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. NickyDee21

    NickyDee21 Devotee (467) Dec 23, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    My store has a strict first come first serve policy, no reservations. Usually only one bottle per customer unless he has more than enough, then it's two. He waits til fridas evenings when his customers are most likely not working and let's it be known when the beers will be on sale. I think this is pretty damn fair... Except for when I can't make a release :wink: haha
  2. MDDMD

    MDDMD Poo-Bah (1,801) Jun 4, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    And a continued escalation of the insanity! I agree wholeheartedly.
  3. zachary80

    zachary80 Zealot (504) Nov 29, 2009 Indiana

    Waiting list that goes to first come after a brief period, limited also depending on how fast it will sell. Consistence with method is important here
  4. PieOhMy

    PieOhMy Devotee (419) Feb 23, 2013 Minnesota

    I agree that that may be the fairest way but do not agree that those who value it the most get the beer. I would, probably, value a KBS more than Tiger Woods but Tiger Woods has my annual salary in his wallet.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is - f**k Tiger Woods.
  5. powpig2002

    powpig2002 Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2012 Florida

    1st come w/limit. works out for regulars because more time you spend in the store, better your odds. truck chasers are truck chasers. this years hopslam was crazy here in fl. people that didn't know a pale ale from an irs HAD to have hopslam. only gonna get worse. put it out. may the luck be with you
    seakayak likes this.
  6. hamsterhero515

    hamsterhero515 Initiate (163) Jan 19, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    The store I frequent the most does it the best IMO. They do a first come / first serve with limits, after 5 pm. This way the majority of people with jobs at least have an opportunity to make it to the store.
    seakayak likes this.
  7. jrman1386

    jrman1386 Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2011 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    He tells them he doesn't have any available. That the ones he has are spoken for.
  8. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (4,201) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Just get what you can get and trade for the rest. Not going to be able to try every single beer every single year.
  9. BMitch

    BMitch Initiate (170) Jul 10, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    Fixed that for ya.
    CORKSCREWFISH and KWMiles like this.
  10. terrapinmark

    terrapinmark Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2010 Ohio

    I too am from the Cleveland area. For the OP I know it does not seem fair since you spend a lot of money at the stores you go to. What has worked for me? I have gotten KBS at 4 different beer stores last year. Albeit one bottle each. I take care of the guys by "Giving" them stuff over the year. Each has gotten a nice bottle of Pliney the Elder and Zombie Dust. Yup maybe it is bribery as I am still buying the KBS from the store. Put yourself in their perspective. If some person was giving you a bottle of some hard to find stuff wouldn't you find a way to save that guy a bottle of KBS etc. Although your hundreds of dollars spent at the store is admirable you have to feed the hand that holds the beer at the store.
  11. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    My initial thought is first come first served, however, that directly leads to people just showing up unreasonably early to stand in line. Which is just annoying. I think, for super hyped up and/or rare releases that any given store has no reason to think they wouldn't be able to sell out of of quickly, that they should not do any sort of advertising and let people buy as they see it. But that is 100% idealist. I don't think there's any good answer to this question because, no matter what, some people are going to be left wanting (myself included).
    Holsie likes this.
  12. Anonymous1

    Anonymous1 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    How about holding the case for a few weeks, and then just throwing it all on the shelf on a Saturday morning with no announcement. I tend to prefer these silent releases, sorta like what Bell's does with their special releases.
  13. calcnerd

    calcnerd Zealot (577) Oct 26, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Agreed. Lotteries are a joke. I hated when Ticketmaster started doing those stupid things. If I get my ass there at 4am for a concert ticket, why should some guy that strolls in at 10 get a ticket before me? If you put the time in, you should be rewarded. That (and a snow cone about waist high) really chaps my ass.
  14. JohnnyMc

    JohnnyMc Champion (889) Feb 14, 2012 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Hmmm I live in the Brunswick area and I get the feeling I know what store you guys are talking about as well.....the main reason being the attitude of the owner as well as the mention of him getting Three Floyds, but also currently having a shitload of Pumking.
    ChrisMon02 likes this.
  15. Mohican88

    Mohican88 Aspirant (200) Jan 20, 2010 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    One of the stores near me does 1st come 1st served, but they have started releasing the beer at 7PM so ppl that really wanted the beer but couldn't get there until after work had an opportunity.
  16. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,193) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Wanna bet that the people that spend the most money feel that a lottery, first come first served and waiting list are unfairbto the people that spend the most money?
    At least he told the truth.
  17. Nectar

    Nectar Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    I think that in the end, people take beer entirely too seriously. I missed out on KBS last year. I missed out on BCBCS. I got them both on tap out of luck. I never got mad, I never got too excited.
    TMoney2591 and YogiBeer like this.
  18. YogiBeer

    YogiBeer Initiate (0) May 10, 2012 Illinois

    ... So I've seen the term "people coming out of the woodwork" used a lot in a derogatory way when referring to lotteries... is that you guys just being bitter towards a system that doesn't give an advantage to anyone (yourselves)? I've also seen lots of people post about how a list is the best, but these have all been people who call beer shops, and follow every beer release... The people saying "It should be first come first serve, but with a limit, and not until 5/6/7pm, or not until saturday, or etc... you do realize that your suggestions are all things that give YOU the best chance to get the beer, right? what about people that work from 3-11, or on saturdays? Why should the people who spend the "most money" get to buy all of the special releases? How can you possibly say, with any conviction, that you "want a beer more than someone else," or that you "deserve a beer more than someone else?" Some of the people in here make me sick.It's fermented barley water, guys.

    You guys need to realize that if a store averages 200 separate customers per week, and they get 12 bottles of a special release, that regardless of how they do it... people are going to be angry (for a silly reason). Also, please realize that most (all?) of the people in here who think they are a shop's best customer... probably aren't.

    Also, auctions.... YOWZA. I'm going to hope that you guys are trolling/kidding.
    ricochet173 likes this.
  19. Barrelsnbeer

    Barrelsnbeer Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    the hopslam crowd this year bothered the shit out of me. people getting pissed i wouldnt put them on a list or let them take more than one six pack and i have never once seen them in the 2 years ive worked at both locations. i started getting daily calls about it january 2nd. idk how many times i had to explain how the distributor was handling the allocation this year and holding the release date back till they had every case they were gonna get shipped(due to getting shorted the previous year and not having enough to cover the promised allocations) something about the whole process made me want to punch everyone of the hoarders/truck chasers in the throat.

    then again im the guy that wont go out of my way for a beer, if i miss a release or have to go way out of my way to try something its not worth it. ive got 500 labels to choose from every day, new stuff on the shelf weekly, new taps generally bi weekly. i can always just fill my glass with something else awesome. i think the fact the hoarders/truck chasers dont grasp that thats all available everyday to them is what bothers me the most.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  20. HeadyTheElder

    HeadyTheElder Disciple (390) Nov 3, 2012 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    That's a business decision for the store owner. Most businesses give preferential treatment to regular clients. And for good reason. I know mine does.
  21. HokiesandBeer

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

    Of course it is, and I understand why some owners do it. Just stating a personal opinion.
  22. HeadyTheElder

    HeadyTheElder Disciple (390) Nov 3, 2012 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    I'm talking about people getting their entire family to sign up for the lottery, just to increase their chances.
  23. Mealhouse

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

    My local shop releases half when they get the shipment in and half after 5pm so the the business crowd has a shot as well. Usually limits are very strict depending on the availability. No complaints though I believe every time I've walked it be it at lunch when a shipment has come in or after work I've been able to get atleast 1 of what I'm looking for.
  24. HopsMatt

    HopsMatt Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2011 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Make friends with beer managers. It also doesnt hurt to hook them up in return and share some of your cellar with them. This usually results in you knowing as soon as things land.
  25. theHoff77

    theHoff77 Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2012 Minnesota

    Well for example one of the places I go to takes reservations. I was the first guy to ask about Surly Pentagram, so they started up a list and that was two weeks ago. Pentagram released last week, and they held a bottle for me. The other store I go to announces over facebook, and they usually get their shipments in during the day. Pentagram was in at 3:30 and gone by 4:00, so I would've been shit out of luck.
    The store that does reservations is essentially first come first serve, but with certain beers they can request certain amounts from their distributor. They were able to do it with Hopslam, and I was told they can do it with KBS. At least with the reservation system everyone has a fair shot if they inquire about something.
  26. kdb150

    kdb150 Zealot (502) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Lotteries are often rigged in favor of the best customers or friends/family/whatever. It's not the idea of a lottery that's shitty, it's the execution that often times makes it both unfair AND dishonest. I realize many store owners will take care of friends/family/best customers with special releases, and that's fine, but why lie about it?
  27. jb123

    jb123 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2012 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    Ill send whoever ends this conversation some KBS.
  28. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,193) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Close thread
    JohnnyMc and jb123 like this.
  29. jampics2

    jampics2 Meyvn (1,479) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    You don't. That probably doesn't even put you in the top 50 customers. Sorry to be blunt, but I also live in Cleveland and, at the store I shop at most, there are a few customers who drop $200+ a week. Why shouldn't the store owner sell the 12 people who spend $10k a year a couple bottles instead of someone who only spends 1/4 that amount? Seems like the "right" way to do it - they are, after all, a business and those few elite customers are worth a fortune!

    Stop f^#$&king calling every day. Do you have any idea how annoying that is to stores?
    maltmaster420, YogiBeer and dmeadows like this.
  30. funhog

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

    This post was pretty well summed up in the 1st reply:
    "If we're honest here, most peoples idea of what is fair is also the option which
    they are more likely to get the beer they want"
    Originally posted by member kzoobrew, Cheers.
    stayclean likes this.
  31. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,508) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    There is no winning formula for this. Either, way someone who wants it doesnt always get it, therefore you cant please everyone..
  32. omniscientcause

    omniscientcause Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2010 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    Wait you mean special releases get released to the public and the store employees dont hoard it all first? Where do I have to move where I actually see limited releases released?

    I know of a store who does this, then has the gaul to mark up year round releases from smaller breweries pretending they are limited.
  33. GreenCoffee

    GreenCoffee Initiate (0) Jul 2, 2012 Illinois

    Regular customer limited lottery is the best. Everyone who wants in has a fair shot at it, vultures can't enter at a store they don't frequent. Basically a waiting list except the beer is distributed by lottery and not first-listed-first-served. Simple, clean, fair. If someone is inevitably going to get snubbed, it should be because of random chance. I'd say that if we are going to bring "entitlement" to the conversation, I think situations where excelling at some arbitrary measure of deservedness (expendable time, expendable income) gets you a higher chance at the beer are more representative of that.

    I totally agree that most BAs will favor the option that gives them the best shot at it. And what is that? First come, first serve, free-for-all of course. The one that allows anyone with huge amounts of time and money to buy up cases and cases of whatever they desire at release. Because fuck everyone else. Damn entitlement-seekers trying to hedge in on hard-earned ability to have nothing better to do!

    And I don't buy the "lotteries are rigged" idea as a valid counter argument. ANY of the options can be "rigged" in some manner.
    YogiBeer likes this.
  34. RayOhioFelton

    RayOhioFelton Devotee (416) May 24, 2011 Ohio
    Beer Trader

    Doesn't seem like good business to tell the guys not in your top 50 about beers you won't give them and that they don't spend enough. It seems like a lose lose. You disappoint the customer because they won't get the beer and insult them because their business isn't good enough.

    This can be debated in a million ways and I am sure there are a million right answers but at the end of the day I feel the store owner and the customer need to be respectful to one another. I felt disrespected and I take that into consideration in future purchases. For example I went down the street to buy my case plus worth of beers for my next two trades. Not going to make or break the store but you tell enough of your customers they aren't good enough and pretty soon you don't have many customers left.

    Can anyone justify the store owner looking at me, a guy who pops in once a week, brings friends to spend money and is pretty loyal not just buying rare bottles but every day drinking stuff, and saying I don't spend enough money in his store? If you save the KBS for your "Boo Coo Spenders" save the information that it is coming in for them. Don't try and bait and switch me over 24oz of beer. It isn't worth the $15 you will get in business selling me KBS compared to the couple grand you will lose over the course of my horrible craft beer addiction. (Craft Beer Hoarding is not recognized by the American Medical Association....yet).

    I just think it was handled poorly. If I have a KBS in my cellar and a friend is over I am not going to open it and poor it in front of his all for myself and say, sorry, be a better friend and you can have one. I will just drink it while he is not around.
    JohnnyMc likes this.
  35. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    Unlisted solution: Price it at a point that "clears the market" but just barely.

    I didnt read page 2 or 3, so if someone beat me too it, good.

    Edit: Dutch/2nd item auction might be the best way to handle it.
  36. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (497) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    They should have a Bevmo-card like program that keeps track of purchases and dispurse lottery tickets or simply reward those best customers who frequent (and spend $$'s) with a guarenteed allocation.

    Often those best customers in terms of dollars spent are those older with full time jobs who can't respond in minutes to a Facebook post or has the time to chase trucks. Loyalty should mean something and the ever increasing population of LDA jumping into the world should not receive all the special releases because of "time" and their flexibility.

    At one of my local stores I can't tell you how many times I see a young kid beat me to the last one bottle allocation release and buy only that single bottle. These are often the same guys that come in only looking for Pliny or calling 5 times a week to buy their one bottle. In the last 10 years I can't remember a time I bought a single bottle from one of my loyalty stores...
  37. modern

    modern Initiate (0) May 31, 2012 Ohio

    This is why e-bay beer sales were so good for craft beer. Can't we all agree that the richest people should have EVERY advantage, not just MOST of the advantages? The best beer to the best people, to hell with everyone else.

    I would love to hear from some beer store owners what their ideas are. If I owned a store I think I would post on Facebook and twitter that I had it and would sell a limited qty to those who asked for it. Trade my special release beer to those who are willing to let me advertise my other stuff directly to them. You can post your releases at convenient times for the majority of your customers, noon a Saturday or whenever.
  38. TheBierBoutique

    TheBierBoutique Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2010 Ohio

    As someone in the bar business I will let you in on what I do because it hasn't been discussed here. I always have at least one Founders on tap at all times and sell bottles occasionally as well. I usually move enough to get a case or two of the special releases. Last year I received one case of KBS. One 4 pack went home with me (I earned that), and the rest stays at the store. I don't sell any of it! I save it and break one out to share with regulars and newbies when we get into heated beer conversations. I love to share it and let people try it that never would other wise, and my return on investment is priceless. What do you think these folks do after they leave? They talk about my store and my beer and come back with friends to spend $$$$. This is the best way to do it in my opinion. By the way I have one left from 2012 yet to share and only a few more weeks to do it!!

  39. stickboy1125

    stickboy1125 Initiate (0) Jan 28, 2012 Virginia

    Exactly. Some people are going to get all butthurt no matter what.

    That being said, if I owend a store I would wait until a weekend or weekday evening before putting 'behind the counter' beers for sale and announce the sale via email, twitter and facebook. I would probably tell a couple very loyal customers exactly when I planned to release said beer so that they would more than likely be able to get their allotment from me (and request they don't share the info).
  40. dbc5

    dbc5 Devotee (478) Jun 18, 2009 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    While I understand it is not necessarily the "fairest system" (whatever that means), I can completely empathize with store owners holding limited releases and distributing those bottles to their best customers. As is being demonstrated by this thread, there is no way to please everyone in handling these releases. Therefore, some people will inevitably be disappointed with a store's handling of every release. Given this, a store owner is left to make a decision regarding which customers it is most important to not disappoint and risk losing their business. The answer here is clearly the loyal customers who consistently impact your bottom line.

    I fully realize this risks aggravating potential customers who may have become loyal themselves if a limited release were offered to them, but given how limited these bottles are, beer managers and store owners don't have sufficient quantities to be making speculative plays while still taking care of the loyal customers that already pay their bills.

    Like KZoo said earlier in the thread, the rationale most are providing for preferring one manner of handling releases over another is based on what affords them personally the best chance of obtaining bottles. I have seen a number of people literally list the reasons each option they dislike prevents them from getting bottles. Given that, it seems clear that a large portion of people who don't receive bottles will be disappointed regardless of how a release is handled. Stores are truly in a no win situation, so I understand them taking the path that is likely to least adversely impact their bottom line.
    Holsie, icetrauma and YogiBeer like this.
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