really anymore either, I’m limited to BIFs and such. I grew away from the need to try every ipa in the world and my trading side was offering up BC beers for quick easy trades for beers I wanted for well above dollar for dollar.
    AWA, JackHorzempa and mikeinportc like this.
  27. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (14,957) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    In September, local brewery Woodgrain came out with Four Roses Bourbon BA Confectioner Stout, a 14.2% ABV BBA stout with tons of chocolate. It was tap-only, and no distribution outside our market. I got three growlettes of it, still one left in my fridge. It is world-class, and I thought it tasted very much like 2018 BCBS Proprietor's. This is just one example of a BBA stout I feel competes favorably with BCBS variants for about 1/3 the price of a BCBS variant.
  28. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Poo-Bah (1,908) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    Same here.
    As others have said, there's plenty of BA stouts/porters/barleywines out there now. Lagunitias Willetized, BA Victory At Sea, and Peche Mortal are readily available, without such a large bite out of the wallet. Chasing beer seems such a waste of precious time. As of about a month ago, the 5th of the six local breweries joined the club,with a BA coffee/maple stout(14%), so there is that too. One of them has had something akin to KBS, but a little more complex (& 18% abv :dizzy_face::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) on tap for about two months : $8/8oz ; $20/32oz .
    nc41 likes this.
  29. DIM

    DIM Poo-Bah (3,726) Sep 28, 2006 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Just saw fresh for $14 and 2017 for $25. Easy pass on both. Eff GI's BS.
  30. Justonemore91

    Justonemore91 Disciple (374) Nov 24, 2018 New York

    They should rename this thread "people who wont buy bourbon county" lol
  31. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Meyvn (1,181) May 5, 2015 Illinois

    I live about 50 miles NW of Chicago and Budweiser's BCBS has risen in prices over the last 5 years. A local store was selling them for $17 per bottle, previous years $12. Fortunately, there are plenty of locals who put out some really outstanding BA stouts, Revolution, Wild Onion, Buckledown & Crystal Lake to name a few.
  32. Burt

    Burt Crusader (760) Nov 27, 2005 Rhode Island

    Post #8 answers the question.
    mikeinportc likes this.
  33. LeRose

    LeRose Poo-Bah (1,816) Nov 24, 2011 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    There is a store near me that has stocked their "vintage room" with BCBS. I can't tell what exactly what is on the shelves from the picture, but the shelves are full and it looks like half the shelf space in the room. Meanwhile, in a neighboring post, the same store is showing empty cases, looks like three or four, saying sorry folks BCBS sold out for this year in a couple hours. The vintage room always has a few BCBS or variants in there, but suddenly on Black Friday it is awash with riches?

    I don't know what the game is but I doubt it is the distributor in this case, but it could be, i suppose. Whatever. It is akin to hoarding either way. The beer gets released, put it on the shelf, sell it at the price it is supposed to be sold. As long as people pay up, shenanigans will continue.
  34. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (545) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Those numbers are staggering and quite specific... great post
  35. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,561) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I think my days of paying over $20 for a BA Stout are in the past. Too many good options now in 12oz bottles for <$8 most all the time. Even those 12oz bottles I’m sharing.
    bwarner2015 likes this.
  36. AWA

    AWA Defender (632) Jul 22, 2014 California

    Seriously. Holding inventory like that kills your turn rate. They're idiots for tying up money like that. Just reinforces my opinion that most people running liquor stores and bottle shops have no idea what they're doing.
    jrc1093, nc41 and adrock314 like this.
  37. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    It’s ridiculous. In the grand scheme of his day to day business dealings the extra few bucks he makes is almost uncountable, hell you’d have to go to the tens column to find that extra profit. That’s just the financials, your tying up cash , taking up space and paying tax on inventory I suppose as well. Just a terrible way to run any business, and the guys a sleaze, and I’d never spend another dollar in his store. It’s his store he can do as he pleases obviously but when a guy like this messes with his customers they look for options.
  38. islay

    islay Disciple (342) Jan 6, 2008 Minnesota

    I think you've got that backwards: Sure, en masse, inventory costs are a very important consideration for that sort of business. You don't want product taking up space and deteriorating that at best you're going to be able to sell at the same price as when it was fresh.

    The marginal cost of holding a case or two of beer in the back for a few years for most bottle shops is essentially zero, however (just another couple of boxes on a shelf in a room that never gets quite full). If a bottle shop can effectively charge, say, twice the price a year or two later for a vintage product, that represents a large annual return on that inventory investment at no real cost other than the time value of money and perhaps a tiny amount of employee time (such as recording the presence and location of the cases). If the shelf space for those cases truly were to be filled by other products that were turned over quickly and repeatedly, sure, that might've been more profitable still, but, in reality, as I stated, it's not like most of these stores ever fill to the brim where there's truly no room for additional product (and, if they ever did, that sounds like a good time to push the aged inventory to the floor). Turn rate may well be a meaningful metric when looking at an inventory portfolio as a whole, but blindly attempting to maximize turn rate isn't necessarily beneficial at the margin or in special cases.

    A big part of the reason this works is because, for whatever reason, stores feel pressured to underprice the product when they receive it each year, such that it flies out the door instantly at artificially low prices. Stores seem to feel less need to cap the prices on the aged product and thus can charge the much higher market-clearing (instead of shortage-inducing) prices. If they simply charged the right (high) price in the first place (ignoring the marketing effects of artificial scarcity pricing schemes), then you'd have a good point.
  39. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,771) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    So with the distro being so broad these days, I’d say depending on the market the volume might be a bit thin here and there . Here it sells out in days, there’s no reason to hold anything back, you buy it you sell it and it’s gone. As it’s supposed to be. I read some posts where BC stays on the shelf about year round usually it seems like NY or Ct, Long Island, maybe it’s a pricing point maybe volume, don’t know. Here it’s gone in a few day variants maybe 5 minutes or so.

    But assuming back in the day you were a Chicago distributor and you got say 10 Rare, 10 Prop, 10 Cherry Rye. Would that be a lot? But if you sold half and re released in say 6 months at 2X the original asking price what have you gained ? Even if you had twice that amount to sell and rerelease the same applies. If your a big business you can’t find that cash, it’s insignificant to the bottom line. It would apply even if you had a case or two of each to re release. It’s not enough money to worry about trying to run this kinda business model vs say holding bottles for your best customers or holding a lottery where no one gets bent. Just my opinion, not enough beer, not enough money to risk pissing off my loyal customers. Retailers don’t get rich off special releases, Total Wine gets rich off wine and selling cases of Budweiser or Corona, AALs basically run their beer business. Smaller retailers don’t even begin to get enough special inventory to even mention trying to get cute with the distro.
    sharpski and JackHorzempa like this.
  40. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,193) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    @nc41 , I don't think it's total wine or bevmo holding back releases. But if
    In your example, if the store heels back those 15 beers and resold them 6 months or a year later for an additional 20 dollars each that is 300$ extra off that one release with no additional cost. This might also increase interest in your store among some people if you are known to occasionally have additional bottles of sought after beers pop up on your shelf.
    Additionally, unless you are posting about the re-release on social media then it's your regulars who are most likely to stumble upon the new bottles as opposed to the opportunists who just show up on release day.
    I don't have a strong opinion on the practice either way and figure it's up to store owners to make the choices that they think are best for their business. Just wanted to point out that it doesnt have strictly negative impacts on a stores rep and it can be a source of additional revenue.
    For me, I'm happy to pick up one or two regular bcbs for 12 or 13 bucks if I find it but can't imagine shelling out much more than that
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