What more can we do to reduce the amount of out of date beer on shelves?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Providence, Jun 6, 2013.

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  1. ratrod53

    ratrod53 Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2010 Indiana

    one way is to drink them
  2. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (172) Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    Drink more beer. Stop acting like the limited releases are the only good beers being sold.
  3. bigjohn

    bigjohn Aspirant (217) Mar 1, 2002 New Jersey

    I work in retail and manage the craft beer selection for a medium sized local store (not a chain). The main challenge to keeping everything on the shelf fresh is that craft beer consumers are fickle. There are some people who are consistently loyal to one product, but they are the exception, not the rule in the craft segment. It can be incredibly difficult to predict how some products will sell on a consistent basis.

    For most craft beers available in NJ distributors do not force stores to buy a huge amount to get the best price. Some items have marginal discounts on very large volume purchases, but if there are bulk discounts at all, they are usually on a 3, 5, or 10 case purchase (which mix across an entire brewers portfolio, so you don't have to buy 10 Dogfish 60 Min, you can buy 4 60, 3 90, 1 Brown, 1 Raison, 1 Burton, etc )

    Seasonal beers pose a challenge as well because many of them are only available in one shot, so the retailer has to predict an entire season's demand with an up front order. For some items this is not a problem because demand outstrips supply, but for more "run-of-the-mill" seasonals, past performance may not be indicative of future sales despite growth throughout the category because of the proliferation of brands.

    It is a very fine line to try to balance craft beer drinkers consistent demand for something new and maintaining fresh stock across the board because inevitably, today's hot beer will become tomorrow's passe dust collector.
    JuliusCaesar and BarnegatWS like this.
  4. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (525) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    DRINK FASTER!!! Like its your job!!!
  5. smutty33

    smutty33 Crusader (743) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut

    He looked at me like he was a lil' embarrassed.....lol.

    Can't make this stuff up though........:stuck_out_tongue:

    I'll keep him in line.........:wink:

  6. Providence

    Providence Crusader (706) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I don't know what I wrote that gave you the impression that limited releases were the only good beers being sold. I actually have little interest in limited releases. Save for 2 bottles of KBS, I can't remember a single limited release beer I have bought.

    My consumption is predmoninately local sixers and stuff from Sierra Nevada. I rarely buy bombers, I never buy 750's and again, save for the 2 KBS I can't recall purchasing a special release.
  7. reverseapachemaster

    reverseapachemaster Initiate (172) Sep 21, 2012 Texas

    My response was not directed at any one person.
  8. DrunkenMonk

    DrunkenMonk Aspirant (283) Jun 2, 2012 California

    Contrary to popular belief, there is evidently an over supply of beers available for the given demand. Hence they are sitting on the self and expiring. Some would argue that in this age there is no excuse for expired beers as a business should focus on customer service and quality, sending the beer back to dist, etc. Yet the bottom line is profit. There is a cost involved in removing product from the shelf and many businesses cannot afford to take the loss.

    Businesses could monitor dates and mark down slow movers as necessary, or they can drop those beers completely from their shelves. Consumers can show loyalty to particular businesses and buy what is available. They can also overlook expirations and use common sense when making purchases. The proposed exp. date is not a given timeframe that a beer will be bad. There is risk involved, but how bad is it truly going to be if its less than a year old?
  9. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Defender (657) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts


    They are the hyenas of the craft beer ecosystem & clean up the unnecessary, unspoken waste.

    Otherwise who pays for all the stale beer out there nowadays? Certainly not the customer who cares about freshness & checks dates.
  10. biglobo8971

    biglobo8971 Disciple (398) May 6, 2010 Minnesota

    I simply pull it off the shelf and put it on the floor. When asked "what the hell are you doing?". I say "hopefully helping other people see how old this beer is". After getting the "?????" face, I say "looks like it's not you" and go merrilly on my way.
  11. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (7,209) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois

    Everyone is to blame in this situation. Retailers over-buy regularly ("let's make a 10-case stack of this new, untested pale ale for the eightieth time") and have little recourse with recalcitrant distributors who either can't or won't monitor the freshness and remove less-than-fresh product. Many also either can't or won't discount their older products. Distributors over-buy, over-sell, and are often far too lazy or unconcerned to deal with freshness (I've had many roll their eyes at my date-watching, including as the cases are being removed from the trucks). Consumers (myself included) can be fickle, uninformed, under-informed, and even over-informed, leading to an incomprehensibly unpredictable marketplace for all involved. Finally, brewers over-produce, making a possibly saturated market even worse.

