Store owners handling on case of KBS...

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by RayOhioFelton, Feb 24, 2013.


What is the best way to handle limited quantities of rare releases?

  1. Lottery

  2. First come/first serve

  3. Waiting list

  4. Who ever spends the most gets priority

  5. Other

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  1. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    That's silly and does not really solve any problem. You could argue that fewer people would get a chance to enjoy the beer with that solution, single bottles can go a lot further.
    Zach136 likes this.
  2. DBijnagte

    DBijnagte Initiate (109) Dec 7, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    The store by me does 2 releases for most limited releases, one when the shipment comes in, one at 5:30pm the day of the shipment. Both are obviously first come first served. It seems to be a great way of giving everyone a good chance at getting beer.
  3. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (6,766) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois

    My local did something akin to this recently. Since Gumballhead (or, as most customers coming in to look for it call it, "that gumball beer") is highly sought-after and incredibly inconsistent distribution-wise (never exactly know when it's coming, and then only a case at a time, usually), they decided to randomly place six-packs around the store, sorta like Easter eggs. One was in a display of chips, one was in the expensive bourbon cabinet. It all seemed a bit much, frankly, but so too does the demand for the beer, and, still, it gave me a good laugh...
    vurt, Willbfun and oldp0rt like this.
  4. oldp0rt

    oldp0rt Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2011 Quebec (Canada)

    Not necessarily saying to hide it everywhere. But just to put it on the shelves unannounced.
  5. Jparkanzky

    Jparkanzky Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2011 Ohio

    My experiences have been somewhat different. I show up at my local shop with a group of 7 or 8 guys, bring our own beers with us, don't purchase a single beer on tap or bottle/can from them while we're there, take free bottles of water and soda (reminds me of Clerks. in a way) and the next day I wake up to a text message from a worker at the store saying "Black Note/KBS/CBS/whatever came in, want me to hold you one/some/etc"

    I don't spend more than $100/mo there (unless you count the UPS fees) so I'm not "That Customer"

    Perhaps you're not as recognizable to them as you think?
  6. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (620) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I like what the owner of a local shop by me does. When he knows he's getting a shipment of a limited beer on a specific day, he will announce it's going on sale at 6pm giving people time to get there after work. I guess it sucks for 2nd shift people though.....
    funhog likes this.
  7. HokiesandBeer

    HokiesandBeer Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Personally I don't think "regular" customers have any more right to a rare beer than any other customer.
    CORKSCREWFISH likes this.
  8. cynical1027

    cynical1027 Aspirant (263) Dec 14, 2008 Ohio

    There's more than one side to this issue as well.... some releases wouldn't be nearly as hard to get if some customers didn't call and put themselves on several waiting lists and hoard as much of a release from as many stores as possible. That's one of the reasons stores have a hard time deciding on what's fair; customers coming out of the woodworks or going to many stores hogging up a release pisses off store managers; why sell to someone who only supports you for limited releases? A store manager is much more inclined to take care of those who take care of him.
    Vav likes this.
  9. Mealhouse

    Mealhouse Aspirant (296) Feb 19, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    First come first served with the beer manager holding back a given amount based on their discretion to ensure their regular customers are taken care of seems fair too me.

    I went into a store I don't regular a week ago, asked about a release and was told they were out and continued shopping. During that time another person asked about the release and when told it was gone, questioned how fresh it was to begin with. I ended up getting a 4 pack of a different beer and a growler fill and while waiting struck up a conversion with the manager. When I went to check out he pulled out the bottle I was originally looking for to my surprise and asking if I still wanted it. In the end I was happy I got the beer I was looking for plus some other great beers, the store knows I wasn't simply chasing a release and I'll be back.
    zachary80 likes this.
  10. Casedogg43

    Casedogg43 Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    A few on the shelves for 1st come basis..
    Rest to great customers.
    Jeremy6566, JohnnyMc, Holsie and 4 others like this.
  11. JuniperJesus

    JuniperJesus Aspirant (270) Feb 26, 2011 Illinois

    Auctions are the fairest way to allocate resources -- simple economics, folks. We need to stop this egalitarian approach where you feel like you're entitled to a bottle of beer. You sound like a democrat. If you can't afford the beer in an auction, you should re-evaluate your priorities, which is to say place less value on beer and more on improving your value to this economy. Think of it this way: loitering around at the package store and waiting for the delivery truck is something that someone with an IQ of 60 can accomplish. First come, first served only benefits the lucky and those who value their time the least.
  12. dmeadows

    dmeadows Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2002 New York

    A tournament. Turkish oil wrestling. To the victor goes the......KBS.
  13. Jparkanzky

    Jparkanzky Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2011 Ohio

    I like 'reasonable' bottle limits.

    If something comes in and it's a large format, and they got a case, put it on the shelf for everyone to see, unannounced, and have a one bottle limit.

