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Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by Vizualize, Sep 19, 2017.
It is a very calculated heavy handed sort of marketing
Seemed pretty effective at killing lines with the Kane release:
A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.
I actually enjoy hanging out and talking to beer people, and have been doing it for 17 years now, ever since I worked at the Wine and Hop shop (a homebrewing store) when I dropped out of college to be a brewer.
The only difference between you and I is I happen to run a brewery for my day job.
Now go to the Kane Facebook page and look at the comment thread about the release. Think it's well over 1000 comments long with how upset people were that it sold out in under five seconds and they never even had a chance to get the beer and horrible it was for Kane to release a beer like this etc etc. it's actually quite a funny read. It's not as simple as "everyone is happy as long as there's no line"
it seems that no one is happy, unless they get the beer of course. the sense of entitlement these days is beyond absurd
To me, this app is solving a temporary problem.
I don't think in 3 years people will still be lining up for DDH IPAs. People will eventually get tired of standing around ugly industrial areas for hours on end. Most people will have a good brewery near them that has steady releases of cans. All combinations of collaboration and hops will be exhausted and we'll all start drinking meade or some shit.
OH is already reaching a point where you can walk in most days of the week and walk out with cans. If they had an app, I'd spend 30 seconds at "release time" trying to click on a couple 4 packs of DDH Green Bean Casserole, but if that sold out too fast I'd just shrug and get the other 3 beers they're putting out at the same time that are just as good.
Going to step in here and disagree with your analysis. I've been interacting on here with @Sixpoint for more than a couple of years now (ever since they first began canning the beer now known as Bengali).
He's an open, straightforward kind of guy who listens to what folks have to say and calls things as he sees them. Now if that's what you think of as "heavy handed sort of marketing" so be it, but for myself I'd be quite happy to see lots of other brewers spend "heavy handed" marketing time on here to help the rest of us out by freely and openly sharing what they know or are learning on a regular basis.
I suspect that even if there are no lines, buying beer electronically will continue to be convenient for both the consumer and Sixpoint. The ability to pre-order crowler fills or track purchases for loyalty programs could be done through the app, for instance.
I just hope their team has experienced the hell that is OTG (e.g., EWR Terminal C) so they don't lean too heavily on the app in the future.
I know you're probably saying this because of Sixpoint's whole contract-brewing thing, but if anyone has the claim to "spearheading the modern craft beer scene in NYC", it would most certainly be Brooklyn Brewing, right?
Or is 1988 (founding) and 1996 (Williamsburg brewhouse) not "modern"? If so, that makes me feel old.
That's exactly who I was thinking of!
I think the big deal about the app is not so much Sixpoint using it, but Sixpoint licensing/selling it to other breweries if it works well for them.
A one-stop beer buying app would probably be better than trying to track many different releases on all different websites, using concert ticket websites, etc. If something like this becomes the industry standard, it could be a pretty big deal.
You maybe got a good laugh out of it because you have a very short time horizon, but you can't argue the facts. We were the first successful production craft brewery to start & succeed in NYC since prohibition. To be clear, I'm talking about an independent production brewery (not a brewpub) and a brewery that actually launched in NYC. All others before us since prohibition had gone bankrupt and/or shuttered their doors. We were the first. We opened the door in 2004 and showed it was possible, and others followed.
If you were around long enough in the 1980s and 1990s you might have remember a lot of these early craft breweries, but very few people remember them because they predate the internet and this is when no one really cared about craft beer. All of them closed down.
"I haven't seen pricing info anywhere and I know I've seen Sixpoint on BA questioning other brewery's motives behind their pricing. I'm eager to see how much cheaper these beers are than similar options. If they're in that $16-$20 per 4pk range and it's argued out of necessity because of small batch and blah blah scaling and premium single source hops, the circle of hypocrisy will be complete."
What other brewery in NYC is selling actual six-packs (72 ounces of beer) of their cans at their product releases for $15 or $16? Name one please - you can't. Instead, you're getting 4-packs (only 64 ounces of beer) and you're paying $16-24 for it. Where is the value? Btw, price has never been our selling point - you were the one who brought it up. We focus on the customer experience.....
