The Foodery in PA

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by CerealKillerKP, Jul 10, 2014.


Should store owners keep their rare beers off the shelf to trade for others?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Undecided

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  1. CerealKillerKP

    CerealKillerKP Initiate (0) May 24, 2009 Kentucky

    The owner of The Foodery in PA posted an ISO thread on Reddit claiming to have St. Lamvinus, Classic Gueuze, Backyard Rye, BCBS, and other rare beers in stock then went back and said they're not really in stock, just trade bait. To quote:

    "For trade only everyone sorry. I allocate a small portion of rare items on the hope of procuring other rare items."

    *Please note, I have never been to this store. I have no dog in this fight. I'm only posting this because if this were occurring at a store near me, I'd want to know so I could stop supporting them. Mods, I searched for rules, but couldn't find any. If this is inappropriate, feel free to delete. But again, my intentions are only advocacy.

  2. markgugs

    markgugs Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New Jersey

    that store fucking sucks /thread
  3. Donco

    Donco Devotee (433) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

    They're in Philly and I believe they're the same jerks who tried to charge $30 or so for a bottle of Parabola.:angry:
    wonothesane42 likes this.
  4. wonothesane42

    wonothesane42 Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2013 New Jersey

    Most expensive store I've ever seen.
    RichardMNixon, Evahflow and dar482 like this.
  5. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Initiate (194) Jun 2, 2007 New Jersey

    Check out any thread about Heady, Cantillon, or BA stouts in NYC. You'll see some interesting prices.

    - Joe
    wonothesane42 likes this.
  6. dar482

    dar482 Poo-Bah (3,525) Mar 9, 2007 New York

    Much more offensive when it's standard shelf beers.

    I was there earlier this year.

    $5.75 for Founders Imperial. That's twice the price of what should be a $12 four pack.
    Most beers someone can find at any decent beer store were 1.5x or 2x the price.
    GI Barleywine for $9.35 a bottle.
    wonothesane42 likes this.
  7. rfgetz

    rfgetz Poo-Bah (2,352) Nov 14, 2008 New Jersey

    Although he states in the thread he is trading for items that he will share for free, I still question the legality. PA is a tough nut to do business with when it comes to booze, so I wonder how they would interpret these transactions considering they have the right to audit their inventory at any time. Doing anything less than selling them to himself before he trades them could present a massive problem for him.

    I also wonder if the distributor would care, seeing as they already have their money. I'm pretty sure the breweries involved would care.
    jhartley and wonothesane42 like this.
  8. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    As a self-admitted "hoarder for trade-bait" I can see how that would upset you. From my point of view, I say all the better. Allows me to casually stop by on the way home and grab a bottle of Parabola.

    You're part of the problem, so don't be hatin' on the game you're playing.

    I really don't care if they trade of some, it's their beer afterall. If you really have a problem with it don't shop there. They've been selling great beer since many on here where still in short pants.
  9. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (789) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Regarding price, The Foodery prices are generally on par with other bottle shops in Philly. What you get is selection and convenience, i.e if you wanted to grab a slice of pizza at Rustica instead of spending $25 on a burger + beer + tax + tip at a bar, go to the Foodery, grab a bottle or 2 of beers (usually not found at those bars), a couple slices, and enjoy for a lot less. If I'm going to buy just beers, most of these bottle shops won't be my first choice and the Foodery is no exception.

    I'm not sure why all the outrage with the owner wanted to trade with beers he gets. If you owned a bottle shop, I really hope you would be passionate about, enjoy, and love sharing beers with your friends as well, including beers that we here trade for because there are no other ways to get them. You know, acting like every normal beer enthusiast on this site. Are people really expecting the owner to chase trucks, drive around town, and pay marked up prices from a competitor whenever limited beers are released?

    ETA: the poll question is misleading and not specific to the situation. It should be "Is it unreasonable for a bottle shop owner to keep a few bottles of limited beers to trade for beers he can't obtain without trading?"
    jhartley likes this.
  10. Drz113

    Drz113 Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2014 Pennsylvania

    A friend of mine went to the Heady Topper blind taste test they held last week. The Foodery posted it on their blog that they were doing it a few days ahead of time. I think he said there was somewhere around 35 people or so that came. Doesn't really seem like he is trading for just himself/friends but is just doing it to allow others in the community who don't trade to try some beer not available in the area.

    On a side note, I believe the owner said he had traded a case of DirtWolf for the case of Heady. I found that surprising.
    HRamz3 likes this.
  11. beerfinder

    beerfinder Aspirant (237) Jan 17, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I always called it the $35 six pack store. Their prices are that high.
    Evahflow likes this.
  12. GoldenWort

    GoldenWort Initiate (79) Apr 17, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I would really love to be able to BUY a bottle or two, or three, of Classic Gueuze... now I know one of the reasons I can't....
    ericwo likes this.
  13. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (6,624) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    If you're a store owner you pretty much can do whatever you want. People complain about prices and this and that, but in the end everyone has their own degree of what value is personally.

    I haven't looked at the thread, if you are sure it's them well...

    I think the other irony is that people complaining about certain stores who have something and are pricing it too high or whatever don't realize there's no such thing as bad publicity when it comes to this...
  14. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Initiate (194) Jun 2, 2007 New Jersey

    I am curious about the licensing and taxes associated with bottle shops in Philly. Most of the shops allow you to drink at them. As mythaeus mentioned, bottle shop prices in Philly are usually pretty high. If they have similar taxes as bars, it might explain the higher prices. Additionally, I'm sure there are higher taxes for getting around the PA case laws. Just a few thoughts.

    I don't think it's been mentioned, yet, but the Foodery locations did pour free Heady for people a wee or so ago. So, if he is given free tastings after trading his overpriced bottles, that's a less selfish result. Unless, he just handcuffed without current label approval to sell Heady. --- sorry just saw drz113 mentioned the free tasting ---

    In the reddit post, he's looking for Russian River ipas. Is it one label approval for both kegs and bottles? He may be able to then sell those bottles. If he continues to pour these beers free for customers, maybe that's not the worst.

    - Joe
  15. mythaeus

    mythaeus Crusader (789) Jul 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I've only seen PtE kegs here in Philly. We get "plenty" of them too (so it seems) so I'd really doubt he's trading to sell since people who know about PtE know they can get it on draft. Besides, I see no reasons why he would trade beers that he could easily sell for significant markups just to sell the beer he traded for, most likely illegally and with lower markup potential.
  16. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,211) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania

    There is no difference in taxes for bars versus bottles shops versus retail sales at beer distributors. All businesses pay the same tax rates:

    Separately, the cost of a liquor license is dependent upon the private sale of the license to the establishment. All depends on how much you want to pay to acquire it. No preset difference between establishment type.

    Bottle shop prices in Philly are high for several key reasons: (1) higher rent; (2) selling product individually requires tremendous volume to make money (even if the margin percent is hight, the absolute margin is low); (3) craft beer is a premium product, and people will pay for it.

    Bottle shop owners aren't getting filthy rich over night. If it costs you $2500 a month in rent, $500 a month in utilities; and you have to pay 4 employees (at 40 hours a week) a halfway decent wage (let's just say $10) you are talking (at a bare minimum): $9500 a month in overhead. At $2 per bottle profit on average (which might be generous) you would need to sell 4,750 bottles a month just to break even.
  17. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Initiate (194) Jun 2, 2007 New Jersey

    Thanks for the information. It's silly to compare Philly prices to NJ prices, especially in the suburban areas. I appreciate you sharing all this info.

    - Joe
  18. ajfa531

    ajfa531 Initiate (194) Jun 2, 2007 New Jersey

    I agree. He said he wanted it for a tasting. So, it may be another free tasting. Philly also gets Blind Pig from time to time, more regularly at Monk's than other places. Essentially, it is a business move to bring people in for a tasting and hope they buy something.

    I suppose this is all of topic since the original question was whether using stock to trade is a dick move or not. I would have to believe that most store/bar owners will take a bottle or two for him or herself to drink or whatever. Essentially, he paid (or will have to pay for it at some point as I don't believe PA is COD) for the beer, it's up to him.

    I think it was silly for him to even identify himself as the owner of a store, let alone naming the place.

    - Joe
  19. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Excelent post. The constant whine that "Philly prices are too high" is tiresome. Who'd a thunk that renting a couple thousand square foot builing at 17th & Samson would cost so much more than a strip-mall store front in DelCo....
  20. nfo

    nfo Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I think it's well-meaning. Here's the write-up from the first event:

    Rather than trade for out-of-market beers, however, maybe it would make more sense to pit the very hard-to-find in-market beers against beers that can be bought more easily (e.g. test the Classic against some more obtainable Tilquin).
  21. Evahflow

    Evahflow Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I don't see anything wrong with it. They are technically his beers to do what he'd like with. The Foodery is reallllyy expensive though but I'm sure location has a lot to do with it. I went there a few times when I first went to Philly and now don't bother going as I can find most items usually close to 10$ cheaper elsewhere.
  22. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,087) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Unless you sell 1,000 pints of pale ale or lager at 5$ a pop. Please don't be that naive.
  23. chefjack428

    chefjack428 Initiate (0) Nov 2, 2012 Pennsylvania

    First, I see no issue with an owner of a bottle shop keeping a few bottles of beer he ultimately purchased for himself. I can probably bet most of us would do the same thing if we owned a bottle shop.

    Second is the never ending discussion on bottle pricing in Philly at these bottle shops. From what I understand about restaurants there is next to nothing discounted off cases of beer, wine and liquor. I can assume the bottle shops have the same issue. Meaning these guys are not getting cheaper wholesale prices. There is also no volume discount,so it doesn't matter if a bottle shop buys 2, 5 or 10 cases, they will all cost the same.
    Now there is the tax issue. Wine, liquor and beer are double taxed here in PA. There is an 8 percent tax on alcohol purchased from the state and beer distributors. I know restaurants do, and I can bet that bottle shops mark up based on the cost including tax, so that 8 percent gets marked up as well. I can also assume that the mark ups on bottles based off of all of these factors range anywhere from 2.5-3x what they pay, like wine and beer in most restaurants you go to.
    So blame the PCLB, not the bottle shops.
    Also I do not shop at The Foodery, I drive into NJ for beer.
    Donco likes this.
  24. HRamz3

    HRamz3 Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2010 Pitcairn

    Philly also has its own additional liquor tax:
  25. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,211) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Foodery sells pints of pale ale or lager at $5 a pop? Must have missed their draft system. Oh wait.
  26. rfgetz

    rfgetz Poo-Bah (2,352) Nov 14, 2008 New Jersey

    I don't want to jump into anyone else's disagreement, but the Corner Foodery location does have a draft system.
    HRamz3 likes this.
  27. callmemickey

    callmemickey Meyvn (1,211) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Good to know. I stand corrected. I was using the Northern Liberties Foodery as my basis. I'd imagine they have more than four employees on staff though, driving up the overhead that needs to be covered.
  28. brianmandell

    brianmandell Zealot (563) Apr 3, 2011 California

    Much has been said already on the topic of arcane PA liquor laws and bottle shop prices. Keep in mind the cost of procuring a carry out beer license can be $$$ in Philly. Also the double taxation already mentioned above.

    Regarding the original topic, Cantillon never makes it to the shelf in NYC. No different than Philly. Your best chance is getting it from a bar like Monk's.
  29. phishphorce

    phishphorce Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I will not argue that the foodery sucks. But they have multiple locations and most of them have draft and sell more than overpriced beer.

    Either way I go into the Roxborough one once a month or so and almost never walk out with any beer. I cant play 30 dollars for a six pack of flower power or the like
  30. CerealKillerKP

    CerealKillerKP Initiate (0) May 24, 2009 Kentucky

    And now you know why.
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