Would you pay more for fresh (and less for “old”) IPAs? A modest (yet wordy) proposal

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by elNopalero, Jan 18, 2013.

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  1. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,647) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    More and more I find myself taking a pass on D/IPAs without dating, unless I know for sure they are fresh (say, from a place which has a high turnover, or if it’s an D/IPA which was just released). I think part of what made the Stone Best By such a winning strategy from a marketing standpoint was that it had an “expiration” date built into it—and moved fast, as I had a hard time finding bottles on the shelves beyond the first few days of release. But that was a limited release. What about your everyday IPAs?

    As another example I was in Michigan over the holidays and craving some Red’s RyePA. It’s widely distributed in the area where I was staying and I didn’t have a problem finding sixers. But I was mortified to find that those had been on the shelves for two to three months already, at best—and in some instances close to a year. As sad as I am to see it turn into a seasonal at least I should stand a better chance of finding it freshly bottled next time I’m in the area.

    So, for the harcore beer geeks (that is, if you’re reading this far) I’m wondering--would you be willing to pay more per sixpack or bomber knowing that you would get a just-released IPA and with the knowledge that it was just bottled? Especially if the brewer doesn’t have bottling dates?

    Hypothetically speaking, I would be comfortable paying a one to two dollar “surcharge” on IPAs and other “drink fresh” beers if it meant knowing that they were indeed recently bottled—with the price reverting to normal retail after a month, and the sale price going down by an equal amount on merchandise sitting on the shelves past three months. I imagine the money generated by the surcharge would more than compensate for the later reduction in price, and this would also serve to keep stock rotating.

    I am interested in knowing what others think about this. If you’re a consumer have you seen something similar in practice, and if you’re a retailer do you do something like this?
  2. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Meyvn (1,083) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

  3. BrewStew58

    BrewStew58 Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2011 New York

    I'd rather pay the same for fresh and pass on the old than spike up the fresh and discount the old.
  4. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,459) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    Yes of course
  5. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Couldn't have said it better. OP, this is your answer.
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  6. trbergman

    trbergman Defender (670) Nov 17, 2006 England

    Well, to be glib, a lot of people do this already by purchasing growlers from the source.
    kpanter likes this.
  7. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas Zealot (568) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Depends on the beer; those that fade quickly with a noticeable difference in flavor, absolutely . . . those that don't absolutely not.
  8. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Defender (650) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia
    Beer Trader

    No. Good IPAs are expensive enough as it is (well at least on my salary and with my drinking habits).

    Breweries who don't date and stores that don't discount beer that's almost past its prime are CRAP.
    chuckstout likes this.
  9. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    ^ this

    Crappy part is somebody is going to have to buy the less-than-fresh stuff.

    But its also a royal pain sifting through shelves chaising freshies.
  10. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    The Alchemist does not date their Heady Topper. Garbage. :wink:
    SammyJaxxxx likes this.
  11. raffels

    raffels Initiate (168) Dec 12, 2009 West Virginia

    If I'm missing something here, please correct me. You're suggesting I pay an upcharge for something the distributor/retailer should be doing in the first place, rotating their stock and such?
    chuckstout likes this.
  12. chuckstout

    chuckstout Initiate (0) May 22, 2006 Ohio

    A buck or two more? No Thanks!
  13. --Dom--

    --Dom-- Disciple (305) Dec 22, 2012 Missouri

    On my budget, no. I can't imagine a beer like hopslam for instance being any more expensive than it already is. I already have a really hard time shelling out 17 bucks for a sixer, even if it is world class.
    chuckstout likes this.
  14. dennho

    dennho Initiate (0) Oct 29, 2006 New York

    Dating Heady Topper is like carding Betty White.
  15. FEUO

    FEUO Disciple (327) Jul 24, 2012 Ontario (Canada)

    So thats bad? Wait.... good? :stuck_out_tongue:
  16. MichiBrew

    MichiBrew Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2010 Michigan

    No way man...its on the breweries AND the store owners to monitor and rotate for IPAs...refrigerate the damn bottles at least...most if not all breweries who are for real dont want out of date bottles on the shelf...we shouldnt have to pay more for how an IPA or DIPA is supposed to taste...clearly phresh is best for this style although Im willing to buy IPAs with several weeks on them depending on which one it is...stores that have dusty old IPAs on the shelf are a joke and should be avoided for IPA purchases...
    chuckstout likes this.
  17. Stockfan42

    Stockfan42 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2009 Massachusetts

    Sure I'd pay a extra few bucks for a fresher ipa/dipa, but stores don't and aren't going to start charging by the date so i guess it really doesnt matter.
  18. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,204) Mar 18, 2010 California

    No way. Beer should be cheaper, not more expensive.
  19. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,304) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That's funny - the "middle tier" distributors think it's their job:

    "After delivery, the distributor continues to monitor retailer shelves to ensure product freshness and integrity."
    Might explain why it's not being done in many retail locations - everyone's waiting for the other guy to do it.​
    Paying a premium for fresh beer is an insane idea - but, given the fact that "craft beer" drinkers have accepted the overpriced bomber (whereas the industry had always charged less per ounce for larger bottle sizes), the outrageously overpriced growler (in which the customer BUYS the bottle, cleans the bottle, and saves the brewer the cost of those items, as well as the packaging, and the expensive of having a modern bottling line yet often pays MORE for the beer) and the disappearance of any bulk purchasing savings by buying kegs (sixtels are often priced similarly to 2 cases of beer), it might just be an idea that some brewer is going to jump on. (If Stone hasn't already done it with their "Enjoy By" series).​
  20. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,284) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    I buy fresh at reasonable price, and if none are dated fresh and reasonably priced, I drink my own guaranteed fresh and even cheaper homebrew. People should send what ever levels of the three tier system a message by not buying undated and/or old IPA.

    And if companies says they cannot afford to date, well, Jim Koch calls them liars, and I agree.
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (661) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Pay the same for fresh IPAs, and discount old IPAs. Similar to a coffee shop that discounts "day old" bagels.
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