With that in mind, for $15 you not only get a six-pack of awesome raspberry berliner weisse, but you also get a bottle of the Raspy Sauce when you buy a case. This is the special homemade raspberry reduction sauce made with jalapeño you can put into the beer to give it an extra kick. We first made this on the stovetop in our test kitchen above the brewery. The stuff is baller.
Are you trying to misrepresent what we are saying to make it seem like you are right? Because we are not opening up a taproom with a hazy IPA can release. We are doing an inaugural can release with our own native Sixpoint app that allows customers to purchase the beer in advance. Our inaugural beers are a raspberry berliner weisse made with over 200 lbs. of fresh raspberries, and a "farm to pint" IPA with one of our hop growers we have a personal relationship with out in Yakima. He's even flying in from Yakima, WA for the release. Are you going to claim that everyone is doing this? Because no one is doing this except us.
Also, we never said our app was going to kill all lines. Perhaps a journalist or someone else claimed that. What we said is the technology we invented will reduce or eliminate long lines of people waiting for the product, because we devised a way to remove the unnecessary transactional elements. It will make the process more efficient.
Brooklyn Brewery closed down?
You bring up some important points. Let me try to address them individually:
"I am going to respectfully disagree on rewarding people for getting there first. This caters to the most extreme people in the culture. The average person who just wants to buy beer can't or won't line-up, they get shut out and won't be a customer."
With all due respect, the limited small batch series cans that are being sold out of our brewery through the app is not catering to the "average person." The vast majority of beer in this country is sold through convenience stores, supermarkets, and grocery stores. These small batch, limited release stuff sold at breweries represents less than 1% of the beer market. Now, its not catering to an "extreme" person either (using your words here), probably more of an advanced beer drinker though. Yet the average person can go to their local grocery store or deli and purchase our beer, and the only line they have to wait in is the checkout line.
"Some of the people who go to extremes to line-up for beer also do illegal or undesirable things because it goes hand in hand with the extreme behavior they will go to to line-up for hours in advance of opening. Drinking illegally in public streets, driving drunk, illegally re-selling beer, urinating in public, disrupting the piece and quiet of neighborhoods, the list goes on and on."
This argument makes no sense at all. Are you saying the people who have their phones out when the beer goes on sale through the app are also going to be illegally drinking in public streets, driving drunk, and urinating in public? Where is the inductive leap here? Don't conflate our tech-savvy customers with undesirable behavior you've seen elsewhere.
"On-line this would just shift to the people who enlist 20 friends to get try to buy the beer, or those who have many devices and technology to get an advantage over those who won't go to extremes."
You have to buy the beer and also pick up the beer at the brewery. If you have 20 friends who will buy the beer for you and also go to the brewery with you to pick up the beer for you, then you have some really loyal friends and probably deserve the extra beer! :-)
Also when you enter your credit card info, we know who you are, your billing info, and if you attempt to buy a whole bunch of beer on multiple devices, its not going to work.
"Look at concert tickets, average Joe has no chance and pays inflated prices for concert tickets because the pros have an advanatge"
That's why we think our app is a great solution. A six-pack of the Lil' Raspy, for example, will cost $15. That is a completely attainable purchase and awesome value for the average person you speak of. Anyone with an iPhone or Android device can procure one.
"To be clear, I'm talking about an independent production brewery (not a brewpub) and a brewery that actually launched in NYC."
Brooklyn Brewery did not start in NYC. They started in Utica, and they made all of their beer there for almost a decade before ever brewing beer in Brooklyn. Sixpoint was the first - we're proud of it, and we're happy we opened the door for everyone else.
Come on dude. Brooklyn opened up their Brooklyn location in 1996. Stop using technicalities to prove you are "right". You act like you did more for NYC beer and brewing than Garrett Oliver, which is just absolutely outlandish. Its the same with the post above where you said I was misrepresening you. Sure, you are the first brewery ever to "release a small batch beer via your app while flying in a human from Yakima". Wonderful. What it really is is nothing more than a small batch limited release beer being sold online. It's not new.
I honestly didn't care that much about this until you started making ridiculous comments about doing something groundbreaking, writing outlandish marketing copy, and having every single beer publication write puff pieces about how amazing it is. It's selling beer online.
For a brewery that contract brews yourself, that is really splitting hairs. They still opened their Brooklyn production brewery in 1996, which is well before 2004.
