AMA Craft Beer Workers Unite: Ask Us Anything

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

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  1. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie

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    I mean you can ask, but I feel like it's sort of that stigma where people follow the delivery truck on days when bourbon county shows up, like dude said earlier.

    I dunno it just seems like a dick move, when all you do is show up and ask for whales and then bounce. I had a dude swing through the other day and just say:

    Where are your rare beers?

    Right off the bat. Maybe there's nothing wrong with that and it's just me, but it sort of seems like ambulance chasing, or arrogant and smarmy or something.

    There's plenty of great beers man, and there's a lot of great rare stuff. But when people only think that rare stuff is worth drinking it's kind of annoying. I might be outing myself to the TB community right now so oops :/

    But I think a big portion of it is treating employees like people not as commodities.
     
  2. HeadHunter

    HeadHunter

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    If a train leaves New York at 7:30am traveling North at 60mph and a second train leaves Boston at 8am traveling South at 50mph, how many people will be butthurt after being shutout from buying any Bourbon County stout?
     
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  3. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie

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    I also think I shouldn't comment in here, this isn't an AMA for me, maybe I just dickmoved myself by stepping on three sixes toes
     
  4. cry me

    cry me

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    I dunno, I think if you go in a store and ask about whether or not something is in stock without being a dick, you're entitled to an honest answer - what other type of store do you frequent and have to become friends with the staff to find what you're looking for?
     
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  5. TheDuke

    TheDuke

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    You don't have to be friends. Just strike up a conversation. Simple questions like "what's new?" or "any fresh IPA's come in?" go a long way.
     
  6. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Moderator Staff Member

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    But talking to people is the worst!!! 1!!11!!!
     
  7. TheDuke

    TheDuke

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    I hear they sell beer on the Internet too?
     
  8. claaark13

    claaark13

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    I spend a lot of money at a decreasing number of stores each year for my regular needs (this generally includes a metric ton of Two Hearted, occasional other hops, some BDSA/Quads for my wife, De Dolle and some cheap gueuze to blend with my IPAs). The guys at those places go out of their way to give me at least an opportunity to buy enough limited stuff for consumption when it comes through without me even asking. Great customer service in the current days, where you can no longer find hidden treasures on shelves. I also have a handful of friends who will let me know if something drops that they know I'm really looking hard for, and they'll usually offer a small amount of this for me to consume (not trade). Cool, but not always expected. I also do enjoy buying stuff at a new place and being offered any sort of limited release, even if I don't buy it because it is Doom or something. Just cool to see.

    What is "the industry" perspective on the above customer service attitudes? I feel that if someone is giving your store regular sales and you know they're really into beer, whether they're a friend you drink with or just some dude who likes craft, you should reward them with opportunities to buy some of the more limited stuff.

    Also, is it looked down upon between industry dudes to buy up your own stock, particularly in the case when you're openly trading it and not necessarily drinking it? I am heavily against the first one, not against the second if it isn't being abused.

    As an outsider, these seem to be the two biggest difficulties I'd have if I got into the craft beer industry and had the ability to make these decisions. Do you help your buddies, do you help your best customers, what if those are one in the same? At what point does it become bad form to buy your own stock before it hits the shelf (if it ever does)?

    With the industry growing, the way these things are handled make me hate dealing with any sort of limited release that I want. Belgium instead keeps getting more and more of my fucking money.
     
  9. RedCoffee

    RedCoffee

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    It's not that at all! Honestly the "if you aren't a social shopper you are a douche" sentiment gets really frustrating.

    It's just that every conversation like this from the perspective of the employee comes across like "answering questions about rare beer is a blight on my existence. You must please me or else you are a truck chasing sonofabitch. Those who please me are awarded my assistance."

    I totally get the idea that said truck chasers are annoying to deal with. Walking in and saying "PLINY ME, SERVANT" before the ding on the door ends is a dick move and everyone hates these people. But it seems like avoiding being lumped in with this group is hard to calibrate. When I hear "you must start a conversation" I assume something a lot more involved than "what's new?" I feel like "what's new?" is just a more vague way of saying "hey tell me about what's not on the shelf." And from my reading of it, that might land you on some shit lists anyway. There's just a lot of ambiguity in what's appropriate, which sort of prompted the original question.

