The Peanut Gallery Doesn’t Have to Buy Your Peanuts”
If the recent events on Wall Street have taught us anything, it’s that
outsiders can disrupt insiders quickly. The lessons learned from the
Reddit/Robinhood/GameStop saga apply well beyond the financial
For example, a craft beer drinker “invests” in beer they like. They buy
it, they (hopefully) buy it again, they talk about it, they post about it,
they give the brewery likes and shout outs, they wear merch, they drink
it in the tasting room, they take home a crowler or two, they tell friends
about it and they feel good about it. Over time, like-minded folks help
the success of a brewery.
Those same folks can also contribute to poor sales by not buying your
beer and telling close friends not to buy it. We’ve all heard that a person
who has a good experience tells one person and the person with a bad
experience tells 11. We have seen an explosion of craft beers over the
past 10 years that now gives us more options than ever before. Given
these options, we (the little people) pretty much have the choice to buy
anything we want, whenever we want (online releases aside).
Knowing this, why are some breweries finding more and more ways to
alienate certain of their client base when beer options are so plentiful in
the marketplace? Here are some minor requests from the peanut gallery.
Full disclosure: the breweries I currently frequent do not have any of
the issues I describe below. However, some that I have really enjoyed
over the years have at least one of these issues, and that’s why I have
personally pumped the brakes on them for the time being.
Please stop mixing politics and beer. Tasting rooms and bars used to
be the one place where people from all over could get away and meet,
chat, drink and create new experiences. It did not matter what was on
your bumper sticker, what you did or how you voted. I’m happy to chat
with anyone over a flight. Or just a nod and a smile from 6’ away,
However, the landscape has changed for some breweries. For some,
you are either on the “right” or “true” side of things (whatever that side
is) or you’re lumped into another bucket like a piece of garbage. You’ve
seen it. “This is my opinion and everyone else is stupid, a racist or ---ist
if you don’t agree.” You’re passionate about making and selling beer.
That’s awesome. Can you maybe stick with that?
As much as you believe in the right to say anything anytime, don’t be
surprised if you start to alienate more people than you think,
considering that there are plenty of people out there who don’t even
agree with a particular party or support a single politician anyway – but
some of you act as if “we” do.
I’ve tripped over so many soapboxes on social media lately that my
shins are bleeding.
“This one time at band camp I heard it was just about the liquid with
If you must tell us where you stand, then please, be a little creative by
telling us that your Gose has the saltiness of a left leaning millennial who
finally figured out his favorite politician and his son are both on the take.
Or that your Saison has the earthiness of right wing dirt that splashed
up on mud flaps in the backwoods of some random state during a
If you want to polarize and alienate what could be 50% of the
population (based purely on stats from the last election), are you ok if
50% of your customers stopped buying your beer right now? Would
you still be killing it?
Covid has forced people to decide on their purchasing decisions with a
much keener process eye than ever before. So if you don’t want our
business, just let us know.
Please date stamp your beer. With so many options of beer out there
and so many brands date stamping their beer, why are some still not
doing it? Is it because breweries think people will just buy anything?
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Stone began their “Enjoy By”
series. Taking a page from the Bud “Born on Date,” they made positive
waves on the issue of freshness, which of course, can be taken to the
extreme. (Like the guy who only drinks beer that is a week old or else
he drain pours it. He stinks.) Then everyone forgot who Stone was
because, well, that’s just how things work these days. These days, the
amount of old beer on shelves is astonishing.
Without any idea when a beer dropped, I’m supposed to walk into a
store and spend $22-$24 on a 4 pack that may or may not have been
made 3 months ago when there’s six other brands next to yours with a
date stamp? Pass.
Please slow the secondary market from becoming the primary market.
In the past, and more than ever, the integrity of the companies I buy
products from matters to me. That’s a personal choice, and call me
crazy or old fashioned. Over time, and perhaps because of Covid, I’ve
seen a slight shift from where things used to be. Take for example,
limited or rare releases. A typical limited release beer has evolved to
This beer is only for sale at the brewery;
This beer is only sold online;
This beer is only sold to those who buy it (no proxies);
This beer is on sale to anyone who buys it anywhere in the U.S.
(proxies are fine);
The beer sells out in 5 seconds; and
Folks who would spend a large amount of money at that brewery are
Certain breweries know the secondary market loves their beers. They
know there’s a dude who shows up as a proxy for 16 orders just isn’t
right who probably programmed bots. They know that even 2 years ago
that guy from out of state wasn’t coming into buy your beer, but locals
Please tell us if you think we don’t matter. When you factor in the
political rantings, making it harder to get beer locally and making it
harder to know when beer was actually made it, maybe breweries could
just tell us that we are a bunch of sheep who are butt hurt whiners.
Tell us we aren’t needed for your success, now or ever. Tell us that
you will be just fine without our business so there’s no confusion. Tell
us that we will mindlessly just buy anything you put in a can or bottle.
Oh wait, some of you already have...
|The Masked Avenger of Beer
Rumblings From The Underground