Which by the way, most people would have less of a problem about your contract brewing location if you would just be transparent. Brooklyn's website talks freely about brewing their beers at FX Matt. And their beer labels always listed Utica for the beers brewed there.
Versus your website that only mentions Brooklyn and nothing about Memphis.
I specifically mentioned about starting (launching) a brewery in NYC. There is a critical difference, it is not splitting hairs.
That being said, we do acknowledge that Sixpoint probably wouldn't even exist if it weren't for Brooklyn Brewery, just as Singlecut or Other Half or many others wouldn't exist if it weren't for Sixpoint. All of these breweries have contributed to the scene in a sequential way, and it has built many layers upon it over the years. There needs to be mutual respect and acknowledgment from brewers about that. You certainly have it from us.
Btw your misrepresentation in the prior post has everything to do with this line, "Also LOL @Sixpoint talking about doing something "different from hipster breweries" by opening up a taproom with a hazy IPA can release."
The point is its not a taproom, nor is it a hazy IPA can release which you claimed. We're doing a release through an app with a raspberry berliner weisse and a farm-to-pint IPA. The way you categorized it is just wrong.
Right, but that is not what I claimed or specified when I first mentioned this. Prior to us, no one launched a new craft brewery in NYC. Why? I don't know, but perhaps because no one thought it was possible. We changed all of that.
This isn't a craft brewery?
Of course it is. But that's not what I said, and we already referenced and proved that.
I'm not even the one who first recognized this. It actually was Steve Hindy who recognized it, and he brought it up in a panel when him and I gave a speech at the Prospect Park Pavillion a couple of years ago. We gave a speech about being fellow brewers and he lauded us for being the first brewery to launch their brewery/brand in NYC since Prohibition and not fail. He recognizes he had a brewery before us, but he also recognized they had an entire decade of growing their brand and brewing upstate before they ever brewed in Brooklyn.
So its kind of ridiculous that people are arguing about this when Steve Hindy was the first one who actually brought it to my attention.
Exactly my original point, but succinct and less snarky. The headline should have been "we are canning our beer from Brooklyn for the first time, and also will be open to the public for the first time in x number of years and will have a taproom open soon". Not some tired techbro dross.
Also, all these "first, groundbreaking" claims just ring counter to my own experience. Moved here a decade ago, and walked around and drank Brooklyn Brewery within months anytime of the week I wanted to. Fell hard for Bengali around 2009/2010. Cans got weird after and I realized I was drinking LionsHead for the first time since being under 18 growing up in central Pennsylvania. To point to a contract brewing technicality just to dick wag, while also slagging off people who only do things within the 5 boroughs and distro themselves, feels kind of bad.
So he was saying Brooklyn Brewery failed? That's like saying Grimm has failed cause it took them two-three years to get a physical location. Or that it took you guys only 7 instead of Hindy's 8 years to come back to homebase after capitalizing on a borough's name. There is a trophy place across the street that can engrave fractions if you want one, just why bring it up?
No, that's what you just said - no one else is saying that. Don't reinvent what either he or I said though.
We are 9 days away from the actual release date, and we have a better view/perspective of the demand than probably anyone, mostly because we know how many users who have downloaded our app and the number of people who have signed up for the beta version (which goes out tomorrow).
While we are confident it will provide a lot of convenience for customers, we are also pretty impressed by the initial demand. You just can't see it because there's not a lot of people right now wasting their time standing in a line.
Not reinventing, quoting.
Sixpoint, you had me until this page but now I would recommend a little humility even if you have "opened" all the doors for others that you claim. I downloaded the app (based on pages 1 and 2) but that doesn't mean I'm buying anything.
Yup, agreed on that front, and at the end of the day we're just making beer, and just trying to do a good job at it. The core desire is to make the customer experience the best it can possibly be, and that is the intention of the app. We saw a problem that existed in craft beer, and we are trying to devise a solution to make the experience better. If it doesn't work, we'll have to go back to the drawing board and try again. We've been there many times in the past!
Just a "heads-up." It's not unheard of for new systems such as this to have a "success disaster" in the sense that your server may be overloaded with a "storm surge" of folks logging in to put in their orders.