    If I go to a store where I am a regular buyer and I am curious if they have a new limited release in the store, I usually just look for it myself, take a casual glance behind the counter, and if I don't see it I just walk out without even asking. Given the control these people have (and apparently exercise with gusto at times) over people's ability to buy certain beers, I am inclined to err on the safe side.

    More and more, though, I'm starting to just see it as another step to take in the process - gotta be everyone's friend - even if it feels fake as hell to have that as a motive. There have been awesome people I've met shopping for beer (some employees) but those happened just because - not because I felt obligated to forge a connection that identifiers me as "not a truck chasing dick."

    I figure a lot of other people feel this way but they are too busy hating human interaction and scowling at every smiling face they see to express it perhaps? ;)
     
  10. stupac2

    stupac2

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    ALL OF THE LIKES.
     
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  11. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson

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    Right? I know there are a lot of people that are strongly against it, but if I buy from a store regularly why shouldn't I at least have a first shot at the more limited things that come through the shop?

    Chicago is a competitive market for limited releases, even for BCBS. I remember hanging around my local shop on a Saturday in December and observing the people that came in. One after another I saw guys walk in, ask about Proprietor's BCBS and walk out after finding there was none without even looking at anything else in the store. Why should I miss out on something limited at a shop I help keep in business by luck of the draw to someone with nothing better to do on their Saturday than to drive store to store hoping to pick up as many bottles of a hot new release as possible?
     
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  12. claaark13

    claaark13

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    I can't tell if you're serious.
     
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  13. blue_bleeder

    blue_bleeder

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    This is one of the great things about living in BFE. We don't get a lot of whalez, (none) but when we get stuff that is limited in distro, my local liquor store picks it up just for me. Like the UJ. They brought in a case, I think I bought all of it over 3 months. They didn't put it on the shelves. The just kept in back for me to go and take as I wanted. But of course they sell Bud Light Clamato by the case. :eek: It's pretty cool because the owner will text me when he gets in something he thinks I will want. Got in a bunch of Short's, got a text. Victory mixed 12s, got a text. etc. etc.

    Another cool story. Last Saturday I went to Total Beverage while the wife was at Archivers. Walking around the beer section the beer guy stopped buy and asked if I was looking for anything. Talked for a while. Told him about this site. Talked some more. He said he had a case of 3F Oude Geuze in the back and said if I had never had one (haven't) I should take one home.

    Kind of like this place, it's about building relationships.....
     
  14. yeahnatenelson

    yeahnatenelson

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    What makes you say that?
     
  15. claaark13

    claaark13

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    All of the question marks, the lack of high fives offered, the lack of a like on my post, the fact that I'm overly sarcastic in real life on a regular basis, and most notably the last sentence of your post. And now your question that I just quoted, which I could take as sarcasm.

    Man, I'm sober. Maybe that's the issue.
     
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  16. pjl44

    pjl44

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    Have a couple questions for those who brew or work for a brewery and pour samples at a festival or tasting room:

    What is the best way to conduct myself if I don’t like your beer? Do you want honest feedback as long as its constructive? Especially if there are a bunch of other people around?

    And I'm not saying one beer isn't to taste. I mean if I try five and find most or all to be pedestrian to below average. It comes up and I'm asking because it's fresh on the brain. I usually just say polite stuff and try to pull out something I like. At worst, critique one beer by offering comparative praise to another. I feel like saying I went 0 for 5 would bum everyone out.
     
  17. Stubs

    Stubs

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    I honestly think TB has the best model here from a business side anf a customer side.

    hey, this dude knows a little bit about beer, lets grab him something. Repeat business and happy beer nerds. ive even seen kevin approach people who are just lurking to see if they are after something in the back.

    But he aalso has a stash for regulars as well.
    also you were approx 10 blocks from my house, hit me up next time.
     
  18. Boilerfood

    Boilerfood

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    If you don't like it, don't waste your liver on it. Unless you are asked I wouldn't offer a critique though. Brewers probably don't know who you are, or what your qualifications are.
     
  19. pjl44

    pjl44

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    It's not about qualifications, just as a consumer. In the sense that they're selling a product versus competing for GABF gold.
     
  20. Boilerfood

    Boilerfood

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    Agreed, but for every 1 customer that offers legitimate, constructive criticism there are 15 who will blow smoke up their ass. If they dont know who you are, they will probably brush you off. They shouldnt, but they will.