Taking beer when visiting a brewery out of state (etiquette)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Ford, Jul 27, 2015.

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  1. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    I'm heading to the New England area this week. I'm going to bring some beer with me from Texas. Two or three bottles will be special. Then there will be a few cans, small bottles of regular releases also.

    Do I offer them to the person working the tasting room? Do I ask for a manager or brewer?

    I'm sure there is no right or wrong way to offer someone free beer, but I figured there will be some people here who do this regularly and might have good advice.

    Cheers to you,

    SlghtlyBzzd and beertunes like this.
  2. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (5,057) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    It probably depends on the brewery. Its usually whoever you click with. I have given beer to the brewer, one of the owners, bar mangers, bar tenders, bar owners and servers. Just start talking to people and see how your feel about it. Nobody I know has every objected to free beer at a brewery or a bar.
  3. patkorn

    patkorn Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2007 California

    This happens to me from time to time and is always welcome. Usually ask if the brewer is there and tell them you would like to introduce yourself and you have some beer for them. If they refuse or give you a hard time, turn around and leave and bring it to the next place. Brewers like free shit.
  4. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Thanks for the advice!

    I'm going to have one bottle of Lone Pint Yellow Rose, which just cracked the top 100 here at BA, so whoever is really cool first will get that one.
    deford and foundersfan1 like this.
  5. Sound_Explorer

    Sound_Explorer Meyvn (1,297) Dec 29, 2013 Washington

    I'm really cool, come to Washington!
  6. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    That trip will be within the next couple of years! We are knocking out 7 states in the New England area this time, but still need to hit, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. I'll have to keep you in mind.
    Giovannilucano likes this.
  7. Gunch52

    Gunch52 Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2013 Texas

    Have done this a few times with good results. Most everyone has been really nice and thankful.
    Ford likes this.
  8. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,237) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    I don't understand the social concept of this at all (maybe I'm social inept perhaps). Are you working for trades or something from the New England breweries staff for some Texas brews?
  9. Dka67

    Dka67 Aspirant (265) Nov 27, 2014 California

    Spreading the Beer love
  10. jakemn91

    jakemn91 Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2013 Minnesota

    I brought a bunch of Surly with me on my last trip to Colorado. Whenever I went to a brewery, bar, or liquor store where people were extra friendly or helpful, I offered them some. Every one of them was incredibly grateful even if they had never heard of Surly. It's always nice to reward people for being good people.
    beertunes, DoctorZombies and Ford like this.
  11. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Meyvn (1,163) Jul 27, 2013 California
    Premium Trader

    I'm confused....is this for personal consumption, or "party favors"?

    So much good beer locally available in the NE, that I can't imagine needing to supplement it.
    MatthewWalters and HokiesandBeer like this.
  12. elektrikjester

    elektrikjester Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2008 Georgia

    There really are no "rules." Just go by feel--do whatever you think is best. Cool idea regardless.
    beertunes, DoctorZombies and Ford like this.
  13. fmj40

    fmj40 Initiate (0) Aug 29, 2013 North Dakota

    Bringing beer to another brewery seems like bringing sand to the beach. In my opinion its all about motivation...if you want to share, its one thing. If you want to show how its really done, you might not make too many friends. :slight_smile:
    FarmerTed, Ken_P and HokiesandBeer like this.
  14. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Its just to be friendly. I'll be bringing beer that isn't distributed in New England.

    Its for them to drink/share as they see fit.

    I can't imagine the person that would walk into another brewery with beer to show them how its done. I guess there are people out there that could be like that, but luckily I have yet to meet anyone thats a craft fan who I think would do that.

    This is simply to give someone a chance to drink some beer that they probably have not had before.

    While in the area I will be buying (I have set up no trades) beer to bring back to share with friends here. I might drink a couple for myself also.

    In the end its just beer. But its free beer. Most people who really like beer really like free beer! If someone doesn't want it, no worries, I'll find someone who does or drink it myself.