72 oz vs 64 oz is mostly irrelevant even though one might point out that it's more than 10% more beer!!!! You brought up price while you and I were once comparing available ipa cans in NYC. I'm just bringing it back
The vast majority of NYC can releases are $18 per 4pk. If I'm already going 45 minutes to an hour (both ways) out of my way to make it out to Red Hook/Gowanus or Williamsburg or Queens, what's another .50 per can to get really good beer? I would always pay .50 per can for a noticeably better beer but I especially would when factoring in an hour and a half to 2 hour trip.
Where't the value? It's in the quality of the beer. While I'm hopeful for these upcoming Sixpoint beers to be excellent, there has been nothing hoppy offered by Sixpoint that's been competitive with the best beers we wait in line for. That includes Resin, Puff, Hi-Res, and Bengali.
Again, Sixpoint makes good beer available for a lot of people that otherwise might not have great local options. I know Sixpoint is really popular in its distribution footprint and here on BA. I'm not here to say Sixpoint doesn't make good beer. Here in the city though, it has not been the case that Resin, Puff, Hi-Res, or Bengali have been competitive with our best options available from local brewers. I do hope these new beers are awesome and that changes, but the hype is a bit aggressive. It almost sound like desperation though I know that's not the case.
"I do hope these new beers are awesome and that changes, but the hype is a bit aggressive."
I agree with you on that front Rob. I actually prefer there to be no hype. Let's let the product speak for itself. Since no one has actually tried it yet, the answer/feedback remains to be seen. Let us know if you are coming down to try!
I'd rather sneak in and out so I can shamelessly slander the beer online without the guilt that comes from a personal relationship.
Now there's a man of integrity. We should all strive to be so honorable!
Where does Six Point make most their beer? They've done a good job of leveraging their Brooklyn roots (and they're certainly vigorously defending them here) but I don't really think of them as a Brooklyn brewery anymore....because they don't really brew their beer in Brooklyn. Maybe they make a little here but that hasn't been the norm. That's fine, but I've always thought their labeling and brand messaging was misleading.
And while I loved my Bengali Tiger back in the mid 2000's, to me they've really just seemed complacent the last decade. I don't begrudge any business focusing on making money but the industry kind of left them behind a couple years ago. I've really haven't looked forward to a of theirs in the last 10 years.
Back in the day that their distribution guys had an unflattering reputation, but I met a sales person earlier this year and he seemed like a nice guy. This one is important to me because I think big beer's biggest crime isn't its beer but it's abuse of distribution leverage.
So, who knows? Good luck to them! I'd love to try their new release.
The one thing that does crack me up is seeing them criticize the 'herd mentality' of the craft beer scene after bringing in one of the brewers most sought after and respected by 'the herd.'
Anyway, I sincerely wish them the best and I'd love it if they actually started making beer for the premium craft market. It would be welcome!
I mean the average beer geek like me and many others who won't go to the extremes some people will go through.
No, that is not what I am saying. If the beer is fantastic in high demand like beers that are sold via lines, the shitty behavior will turn in to shitty behavior on-line, the same behavior that is used by scalpers to grab all the concert tickets and jack up the prices. If your beer turns out to be on the level of OH, you can be assured the resellers will go to all lengths to be first in line and take some of the supply. Why should the average beer geek have to compete with this. Hence my suggestions on that eliminate your belief that "first in line"counts for something.
I think Sixpoint may now be my favorite. This thread is hilarious! So many strong opinions and evident animosity about something as trivial as beer....I wish everyone had this much passion about something that actually matters.
I don't think we ever had a conversation on here before, but you seem like a really informed person who knows the scene. I am happy you chimed in.
We certainly are not "big beer" - we are an independent and mid-sized brewery, but you should have nothing but positive experiences with our sales team or any of our distributor's sales' teams. If you ever have otherwise, please let us know right away because that is unacceptable.
To be fair, we criticized the "herd mentality" of following a preordained aesthetic and modus operandi of the retail experience in craft beer. Our hiring of Eric Bachli to lead our Product Development team has nothing to do with wanting to engulf a sought-after brand. I've known Eric long before he ever was a brewer at Trillium - I first met him while he was working at the Craft Beer Cellar. This was even before he even had a career as a professional brewer. Before he was a brewer, he was a research scientist. This is why he fits in so well at Sixpoint. We actually had multiple interviews and visits and sit-downs where he met many people on our team, and we realized that his vision for craft beer and the future was aligned with ours. It made perfect sense. And now we want to share those creations with people like you.
"Anyway, I sincerely wish them the best and I'd love it if they actually started making beer for the premium craft market. It would be welcome!"
We appreciate the positive intention, and we are determined to deliver on that. Would be great to see you at the brewery soon.
"I mean the average beer geek like me and many others who won't go to the extremes some people will go through."
Thank you for clarifying that. We are confident our new system will help people like you get access to the beer without too much hassle. And if for some reason you are denied access, we will humbly admit the system is flawed and we will work to fix that. As long as you are providing the constructive feedback, we are going to be working to improve the experience.
"If the beer is fantastic in high demand like beers that are sold via lines, the shitty behavior will turn in to shitty behavior on-line, the same behavior that is used by scalpers to grab all the concert tickets and jack up the prices."
We appreciate that insight. But that is one of the main reasons why we decided to develop an app for this process. You see, when you sell beer via a conventional line where anyone will line up for access, you have zero control over who lines up for that line and how the people can behave in that line. Whereas when you create a selling platform through an app, you actually have a ton of control of how the product is sold, who can buy what, and how its allocated. It actually does place more control in the hands of the seller to cultivate the selling environment for people. Our intention is actually to take the pain and tension out of this process and make it more enjoyable for people like you. But like I said before, if we don't get it right on the first try, we will definitely go back to the drawing board to make it better.
I do think we are jumping the gun a bit to presume that all of the people will resort to bad behavior if the demand exceeds the supply. But you are right, if that is indeed the case, we will need to tweak and adjust our system in order to make it more enjoyable for folks like you. And we are determined to do that, as long as we have solid feedback along the way.
There's a saying that we have framed in a poster in the office at Sixpoint in Brooklyn, and it says, "We take beer seriously, but we don't take ourselves too seriously."
You had a very powerful insight that people get so worked up over beer. Its true! There are so many other products that we buy on a regular basis that people just don't care about. They don't spend their time on forums expressing their opinions, visiting the producers, or rating the products. So in this regard, beer is special.
When you say, "I wish everyone had this much passion about something that actually matters...."
.....you actually touch upon an paradoxical truth....beer is something that ultimately does not matter, but at the same time, its one of the most important things in the world. What I mean by this is ultimately the things that really matter are our loved ones, our family, the relationships we all forge and the sense of purpose and meaning we have in our lives...but if you remove beer from that experience, the whole thing just kinda sucks. There are definitely more eloquent ways to express this, but beer just fucking rules. And yes, its worth fighting for because the quest to make good beer and to find good beer and to drink good beer is worth fighting for. And that is what drives me to keep on contributing to these forums and the scene like we have done since 2004. It is an honor to share that with you and people like @JackHorzempa @drtth @SixpointJMH @Ilovelampandbeer @JohnnyMc and many others, going back many years now.
Great point. And I would add that RAR has gone to a ticketing system that is working great for them. You can pick up Saturday and Sunday. Can't make it? Get your tickets to a mule to pick up for you. Can't find a mule? Well, look for a trade. Or, gasp, just wait til the next one. This has allowed RAR to get to further reaches easier, getting their name out there.
On top of that, they are in a downtown mid-block location. It's difficult for a line to form and keep the neighboring shops happy. With the ticket system, people can come by whenever. And you know what happens at that point? They actually come inside for a pint and maybe a bite to eat. (Or eat at a nearby restaurant.) With a line, it's grab and run. With the tickets, it's a destination, and there is more $ spent inside during the trip.
Hi all! Few of my mates are coming into town next weekend and we're thinking about visiting SP for the first time. Few questions....
What time do we have to show up to guarantee full allotment? Would 6:00am be good? What is their chair policy? Can we byob? Thanks!
Drop your chair at 5:30 at SP, push your shopping carts over to Other Half, get in line, start pounding 13% whales. Around 10:30 or so fill up said shopping carts with OH beer, stagger back to SP, reclaim your spot in line, pass out in chair, when line starts moving, get up, get to front, pile SP beer on top of Other Half cases, stagger home.
Repeat again following weekend.
Can you park at McDonald's though?
Yes, the real pros will use a tractor to pull all the shopping carts and park the tractor in the handicap spots at McDonalds. Just need to go in and buy a small order of hash browns to be a customer and can park there all weekend.