Sunday, July 29, 2012

Limited Release Beers: One Retailers Position

  I came across this article from our friends at KC Beer Blog. It addresses the topic of the availability of limited release beers into the retail market. This is an on-going issue for both retailers and distributors as the popularity of these single batch beers increases. Having been on the distribution side of this issue I can tell you first hand that it is also very difficult for us to determine which of our customers will receive these limited release beers. We encourage our customers to support a brewery by continually carrying not only their flagship beer, but also a second focus flavor, a rotating seasonal and a selection of bombers and or 750ml's. If their sales are good then it almost assures that they will be in the running to receive the limited release product. But understand that we as distributors may be limited to a hand full of cases. Take for example Dogfish Head 120min IPA, one year we were only allocated (12) cases and (1)1/6 bbl for about 30 customers who legitimately could have received the product. How do we decide who gets it? Now often times retailers will not want just one case. They feel it's better to not have it at all, and not upset those customers who might miss out because it sold out in 5 mins. I absolutely support Four Firkins policy. And as the saying goes, "you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time".  


Special Releases: One Beer Store's Viewpoint

As an occasional visitor to Minneapolis, I have signed up for a few email newsletters and Twitter accounts pertaining to craft beer in the Twin Cities. The following appeared in a recent newsletter from The Four Firkins in St. Louis Park, MN. It explains their policy on limited releases, and demonstrates that all markets suffer from issues of scarcity in our burgeoning craft beer universe.

Why we do what we do with special release beers like Surly Syx.

We'd like to take a minute to explain something. We know that there were a lot of frustrated people out there who missed out on Surly Syx when it landed here at the Firkins on Monday. We have experimented with all kinds of methods over the years when dealing with extremely limited and highly sought after beers.

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the situation:

  1. "Why can't you hold bottles for your regular customers?"

We have many people who shop with us who we consider friends. We see some people multiple times a week and if we made a list of who we think would be interested, most of our supply would be on hold before it even hit the floor. We LOVE our regulars, but we need to be fair to everyone, including people who WILL become regulars, too.

2. "Why don't you sell them over the phone anymore?"

It's unfortunate, but when we did that in the past, some people would take advantage of us and have all their friends to call in to buy the maximum amount. Then one person would come in and pick up say, 10 bottles when the limit might have been two. Greedy people like that have taken that option off the table. While we still allow phone sales for most items, we will limit it in specific circumstances where we think dishonesty will occur.

3. "Why can't you wait until I'm off work to release the beer?"

When the Surly delivery truck got here on Monday morning we already had people in the store waiting for it. We can't tell them to go home and come back after five. Some of those people started work at five. We have to sell the beer as soon as it gets here. When it gets here is up to the truck's schedule.

4. "Why do you have to limit how many bottles each person can buy?" When the brewery or distributor will only sell us a few cases of something we want to make sure as many people as possible get to enjoy it. On the super limited beers we don't even let employees buy any, it's all for you, our customers. We have to be fair to everyone, please understand we simply can't make exceptions.

Limited release beers are exactly that. Breweries only make a small amount of them. If there was plenty to go around they wouldn't be special! There is very little we can do about the situation. We have come to the conclusion that first come first served, while not perfect for everyone, is the method that causes the least frustration.

Thanks for understanding.

Jason Alvey

"Special Releases: One Store's Viewpoint" originally published 7/27/12 by KC Beer Blog please visit them at: KC Beer Blog 


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dundee Pale Bock Lager

Dundee Pale Bock Lager is one tasty beer. This German Maibock style beer  pours a rich golden color and has a sweet malty aroma. Brewed with Saaz hops this beer is mild and very sessionable. Its big malt character is derived from two row pale malt, which also imparts just a touch of sweetness. The finish is crisp without any lingering hop bitterness. Available only in Dundee's latest Craft Pack, along with their Stout, Pilsner and IPA, I say  pick this 12 pack up. As for you Beer Snobs out there, lower you expectations or you'll miss out on some yummy but not earth shattering beers. Cheers!

