Upland Secret Barrel Society

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by bertram, Oct 16, 2013.

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  1. Anonymous1

    Anonymous1 Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Illinois

    What everyone else has been saying. If you want to have this club for $250 you need to offer $250 of value. Currently you're really only offering $100 to $150 at the absolute max of value. It's even a stretch for me to find $150 of value here with two events I'm only moderately interested in, two glasses, and reservations. It's really more like $100 for the value, and $25-$50 because I feel good about supporting my home state.

    Comparably priced clubs with the beers included are more like $250 to $300, not the $450 price you've tossed around (club + purchased beer). And in those other clubs there's really a lot more offered than just 8 beers, often times there's many more that are exclusive to club members, but not included as a price of the membership.
  2. DanH11

    DanH11 Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2012 Illinois

    For what you are offering, $450 is really too much. Comparing the bruery to your club, you get 9 beers included plus discount on other purchases plus more merchandise, for under $300. People could share the membership, but then you get half the beer and only one of you gets a ticket to the sour fest.

    Comparing it to a kickstarter isn't really fair either. Pipeworks gave you the option of buying one beer of every batch they make forever and only for $100. At this point the value of that option is less than $1 a bottle while yours is around 15-20 (depending on how you value the other merchandise).

    This whole thing feels like you are trying to take advantage of your customers/fans. You want to expand to make more profit, but you aren't putting in more capital to do it. Can't blame you for trying; beer nerds have proven to be fairly price insensitive and there is only upside in it for you. I would take $125,000 if I didn't have to pay interest, pay it back, or dilute my ownership
  3. toolebox81

    toolebox81 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2012 Illinois

    This whole fiasco now has me seriously considering a Reserve Society membership for 2014.
    Paccamacca likes this.
  4. jefeld

    jefeld Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2010 Illinois

    while i agree with what everyone else has been saying on here and in other forums etc., i just want to add one thing to neutralize the negativity. that is, EVERYONE HERE REALLY ENJOYS UPLAND SOURS AND THE "FRUITS OF CALEBS LABOR!" we all WANT to be part of a upland beer club (if it made sense $ and value wise), and we are all expressing huge disappointment because of our love for the product from the onset. i think that fact has been overlooked amongst all the negativity, and it needs to be restated, especially when the guy who is responsible for the product is in this forum and responding.

    I really think Caleb is a super talented guy, and I have reached out to him to express my thoughts as to what is at issue here, even deeper then this beer club issue. I look forward to hanging with the man behind these great beers during FOBAB week!
  5. kiwifuz

    kiwifuz Devotee (364) Oct 27, 2005 Indiana

    100% agree. From the first exploding batch of kiwi I have tried & sometimes not suceeded in obtaining these beers. I was seriously super excited & kind of freaking out after seeing the time stamp on the email in my inbox & thinking I'd prob missed out on something similar to every club mentioned previously in this thread. Then I just went WTF and thought I was missing something.... But no. Oh well back to the goodies I've cellared of these beers. I guess thanks to whomever funds this expansion endeavor.
    1up likes this.
  6. statonca

    statonca Initiate (0) Jun 17, 2005 Indiana

    This is touching on a little more closely on how we wanted this to be perceived, and are legitimately sincere about creating a Society that allows folks to be a bigger part of the picture and ultimately benefit from the commitment to growing the program, especially right out of the gate. I really appreciate seeing this perspective being presented, instead of the negative sticker shock in comparison to other societies, which we honestly invariably created by not being more informative about what our aims are. As much as we brew beer folks are excited about, we expected there would be equal excitement and perception of worth generated by the structure of the SBS.

    And ultimately it comes down to value and how we internally decided with our margins what makes sense for the sour brewery, and whether you folks find it appetizing. Choosing not to purchase a membership, no hard feelings, more lottery releases for everyone. For the folks that choose to donate, they get the perks, and help grow the program which benefits both members, non-members, and the brewery long-term. Even if you disagree with our pricing, everyone is going to benefit at some point. One big point, is the more beer we sell direct to loyal customers, the more resources we can apply to growing the program, and members have a more powerful voice in the decision making process than some random investment dude or group off the street.

    We're still sticking to our original intent for the time being, but your comments and concerns are important to us, and we appreciate the discussion and truly want to develop something that works for everyone. We highly appreciate everyone who has purchased a SBS membership over the past 48 hours as well.

    My final thought for tonight, whoever thinks I'm wealthy must not realize I'm straight outta Muncie.
    smithj2154, mjn78, denimdemon and 3 others like this.
  7. robwestcott

    robwestcott Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2008 Indiana

    Good Lord, is this thread still droning on ?

    Someone please make it stop.

    Put upland out of their misery on this one and lets talk about barrel aged teddy bear kisses
    Theniz and coreymcafee like this.
  8. zrab11

    zrab11 Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2010 Indiana

    Love the shout out to Muncie! You really need to come do a sour event at Heorot or savages in Muncie sometime!
    notjustgc likes this.
  9. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    I was totally intent on not buying Upland beer in protest for this fiasco but then I went to TomTap and saw Upland Harvest on the tap board and immediately forgave them and enjoyed that wonderful nectar. I had to laugh to myself as the first beer I had since this announcement and my initial questions about their sanity was an Upland.

    As I stated in a previous post, I really hope they sell all of these society memberships because I'd love to have easier access to their lambics. I do think the price is stupid and my better offer to kick you in the pills for $250 still stands, but it's easy to forgive when the product is good.

    I do however think there would have been a lot more interest if the offer was half the price, beer reservation only, and twice the enrollee limit. I would have been on board for that and I have a feeling a lot of folks in this thread would have been too. You make that offer right now, call it the "Jr Barrel Society For Those That Don't Want The Stupid Certificate," and I'll be the first in line to buy it.
  10. MileHighShooter

    MileHighShooter Initiate (0) Nov 23, 2010 Colorado

    Ive had your beer. Its good beer. It is NOT 50$+ per bottle beer. You are NOT Cantillon or Jean. You are NOT 3Font. Frankly you aren't even close to being the Bruery, Crooked Stave or Lost Abbey. What you ARE, is arrogant, greedy, and fools for thinking this poorly of your fan base to think we'd see this as anything more then a money grab. Justify it all you want. You'll never be honest with yourself anyways, and with these responses, plus deleting Facebook posts, we can trust you'll never be honest with us. But hey, at least you didn't ask for an essay.
  11. Lukafer

    Lukafer Initiate (0) Dec 18, 2009 Michigan

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Upland is the second largest brewery in Indiana, has a Bloomington brewpub, Bloomington production facility/tasting room, Indianapolis tap room and a brand new Carmel tap room and they want $250 because they need money, is this right? When I was clearing out old emails earlier I saw one from Upland in 2010 telling me I had some sours waiting for me for $15 each, and then I saw some from 2012 telling me I have some waiting for me for $25 each.

    WTF is Upland doing with all of their goddamn money? They have 4 locations, have almost doubled the price of their sours and they still need cash? Ridiculous. I've been a long time supporter but this leaves a really sour taste in my mouth (rimshot)!
    stfun37, otrejo, 1up and 5 others like this.
  12. poonamibaxter

    poonamibaxter Pundit (800) Jun 26, 2007 Colorado

    Glad to see the pitchforks finally come out. Never had their beer so know nothing about them but really enjoying this thread as I drink my crooked stave.
  13. Photekut

    Photekut Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2006 Tennessee

    No shit... Looked through some email myself....

    Date: Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 12:04 PM

    Thank you for ordering Lambics from Upland! The pick-up
    date is yet to be determined because the beer is ready
    when the fermentation process is finished. We watch the Lambics closely and
    we'll email you when we set a pick-up date. Cheers!

    Confirmation Order: #271620

    Raspberry: 2
    Strawberry: 2
    Blueberry: 2
    Blackbeery: 2
    Peach: 2
    Kiwi: 2
    Cherry: -

    Total Bottles: 12 Total Price: $180.00
  14. theGroove

    theGroove Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2007 Indiana

    I don't get this either. They've been adding locations and expanding distribution, but don't have any money to expand the sour program. Their sours are what make them relevant outside of Indiana (and inside for most). Maybe should have held off on the Carmel tap room and Chicago distribution and focused your time and money on the sour program.
  15. jampics2

    jampics2 Pooh-Bah (2,268) Dec 19, 2008 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    But you're a business. Hire a lawyer to figure it out one way or another. Lawyers assess risk and recommend next steps for a business. Yes, they can be somewhat expensive, but you're talking about a $125k payday and clarifying something that can change the way you do business in the future. Don't cut corners, act like professionals and people will treat you as such.
    coreymcafee, atoulouk and nvlps like this.
  16. theGroove

    theGroove Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2007 Indiana

    I'm holding out for the Upland Taproom Society.

    "For only $300, we'll etch your name into one of the bricks used to build our Chicago taproom. It will feel like you built the taproom with your bare hands! As an added bonus, we'll reserve you a spot at the bar for opening day. This amazing bonus will give you the opportunity to buy and drink our beer."

    (Ok, I'm done)
  17. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    I think Sun King is the second largest brewery in Indiana by production.

    Also, it's common for businesses to split separate entities into independent business units, which allow them to fail or succeed on their own and for the remaining arms to survive in the event one of the others fails. It seems as though they are treating the sour program as its own entity, which I think is a smart thing to do. I don't agree with the way they are funding their expansion but I don't fault them for trying to come up with that money separate from their existing businesses.
  18. mdomask

    mdomask Initiate (0) May 27, 2012 Illinois


    Those extra locations weren't exactly free. I'm pretty sure they're not staffed by volunteers, either. And I'm guessing that the extra beer required for more locations and distribution didn't just come from old stock.

    I've piled onto this as a bad offer from the first page, but I also understand that gross != net. I don't doubt that Upland has a very real need for cash for this expansion. Until now, I didn't think anyone doubted that.

    What riled everyone up was the high cost/low return.
  19. aasher

    aasher Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana

    Those were the days. Now a bottle of Upland Cherry or Raspberry will cost like $6 more than a Cantillon Kriek or Rose de Gambrinus. What is happening in the world?!?!
  20. mdomask

    mdomask Initiate (0) May 27, 2012 Illinois

    Technically, $14 more at €8 and today's exchange rate :stuck_out_tongue:
  21. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2009 Indiana

    Wow, that's a little harsh. Sure they aren't worth $50 but I'd put their lineup of sours against some of the best in the US. Heck, in a blind tasting Raspberry held it's own with Framboos and Sour Reserve with A&T, Uli, and first batch Tilquin. I'm not saying I would necessarily pick the Uplands over those but they definitely deserved to be at the tasting.

    I give them a little more credit on the "money grab" thing. I don't think what they tried to do was disingenuous. I'm pretty sure they really thought people were willing to donate money to build their business. Unfortunately, that thought was extremely out of touch.

    Many lulz on the essay. How pretentious can one man be? (For those that don't know I am refering to Shaun Hill not Caleb)
  22. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Initiate (0) Apr 27, 2009 Indiana

    I really don't have an issue with the prices on the Upland Lambics. At $25 dollars they still sell out with more people wanting to buy them. They are a business so they should charge what the market allows. That is the main reason the society irks people so much. You are a business Upland, not a charity case. We aren't UNICEF.
    Lukafer likes this.
  23. F2brewers

    F2brewers Maven (1,366) Mar 12, 2005 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    Ok then. We let this one go for a bit since there was some constructive discussion with Caleb.

    Both sides have made their point and it's turing for the worse.

    Locking it down for now. Caleb, if you would prefer it to stay open, BM me.
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