    As many have said above, we all want massively deep and broad selections at our stores, but we don't want to deal with the negative ramifications. We all need to recognize that the current system has many flaws, that we are all to blame, and we must act in concert to remedy the situation. Consumers alone cannot effect much change unless the retailers, distributors, and brewers are willing to cooperate.
    AlTrombley, JackHorzempa and papat444 like this.
  12. MarshMan71

    MarshMan71 Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2012 Illinois

    I stopped into a local liquer store to grab something its the only one in my area with really any quality craft beer the selection is small but still better that what the grocery stores or WM carry.

    My question arises when I happened upon some Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold ... figured great choice for this warm weather. I pull out a bottle to check the freshness date ... I know im THAT guy. I noticed it was bottled in July of 2012 WFT its been sitting there im assuming almost a year. How do you go about bringing this to the owners attention or what is proper edicate for handling this situation.
  13. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,972) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I think all would agree best way to handle this is to take the six pack, smash it violently onto the ground, and scream, "WTF? Are you trying to poison us? This beer is a year old!!"

    Or, second option, try speaking to mgr. Show him the date, and tell him he should be more careful.
    rather, Roguer, yamar68 and 6 others like this.
  14. MarshMan71

    MarshMan71 Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2012 Illinois

    Love IT ....
  15. AlTrombley

    AlTrombley Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 Connecticut

    It is impossible for a store owner to check every code on every product in his store. Itis up to the beer salesman to check for codes. The problem is that when the sales rep takes old beer out of a store money comes out of his paycheck ( most beer dist take money out of your check for credits/returns). I work for a beer AB dist ( we also sell tons of crafts) when AB reps come into the trade old beer is a big deal it is taken off the shelf and given credit. As far as craft brews let the store owner or employee know they will take it off the shelf and demand the sales rep give him credit. The problem is when old beer gets taken out for credit most times is is replaced with another beer that the owner and sales rep thinks will sell better.
  16. seeswo

    seeswo Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2010 Ohio

    The etiquette in this situation would be to relax and have a beer. Not everything is a crisis that needs to be dealt with by the BA heroes. Or, if you must in the name of BA duty and justice, calmly ask the manager who stocks the beer and then throw a temper tantrum, demanding this person be fired.
  17. Mersh

    Mersh Initiate (0) Mar 10, 2013 Connecticut

    I'm definitely the guy that checks freshness dates all the time. In my area if CT it seems like no matter what liquor store I go to, they all carry out dated and stale Stone products. It's weird. There are 3 main spots I hit and they are all within a 3 mile radius of each other. Why stock so much Stone if your not going to sell it? The biggest one of the Stone collective that all these stores have that is consistently out dated is Ruination. Each one of these stores has bottles that are over a year old. Why can't distributors or stores themselves have some kind of rotating stock policy? I just think its very unfair for the consumer and the store is losing money from a guy like myself who actually checks dates.
    jrnyc likes this.
  18. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,556) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    It's not easy to place blame in this situation. I think that it's a kind of cycle. The true craft beer enthusiast knows to check for dates and won't buy a beer that's too old. The novice does buy that beer but only once because it tastes terrible and then never again. So there they sit. ( In my bottle shop and grocery there are bottles of founders dated 7/12/12. Such a waste. )
  19. GeorgiaBeerGuy

    GeorgiaBeerGuy Zealot (574) May 31, 2013 Georgia

    I think that you could point out the staleness, and offer to buy it from him with a deep discount.
  20. texasdrugaddict

    texasdrugaddict Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2012 New Mexico

    I wait for them to put it on clearance and snatch it up. Like they did with the 2010 Old Rasputins and Ten Fidy.
    GeorgiaBeerGuy likes this.
  21. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Initiate (0) Feb 14, 2011 California

    Many times situations arrive in life that should be dealt with in a swift and sure manner. This is not one of them.
    jmw likes this.
  22. fishmich

    fishmich Disciple (365) Apr 11, 2013 Michigan

    i wish i checked more often and i learned my lesson this week. i bought a sixer of victory headwaters pale ale. i brought it home and cracked one open a few hours later and my first sip was awful. i looked at the date and found "enjoy by sept 2011"...i always check my two hearted but ill be checking all IPAs/pale ales from now on.
  23. rlcoffey

    rlcoffey Initiate (0) Apr 20, 2004 Kentucky

    I dont see the problem. If there is year old beer on the shelf, then its not selling well, is it (unless they just ordered way too much)?

    The exception would be when the distributor DELIVERS old beer to the store, but the store should catch that and not accept it.
  24. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,656) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You really should check all of the beers you purchase regardless of style. If the beer does not have a date (either bottled on and/or best by) do not buy that beer.

    cavedave, Providence and utopiajane like this.
  25. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (374) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    Walk up to the manager and while looking him in the eye, slowly peel off your left glove and then slap him across the face with it while grimly saying through clenched teeth, "So, pistols at dawn?"