    I'm only taking a combination of around 8-9 cans/bottles. I won't be exactly the Santa Claus of beer, ha!
    jcos, beertunes, donspublic and 2 others like this.
  15. JrGtr

    JrGtr Disciple (367) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I would think it also depends of the brewery being visited. If they have a taproom and people are drinking, it would be more appropriate than not. For instance, Trillium doesn't have a taproom, they don't even give ssmples, so bringing something in intending to share wouldn't work so well. On the other hand, someplace like Night Shift or Jack's Abby, both of which have a place and room to drink it would be more acceptable. Finally, I personally don't think it's as appropriate to bring if you don't have a relationship with the staff there in the first place. A random person bringing beer in might be a bit weird. However if you were to bring some Boston beer to places at home you were known, it might be more appreciated.
    FarmerTed likes this.
  16. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,278) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I've seen this happen only once during my visits to pubs. A couple of brewers from a brewery in another state sat down at the bar of this pub where I was also sitting and plopped a case of their beer onto the bar and asked the bartender to see that it got to the brewer here. I don't know if some beer was expected in return trade, or if the bar tab that was about to accumulate from these two brewers would have been taken care of by the home brewer, but I just assumed that maybe this 'beer gift' is a common occurrence between brewers.
  17. mklisz

    mklisz Champion (866) Dec 31, 2010 New Hampshire

    Went on a roadtrip with my girlfriend last summer and we both brought a bunch of beer to share with people we met along the way. Along with some planned meetups with BA members, we gave beer to people we enjoyed talking to, both brewery workers and patrons. No expectation for anything in return.
  18. 071184

    071184 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2013 Texas

    I think it's a great thing to do. I work for a brewery and we always bring beer to breweries we visit as a show of thanks for the hospitality they've provided. It is always welcome; however, in certain states it is actually illegal to have un-invoiced beer from another brewery on premise. For this reason, I typically call, or ask the employees before I walk in unannounced with beer in tow.
    beertunes and DoctorZombies like this.
  19. SRBush1974

    SRBush1974 Aspirant (294) Apr 18, 2015 New Jersey

    I agree with @pat61 . It is whomever you click with and feel would be excited about having it. Just go with your instinct.

    I'm guessing most brewers and a majority of people working at a brewery love beer. So they are like us BA'ers and enjoy trying other beers. The guy behind me at the last Other Half can release gave 4 cans to the cashier, who happened to be one of the owners/brewers. I know a can was Sip of Sunshine. Just a thank you he wanted to give them!

    Some breweries I've been to, I've seen a collection of bottles from other breweries around the tasting room/bar/etc. So I'm sure it is welcomed at most places.
    beertunes and DoctorZombies like this.
  20. OkayBrendan

    OkayBrendan Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2014 Connecticut

    I do this sometimes too. Nothing expected in return, but I am proud of my local breweries and want to share them with like-minded individuals. Good on you for spreading the love. What breweries are you visiting? If you plan to swing by NEBCO and are in the New Haven area, I'll open up some other NE brews for you that you might not have time to visit.
    beertunes and DoctorZombies like this.
  21. Evmo31

    Evmo31 Initiate (181) Feb 3, 2015 Connecticut

    Which breweries do you plan on visiting?
  22. DoctorZombies

    DoctorZombies Poo-Bah (2,628) Feb 1, 2015 Florida
    Premium Trader

    You will have so much fun doing as you propose...I just finished big RV trip across country and took several cases of Florida beer to drink/trade/give away. At brewpubs or taprooms and even a few bars I would settle in with a local pint and chat with whomever was working the "bar". Often the conversation would lead to "have you ever had x from Florida?" "Would you like an x?"

    Met several brewery owners, taproom managers and/or bartenders and after asking it would be ok, left beer as "tips" some places, or made some trade, or just gave someone a couple of beers. Occasionally found a place where I also met locals drinking, hung out for a couple of hours (or a couple of days) had great conversations/fun and made a trade or three, or again, just gave them a couple of cans of beer to say "cheers".

    As suggested above, strike up conversations, get a feel for "the lay of the land", then enjoy meeting fellow beer enthusiasts and if you give or even get a beer, then bonus! Have fun and good luck!
  23. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,573) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    Had a tap takeover last week for one of the new local breweries in Houston. One of the owners and brewer were discussing cracking open an Jai Alai that someone had brought them on a trip back from Florida. They were stoked. Share the love @Ford enjoy your trip and be safe. Love from HTown
    Ford, beertunes and DoctorZombies like this.
  24. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Good point. It will be in a backpack and I will ask what the rules/laws are if any.

    I've already been in touch with the only place I know I'll be going for sure and they said they'd love to try some beer from Texas. Everything else will be on the fly. I certainly won't do anything that might get someone in trouble!
  25. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Good advice, thanks!
  26. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Thats the thing. The only place I know I'm hitting for sure will be Two Roads in Connecticut.

    Other cities I'll be in will be Burlington, Lincoln/Conway in New Hampshire, Bar Harbor Maine, Providence RI, New London CT, Portland ME. Boston will be last and I doubt I have anything left at that point. Except for the New England beers I'll be bringing back.

    We will be driving past other places also.

    In the end I'm bringing:
    six cans
    three bombers
    two 12 oz bottles

    So 11 beers total.
  27. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    I'm hitting Two Roads because it is directly on our path to New London where we are staying the first night.

    I'm open to suggestions. Places with an easy to get in and out tap room are most welcome!
  28. OkayBrendan

    OkayBrendan Initiate (0) Feb 27, 2014 Connecticut

    Two Roads is a great stop. SUPER impressive facility and favorable hours, and they do brew some solid beers. It's a very nice spot to pull up a stool to the huge tasting room bar and enjoy a few pints while there. I personally would save growler fills for other stops along the way.
    For CT specifically, you will get better take away beer at either:
    NEBCO in woodbridge (a little off your path, but you could hop on rt. 15 to the brewery, then take 63 back to New Haven to I95 north) Open Wed. - Sat. No pints on site. Only tasters and growler fills
    Beer'd in Stonington (about 25 minutes from New London, and even closer if you are continuing on 95 North after New London) Open Fri-Sun. Pints on site & growler fills
    Ford likes this.
  29. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Savant (938) Sep 4, 2010 California

    I get a good amount of beer from people visiting from out of town. I'll usually try to buy them a beer or give them a tour of the place if I have time.

    Just yesterday I got a can of Heady which I was pretty pumped about.

    Also, a lot of people tend to ask for brewers and brewers tend to be pretty busy. If you want to leave a beer, just leave it in the tasting room and it will most likely get shared at the end of everyones shift anyways.
  30. Evmo31

    Evmo31 Initiate (181) Feb 3, 2015 Connecticut

    I will have to agree with @OkayBrendan Nebco would be worth the stop if their hours work for you. Most of the time it is easy in/ easy out. Plus if you give a can or bottle to craig (tasting room manager) he will probably open it right there and drink with you and whoever else is around, i have brought a few things there.
  31. 071184

    071184 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2013 Texas

    Side note- what part of TX are you traveling from? I'm in Dallas, perhaps we could work out a little road-trip-trade??
  32. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    I'm from south of Houston.
  33. kylem2586

    kylem2586 Initiate (66) Mar 19, 2014 Massachusetts

    Make a point to get to Tree House in Monson MA. I'm not sure how flexible your plans are...
    Ford likes this.
  34. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Just looked and I probably can't make it there. It looks really nice though. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Packing the suitcases now. Beer in tight ziploc bags and then rolled up inside clothes, then placed in the middle of more clothes.
  35. DukeCola

    DukeCola Initiate (0) Mar 14, 2015 New Hampshire

    Don't bring any Pearl. Unless you want to get shot. :-)
    Ford likes this.
  36. 071184

    071184 Initiate (0) Sep 10, 2013 Texas

    If you're traveling through Dallas and feel like bringing any Community Beer Company let me know!
  37. JayWhitson

    JayWhitson Crusader (704) Feb 25, 2015 Montana
    Premium Trader

    Montana represent
    Ford likes this.
  38. travelingrant

    travelingrant Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2013 Japan

    As a taproom staff, I would say that we love chatting with people over interesting free beer from the great beyond!
    Ford likes this.
  39. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Aspirant (280) May 13, 2014 California

    Anytime I travel anywhere, I'm always planing on bringing beer back. Therefore I always take beer with me. In my case it's just about always fresh Pliny. I've given it to bottle shop owners, I've ended up trading it totally random in the parking lot (Fresh Lunch for Pliny in the parking lot of Weyerbacher, lol), or sharing it with people at a brewery.

    Lots of fun, and it just seems to be the right friendly thing to do.

    I will say, it helps to take good stuff. I wouldn't walk in with homebrew...
    beertunes and Ford like this.
  40. Ford

    Ford Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2012 Texas

    Even though I'm a pretty good homebrewer I'm not taking my stuff!

    I am taking some good stuff.

    Lone Pint Yellow Rose
    Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 13 and 15
    Karbach Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter (FUN 007)
    Saint Arnold Pumpkinator (2014)
    Karbach Staycation can
    A couple of Real Ale regulars in cans and bottles.
    Oasis Meta Modern session IPA in cans

    Wish I could bring a bunch of Yellow Rose. Hopefully someday they will either can or put it in 12 oz bottles.
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