AMA Craft Beer Workers Unite: Ask Us Anything

Discussion in 'TalkBeer AMA' started by TripleSixHoppia, Jan 28, 2014.

Help Support TalkBeer Community by donating:

  1. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Likes Received:
    14,276
    Location:
    Kentucky
    The only issue I ever had was having to count the drawer twice because the numbers weren't matching up. I did this while in college and freshly out of college, so my tolerance was HIGH.

    Wine reps would get you the most fucked up. They had so many products in their portfolio, they would have you try about everything. On average they would bring in 10-20 wines for us to try. All small pours, but they add up quick.

    The bar was the craziest. Our management operated on the philosophy of, "As long as it's not a problem, we don't care." In a six hour shift I might have three 16oz beers. But there have been some days where I've been fucked up. We ran on cash tips, and if the customer didn't have cash they would tip us in beer. We also had a lot of customers that would come in with beer they had picked up during their travels. Our customers loved us so much they basically shoved beers in our face. It was a regular occurrence on a saturday night to have 4-5 guys split about ten 750ml bottles. And they would pour me about 6oz out of each one.

    Average night 3 16oz beers - Crazy Saturday, maybe 6-7
     
  2. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Likes Received:
    14,276
    Location:
    Kentucky
    [​IMG]
     
  3. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    24,161
    What about the wet rag question? I'll assume you're making a video demonstration.

    Follow-up: How did it feel knowing, no matter how much expertise you had or how well you did your job, you may as well have been "the help" to all the rich fucks buying cases of Bordeaux?
     
  4. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Likes Received:
    14,276
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Americans can't afford first growths anymore.

    We do all right doe
    [​IMG]

    Good to have industry friends.


    Edit: Honestly I never cleaned the bar. The girls did. They made a shit load more in tips so I don't feel that bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  5. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    I worked at a notorious large liquor store near downtown Minneapolis and the U of MN in my early-mid 20s. That's what started my craft beer obsession. This was about 8-10 years ago, so craft beer was completely different back then, but some things were the same. My biggest annoyances would be people who:

    1. Thought you sold "everything." From Fat Tire (before it actually was sold here) to Westy to Spotted Cow, to everything in between, people thought we carried it. We had a reputation for carrying every beer, wine, and liquor available in the state (which was true at the time), but sorry, some stuff just isn't sold here, and we can't special order it if it's not available through our distributor. People would NOT believe you when you told them this. They thought you were lying, or hoarding it in the back, or stupid, or whatever.

    2. Drunk people. Not the panhandling drunks off the street, although they were definitely annoying, but people who had just gotten lit up across the street (it's a pretty busy nightlife area) and wanted to goof around in the aisles, or crack a ton of jokes with you in front of their friends during your busiest time, or get more wasted off wine and scotch samples. I get it, you're drunk and having a fun night out, but 99% of the people in here are sober and are just trying to get their shopping done. It was a fairly upscale place and a lot of our customers were older and not in that mood. Stay out of the way and don't hassle me when I'm working.

    3. People who try to out-expert you OR people who are too intimidated to ask questions or listen to recommendations when you give them. I don't care if you don't know what an IPA or a stout is, that's what I'm here for, just ask me about them. If you are already an expert and want to shoot the shit, that's great, but don't try to engage in some nerd wrestling match with me, and don't try to "top" me when you don't know what you're talking about. Just admit you don't know beer yet, and I'd be happy to tell you what I like. I'm not going to judge you, I hardly knew shit back then either.

    4. Dudes who held 12 packs by one handle (often with just a finger to show off). Those fuckers rip easily.

    5. People who "know the owner." Of course you do, he's a drunk.
     
  6. willseph

    willseph

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    10,895
    Location:
    West Chicagoland
    Is there money in craft beer? Broad question, I know. But in general, do retail shop or bar owners make enough to account for working so many hours? I feel like the suits at the distributors really make the coin in the industry.
     
    mateoloco and sacrelicio like this.
  7. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    24,161
    I have never been closely affiliated with a craft bar, but my Grandmother only recently sold the (dive) bar she'd owned for three decades. I can tell you that any competently operated bar may as well be a printing press. The trick is being able to put up with all kinds of shit.
     
    mateoloco likes this.
  8. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    What do you think about limited releases only being sold to "favorite customers" and people who know the employees?
     
    mateoloco likes this.
  9. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Likes Received:
    10,185
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The margins in craft beer are better than macro, but beer overall aren't that great. Wine and small batch spirits tend to make more money.
     
    mateoloco and GhostOfGaspar like this.
  10. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    Yeah, it's funny, but bars never really seem to close, and when they do, it's never for financial reasons.
     
  11. backfat

    backfat

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    22,472
    Location:
    I'm from Indiana
    what do you think about it?
     
  12. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    24,161
    what do you think?
     
  13. backfat

    backfat

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    22,472
    Location:
    I'm from Indiana
    about what?
     
  14. JoeLikesBeer

    JoeLikesBeer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    24,161
    what?
     
  15. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    stuff
     
    Minnesotaryan likes this.
  16. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    Sucks balls. Why?
     
    Minnesotaryan likes this.
  17. backfat

    backfat

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    22,472
    Location:
    I'm from Indiana
    I know right?
     
    Minnesotaryan likes this.
  18. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Likes Received:
    14,276
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Well, let me answer this with a story. The bar I used to work at got 1 case of BCBS and the BW. At 11:00am our manager gets a frantic call from the Bud distributor. "You need to meet me in the back and lock the door behind you. People are literally chasing me from store to store." So she met him and let him in. She starts checking him in and people started pounding on the door. She goes and tells them we don't open till noon. "Well, we know you have bourbon county, you should just sell it to us now." The continued to beat on the door while she was going through the opening process. If I would have been there, I wouldn't have sold a single bottle to any of them.

    So, by the way a percentage of the craft beer drinkers act, I understand it completely. People come from all over and just cause a shit show. Most of them are from out of town and don't bring any business to your store anyway. So we always tried to hook up our regulars.
     
  19. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Likes Received:
    14,276
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Depends on how the store is set up. Our owners were pretty much 100% hands off at the bar. They were just a financial backing. Craft makes so much more money than Macro. I don't see why anyone fucks with a budweiser tap. You're making something like $0.50 a glass on those products. The market here has the beer prices really low. Where we make 3-4 bucks profit a pint.
     
    mateoloco and willseph like this.
  20. sacrelicio

    sacrelicio

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    85,011
    Location:
    MPLS
    In that case, for sure. The BCBS craze this year was exceptional. I just hate when a case or two of Abyss or something comes in and they won't sell it to me because I'm not their buddy.
     
    mateoloco and sliverx like this.