    (If the manager is a woman, don't slap as hard.)
    AlTrombley, cavedave and merc7186 like this.
  26. alelover

    alelover Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2012 Michigan

    handle it by using the search function in the top right hand corner.
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  27. stealth

    stealth Zealot (550) Dec 16, 2011 Minnesota

    If you were at a hardware store and found a box of bent nails would you go on nailadvocate.com? No, you would either say 'hey dude you got some bent nails here', or you would just leave the box sitting there and grab a good one.
  28. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    If you must bring this up to a manager instead of just making the smarter choice at the shelf and staying quiet, it may enjoy a better audience if you had already talked to said manager a couple of times before about beer in general, the weather, the Bears, whatever. Don't make your first conversation with her/him a contentious one--just shoot the shit for now and then bring up the 3rd or 4th instance of old beer that you find there.
    I have done this in a store before, but only where I already knew the mgr a bit.
  29. merc7186

    merc7186 Initiate (153) Dec 5, 2010 New York

    I always say WFT (never WTF) when I see old beer at the Liquer (Liquor) Store!!! ~or~
    You could use freewill, not purchase the beer, then not complain about it on a thread. If you have had a bad experience at a place, that is what the review function is for.
  30. Hockey_Fan

    Hockey_Fan Zealot (519) Jan 13, 2013 Maryland

    If I see something that's beyond its shelf-life I just don't buy it. My preferred store never seems to have this problem, but it is not the closest store to me. The closest store, the one I make spur-of-the-moment beer runs to, always has this problem. I mentioned it once, showed the manager one of the six packs from two years back, and saw it still sitting there a week later. Oh well, you just have to be an educated consumer.
  31. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (5,124) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    OP, on this forum, we're all "that guy" (or gal, to be inclusive).

    I have had little success dealing with cashiers or stockers regarding dates. I'd say try the manager, something along the lines of, "Hey, I really want this beer, but the one you had on the shelf is over a year old. Do you have something fresher in stock, maybe in the back?"

    Everyone wins. You: get a fresher six-pack (if they have one). The manager: is informed that he's got an aging shelf turd. No one: comes across sounding douchey or like "that guy."
    utopiajane, Ford and MarshMan71 like this.
  32. MarshMan71

    MarshMan71 Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2012 Illinois

    Wow love the responses , some of you really read into this way more than it was intended, I wasn't bitching or complaining just simply asking a question. calm down, have a beer. Ha Ha its all good.
  33. RyanGoodman

    RyanGoodman Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2011 Bolivia

    If something like that exists on the shelf, maybe there is an old case of something that would be better with some age on it. I.E. Imp Stout, Old Ale, or Barleywine. Instead of complaining about the situation, try to find the silver lining. Maybe you'll find an already aged beer for way cheaper than it should be......
    Roguer and Hockey_Fan like this.
  34. MarshMan71

    MarshMan71 Initiate (0) Jul 17, 2012 Illinois

    Best Response Yet..... Id rather be "THAT GUY" than "DOUCHEY GUY" Ha Ha !
    Roguer likes this.
  35. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Initiate (169) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    Tell Stone. Those old bottles will disappear.
    AlTrombley and Roguer like this.
  36. TMoney2591

    TMoney2591 Poo-Bah (7,209) Apr 21, 2009 Illinois

    No, it's incredibly easy to check all of the dates. I've done it. I started with what was on the shelves, then moved on to checking the cases as they were being delivered. It's a question of effort (and not all that much effort, really) on the part of the retailer. Moreover, in many circumstances, no matter how loudly you ask for credit, you won't get it; it could be illegal in that state, or the distributor just won't do an exchange (especially if Shelton Bros. products are involved...).

    I'll say it again: we are all culpable here, and, as such, it is the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure peak freshness of product.
    AlTrombley likes this.
  37. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (5,124) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    This is another great idea I overlooked, but something I actively do (especially with Quads or Dubs). If there's some older beer on their shelf, depending on what kind, it might be to my advantage.
  38. AlTrombley

    AlTrombley Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 Connecticut

    I agree with you on all points... You must be a real good package store owner. Cheers!
  39. AlTrombley

    AlTrombley Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 Connecticut

    If you are in eastern ct I used to work for that dist years ago when it was conn Bev. I have heard they are not much better than they were before.
  40. AlTrombley

    AlTrombley Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 Connecticut

    also the smaller the store the less help the owner has. A small store owner may work 65 hours a week and only hire help for about 25-40 hours. A lot of time he is working by himself ringing people out, checking in delv, dealing with salesman, loading the cooler, filling the shelves, and writing out checks. A true one man gang!! I have lots of respect for small store owners.
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