    Case of Black-Note? Put it on the shelf with a 4 pack limit, unannounced. "Regulars" have a shot at it if they visit often enough, and truck chasers can't clean them out because of the limit. Win-Win in my opinion. People who follow releases etc. with this site and others know when their area is expecting releases, so they have a good shot at getting what they want. I understand local shops wanting to support twitter/facebook followers too, but I think a post saying "KBS should be coming in on Friday" is better than a post on Friday at 10am saying "KBS is here"

    Having friends locally and sharing beers is still the best way to try them all though!
    Raime likes this.
  14. brikelly

    brikelly Aspirant (269) Apr 11, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Trade for it afterwards with beers that you were lucky to get.
    funhog likes this.
  15. Ataraxia

    Ataraxia Initiate (108) Sep 20, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    Establish a limit and take their name down if need be, but first come first served.
    Lottery is the worst possible system possible.
  16. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Simple economics principles often fail when people try to apply them to beer. You sound like someone who likes to make assumptions about other political beliefs. Your examples are still short sited. There is nothing wrong with being lucky. If you can't afford the time to make your way to a store maybe you should re-evaluate your priorities, which is to say money cannot buy everything and sometimes you need to do the leg work to receive the reward.

    Beer releases were never broken, the more people try to fix them the more they break. No one is entitled, no one needs it. Just because you have more time, money or resources does not mean you are more entitled.
    ericj551, avenuepub and jimcivis like this.
  17. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    I prefer reservations. The store is going to sell it either way and it might as well go to someone who wants it. I don't think someone should have to play chance or games to get something they desire, and the first come first serve thing sucks now because most big releases are gone in the blink of an eye. When it comes to purchasing limits, reservations are helpful because the store knows how much to allocate or order for that matter.
  18. Phacoman

    Phacoman Initiate (0) Jun 26, 2011 Pennsylvania

    My local shop uses waiting lists but they reward me and other loyal customers by adding me to the list automatically. Again, not perfect but it's sort of a hybrid system between a standard wait list and only hooking up regulars. I know that I don't have to be the first to call 4 months in advance of the next backstage release but I will be somewhere on the list.
  19. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    What is the difference between first come first serve and lists/reservations? Aren't spots on the list first come first serve? Spots are usually gone in the blink of an eye too.
  20. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (840) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Good idea that would stop the hoarding and with an 8 oz pour it would go futher.
  21. Raime

    Raime Meyvn (1,308) Jun 4, 2012 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
    Beer Trader

    When it was announced to be coming out in April, The local beer shop owner around here started a waiting list. And for a month nobody was on it until somebody went onto their Facebook page and mentioned it. I ensured that I was put on that list second, And now there's about four or five people on it. I do NOT agree with whoever spends the most gets the most priority at all.
  22. funhog

    funhog Disciple (308) Mar 8, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    It's unknown what is the fairest way...........
    How 'bout release 10:00 Saturday mornings
    with numbers handed out at 9:30??
  23. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    What do you mean might as well go to someone who wants it? Everyone that would buy it wants it.
  24. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    You guys realize that a lottery removes all negative factors, right? Everyone gets the same chance?
    CORKSCREWFISH likes this.
  25. DogfishJoe

    DogfishJoe Initiate (189) Feb 14, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Well at least now I know it wasn't just me! It's a shame too because they have a different selection compared to other stores in my area.
  26. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    The difference is that spots allow someone to get the bottles regardless of their schedule. It's awesome to know that because I am high up on the list, because I was one of the first to anticipate the release and go to the store to get on the list, I don't have to stress about the exact time the distro truck is getting there, or whether the first to show up will have the opportunity to hoard bottles. My local gives people 24 hours after the call to pick up their allocation, decides the allocation based on the amount of bottles they recieve, leaves a message if you don't pick up, and moves down the list if people don't call back or come for their bottles. I call that reasonable.

    RBCORCORAN Aspirant (239) May 18, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    seems to work for PTY and would save the employees at the bottle stores a lot of trouble . No matter how a store handles the allotment too many people get butt hurt because this missed out or didn't get as many to trade as they would like.
    As long as the tickers and hoarders keep chasing after them the problem will never go away. I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of the breweries on release day and hear them laughing at the people who play their game.
  28. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I like first come first served, but here in MA, retailers tend to distribute the beer at noon in the middle of the week, in which case we all lose. I would like to see more retailers exercise patience when it comes to the release. Announce a 5 pm release on the rare items, and then go first come/first serve. That way I don't have to call in sick every time Founders releases a beer. But that's just my 2 cents
  29. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This is a great example of why I prefer the list method.
  30. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    So it is the best method because it works best and is the most convenient for you? I am sure it works and no doubt it benefits you but I think in order to determine the best method to release a beer the reasons for choosing a model has to be less personal.
  31. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,508) Mar 9, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    I'm surprised this is so "complicated" for people. Businesses have already figured this out.

    I guess a mad rush like Black Friday would be bad, but do what Apple does. First come first serve, limit how much each person can buy. Nothing can truly be "fair," but this system is at least no fuss, not complicated, and no one feels "cheated." Have people wait on line all they want.
  32. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I will acknowledge you have a fair point there. I do not think tap only fixes all problems either. With kegs you limit the locations that get the product. While you have hoarders with bottles you'll have folks who drink just as many pours on tap as the number of bottles they would have purchased. Ultimately the beer does not really get spread around any more.
    gustogasmic likes this.
  33. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    It's not so personal- I don't usually have a problem getting bottles first-come style either (and to be honest this tends to lead to bigger hauls!), I just find it fair to everyone's schedule that you get the 24-hour window if you're on the list (or whatever window of time other stores allow). If it was the case that a store calls everyone on the list once the bottles arrive and has no method of setting aside quantities for people on the list (something I've seen), then I don't think that's any better that first-come style.
  34. gustogasmic

    gustogasmic Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. The other thing that makes me value limited bottle releases is that it allows me to cellar the beer, whereas bars tend to put on the kegs right at release time. I like lighter bourbon and good balance in BA stouts, for example, so I like having the ability to hold on to my bottles for a year or two and decide when where and with whom to drink them myself rather than chasing taplists.
  35. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Again on a personal level, there are some stores near me that do a list, but they are very prejudiced as to who gets on it. Out of a 12 bottle case, 6 will go to employees, the other 6 will go to employees friends. There's a shop that I no longer frequent that flat out told me I'd never make the list, even though I spent about a $100 a week
    gustogasmic likes this.
  36. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,295) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    How exactly does that work - "everybody" loses?
    Somebody (students, retirees, sick day'ers) must get to buy the beer.
    ----Asks the currently unemployed guy,​
    who spent a couple of decades on the night shift​
    and even when on the day shift got out at 1:30 pm.​
  37. ridglens

    ridglens Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2010 Indiana

    we have a local store that does "text" alerts of allocated beers now. they are usually at the same time, about 5:00 pm every day, to try and give working people (hilarious that that's a demographic and not the norm, really) get a chance. i'm ok with this except that the closest 12 people always get the bottles (which doesn't include me), but whatever it's kinda fair. i'm bummed because i used to have an awesome hookup on the inside, but i grudgingly admit this is probably a more fair system.

    i've also seen a "text" alert (or email) where it was first-call to get on the list. that was nice because i could call from work and i had a chance, since i live/work nowhere near the store.

    as far as the "fairest" way, it's kind of dumb to talk about. life isn't fair, and luckily if we are all fighting over really expensive beer, we are probably doing ok. until the economics work out (ie: the price/supply/demand all meet equilibrium), there will always be those that are left out. brewers can't/won't make enough, but they (nicely, i guess) refuse to charge the fair market value of the product. when you sell something for less than many people think it's worth, there simply won't be enough!

    i don't mind systems in which i luck out and get a few bottles of some things and miss out on others, between bottle shares and trades i get to try pretty much everything i want to put the effort into. honestly, i miss ebay as an option for being able to pony up for the bottle or two i really wanted/slpit amongst friends, but know that it's good for these issues as a whole.

    oh well, it'a all just beer, and that fact that it's tough to get makes it even better, a special treat, sometimes...
    beerindex likes this.
  38. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Should have clarified. By releasing it so early, the friends and family of the shop owners have the best chance. Not the unemployed masses. The 9-5(ish) and not related to the shop owners crowd loses. The unemployed win if they are already in the store when it is released. I've been there and taken a day off and tried it with CBS, and i still wasn't one of the first 6 in line. Even though I was in the store. The beer never hit the shelves and was gone before the box was opened. Even though they don't do a list. Mass has some messed up stores and distribution schedules.
    I wouldn't mind if releases were staggered once in a while, but releasing the same way at the same time every time puts some groups into a bind and only aids the same group every time. There is no warning, just a one line Facebook post
  39. regularjohn

    regularjohn Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 New Jersey

    honestly you just need to put yourself in their position, while you may ask about a certain beer and if they're getting it i'm sure there is hundreds other people doing the same thing on a daily basis. i'm pretty straight forward about it, i'll ask about a specific beer and if there is any chance of getting it. usually the short answer is "theres a really big line for that one" so with that being said i just already know yeah its not gonna happen. but then again these guys are doing the best they can and they're still really nice and down to earth (for the stores around north jersey at least) sometimes when i come in one guy well say hey i got something new in the back and im not putting it on the shelf yet if u want it (bourbon county for example) yeah sure hook it up! but if i ask for like KBS if its gonna be around at all i know my chances are really slim of getting it, even if i go there all the time like i said (tons of other people do as well)

    you can't please everyone after all, especially when there is only so much to go around
  40. kdb150

    kdb150 Zealot (505) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The approaches I most appreciate are either saving limited release for the best customers, or holding a limited release and putting it out, first come first served, well after the initial release date.

    Note, "best" customer doesn't have to mean "customer that spends the most," although nobody should begrudge a store owner who sees it this way. They are running a business after all. But if another store owner thinks that "best" means "most frequent regardless or dollar amount" or "most likely to appreciate a special beer," that's cool too.

    However, I loathe lotteries, because they can be rigged so easily for certain people to win. Also hate waiting lists, because I shouldn't have to be in on the secret list months ahead of time or else be shut out. I have a similar disdain for the twitter/facebook blast, because even though it greatly benefits me personally with my flexible schedule, it gives the beer to the same people at every release, regardless of their loyalty to a store.
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