For more info visit: Dundee Ales & Lagers

Monday, July 16, 2012

Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's IPA

 Hard to believe that a brewery as good as Oskar Blues didn't have an IPA in their portfolio. Okay for those of you who enjoy pointing out technicalities stop berating me with "Oh so I guess Gubna's not an IPA right?". Gubna's an "Imperial IPA" you beer guzzling rocket scientist's! Yes, an IPA but a "horse of a different color". Deviant Dales IPA is the latest addition to the OB family. This baby pours a deep coppery color with white frothy head. It's aroma is extremely piney and citrusy . There's no disguising the over-the-top Cascade dry hopping that went on here. Double D's flavor is malty and grapefruit bitter with a resiny stickiness. The hop character is "in your face", but the bitterness is not long lingering. And yes at 8% ABV the alcohol is there too. Oskar Blues had been brewing Deviant off-and-on for few years, but never put it into full production until now. With OB's plans for a production expansion, which would include a new high speed canning line as well as the introduction of their 16 ounce can, Deviant Dales fit the bill as the perfect test drive for this latest venture. Why am I yapping about this, like I  know something? Just watch the video.. and Cheers!

For more Deviant info visit a NSFW website you pervs! The rest of you can check out: Deviant Dale's more respectable home.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sixpoint Brewery Release!

Sixpoint Brewery has just announced the tenth edition in their Mad Scientists Series. It's called "Spruce Tip Ale". Here 's a little about the beer from their newsletter "The Sixer"..

"The tenth beer in this bi-monthly series is spiced with not only hops, but a distinct herb that can be foraged in the wild: tips from the spruce tree. We've fashioned our own spruce tip pale ale, that incorporates wild-foraged spruce tips from trees in Maine by one of our brewers. These bright, lemony, and tropical-tasting needles are bright green and much softer than the rest of the evergreen just at this time of year. They've been known to cure scurvy and to accentuate flavors as an herb, and here we're adding them to the boil of a pale ale along with Simcoe hops. Mad Scientists #10: Spruce Tip Ale is available on draught now.

For more information on "Spruce Tip Ale " visit: Sixpoint Brewery

Monday, July 9, 2012

Crazy Mountain Brewing "Mountain Livin' Pale Ale"

I couldn't resist the chance to sample another beer from Crazy Mountain Brewing. This time it's their "Mountain Livin' Pale Ale". Like their Amber Ale, Mountain Livin' comes in a can and is available year round. This Pale Ale pours an amber red color with tinge more brown than it's Amber Ale brother. Its head is thin, white and very quickly dissipates. The aroma is earthy much like a mellow pine. There are also malty notes of caramel. When tasting this beer for the first time there's no hiding its hop character. The bitterness hits you right upfront. I would like to mention here that the first Mountain Livin' I sampled did not have a lingering bitterness. It faded, then a fruitiness emerged. The second one I had two days later had a much longer lingering bitterness, but the same fruit notes were still present.Crazy Mountain stays true to philosophy of well engineered water purification and mild carbonation which combine for very smooth drinking beer. Brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops at about 40 IBU's, hopheads will also embrace this offering from the Crazy Mountain portfolio. At a mere 5.7% ABV  Mountain Livin' also makes my "sessionable" list. And that makes me, one happy camper. In keeping with Crazy Mountains commitment to sustainability and community 1% of the proceeds from the beer will go to Vail Mountain Rescue  a non-profit group of volunteer men and women who are trained and prepared to respond to any type of back-country emergency throughout the State of Colorado. This one's a keeper, so give Mountain Livin' a try. No cabin necessary. Cheers!

For more info visit: Crazy Mountain Brewing  and Vail Mountain Rescue

Saturday, July 7, 2012

IPA Day 2012

The second installment of IPA day has been announced. Scheduled for 8/2/12, our friends at have released this information on the event.....

Founded in 2011 by beer evangelists and social media personalities Ashley Routson and Ryan Ross, IPA Day is a universal movement created to unite the voices of craft beer enthusiasts, bloggers, and brewers worldwide, using social media as the common arena for connecting the conversation together.

IPA Day is not the brainchild of a corporate marketing machine, nor is it meant to serve any particular beer brand. IPA Day is opportunity for all breweries, bloggers, businesses and consumers to connect and share their love of craft beer. It is an opportunity for the entire craft beer culture to combine forces and advocate craft beer through increased education and global awareness.

Getting involved is easy; the only requirements are an appreciation for great beer and the will to spread the word. Anyone can participate by enjoying IPA with friends, making some noise online with the #IPADay hashtag, and showing the world that craft beer is more than a trend.

For more information on IPA Day 2012 visit: