AMA Craft Beer Workers Unite: Ask Us Anything

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

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  1. Hops McG

    Hops McG

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    It's all Beer Karma man, and I know you racked up plenty.

    To add on to your post

    I don't think anyone should expect a shop to hold every special release, but if they know you are really after "that one". A phone call is nice asking if your still looking. Goes along way in making long term customers.

    With that said, I know shops that won't hold anything unless you saved their ass in Nam, nothing wrong with that and does not deter me from shopping there, but in the end every beer nerd needs that place that holds for them, if asked. It's also nice when they tell you about what they have in back with out asking.

    Other shop's try to sell you a special release at way above retail price and look at you funny if you don't buy anything else. Screw them

    I believe in a general rule, if you buy a special release at a legit place, buy something else, always. Don't care if you were there yesterday and dropped 100 bucks or they don't hold shit for you.

    Another good rule is to give a beer to the shop keep every now and then, and not just the owner. Does not need to be super rare but if you go out of town, bring back something out of Distro.

    As the great Earl Hicky said, do good things and good things will happen to you... or maybe it was Confucius?
     
  2. shelf_turd_ferguson

    shelf_turd_ferguson

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    What if the places you go to most often don't have beer staff around to talk to? Should I regularly go ask for the beer person to come small talk with me? I kind of assume they have actual work to do.

    That said, the last time I asked for help went like this: I looked for some Victory Dirt Wolf and Hop Ranch, nothing rare. Weren't on the shelf or in the cooler. On my way out they asked if they could help me, so I asked if they had any DW or Hop Ranch. I told them I couldn't find any on the shelf, and asked if they had any in back. Cashier walks back, looks on the shelf and cooler and says they're out. Didn't move boxes or look in back, just retraced my path. Maybe he though I was dumb?
     
  3. pjl44

    pjl44

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    It's not that I'm itching to critique, but wondering if it would actually be preferred. Believe me, I'm more than fine with nodding my head and shuffling along.
     
  4. ridglens

    ridglens

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    As a consumer, i appreciate great service and honesty above anything else. i only shop at 2-3 stores, i suppose i would be a "regular" at any of them, but have built a great relationship with one because the guy will flat out tell me if somethings sold out, hitting the shelf, or if he can't hold some, not getting any, I didn't make the cut, whatever. And i don't have to kiss the couple guys' asses either, just honestly shoot the shit about good beer, email them once in a while, and not be a dick. And they have hooked me up ridiculous because of it. There is exactly zero distributed beer (maybe zero beer at all) that i can't be reasonable about, just tell me what the deal is so i can play by your rules.


    I also appreciate reasonable shipping prices for gueuze.
     
  5. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

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    I wasn't really friends with many of the customers. Just don't be a shit head.
     
  6. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

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    That's why it says Unite. It's a AMA for all workers.
     
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  7. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

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    That's what we do. It's the people that are never in your store, except the day some small realese comes out, we try to avoid. They provide no incentive for us to sell to them.

    We sold Cantillon mostly to employees only. It just got to be such a shit show trying to sell it. But if someone where to sell/trade the bottles away, all of us would have been pissed. That was the deal. If it was reserved, you drank it.

    Helping out your regulars repays itself 10 fold. They are the ones that keep your lights on. Not the guy that only buys 1 special release 4 pack every 3-4 months. Keeping the guy that spends $20-300 a week in your store happy is the best way to go. We would keep a BCBS truck chaser from another state from getting a 4 pack, and give it to the guy that's buying pints at your store every day. We were small. Big Box liquor stores would have crushed us. But our staff was 100 times more knowledgeable and we kept our base happy.

    I place an online belgium order quarterly.
     
  8. Der Fuchs

    Der Fuchs

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    As someone who has served their own beer at multiple festivals over the last 8 years I would welcome any constructive criticism. That said, if all you have to say about it is "I don't like it" or "this tastes bad" just keep it to yourself. Something said along the lines of "this has a bit too much diacetyl for me" or something like that would be welcomed. When serving beer at festivals things can get hectic and the brewers/servers may not have any time to talk about the beer with you. If you really want to talk wait for a lull in the crowd, step off to the side of the line and ask away. Most brewers I've dealt with are good people, if you have a legitimate comment or question I don't see why any decent person wouldn't try to answer it. A good brewer is always looking for ways to improve.
     
  9. claaark13

    claaark13

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    You act like people in Bloomington buy anything other than Keystone Light.
     
  10. pjl44

    pjl44

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    Just off flavors or even if I have an opinion why it isn't to my taste? Now that I think about it, I really am referring more to tasting rooms than festivals. Fests you just sorta grab your sample and high tail it out. It's the tasting room atmosphere where I feel more compelled to give feedback, but always tend to be complimentary.
     
  11. Der Fuchs

    Der Fuchs

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    you can definitely express your opinion. the diacetyl thing was just an example. what i meant is that most folks i've come across don't mind answering legitimate questions/ fielding constructive criticism. if all you have to say is a one liner about how the beer isn't good then you are wasting the employees time.
    tasting rooms can be a bit different though - keep in mind that this may just be another job to pay the bills for the server and they actually may not have any opinion in relation to your question. it can go either way. i say ask away. if the employees aren't receptive then oh well... don't let it rustle your jimmies.
     
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  12. Skittle34

    Skittle34

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    Which question do you hate to answer and conversely, which question do you love to answer?

    My apologies if it's been asked, and if it has, link me prease
     
  13. KWilk

    KWilk

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    Coming from the distro side, but yeah. Imagine its the same for store employees or bartenders
     
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  14. jparkanzky

    jparkanzky

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    You sound bitter. Under what circumstances did you leave this line of work?
     
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  15. tinypyramids

    tinypyramids

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    what is the worst example of beer hoarding/truck chasing/general badness that you have ever seen by an individual? the story about the bud distributor getting swarmed was great, but i want to know about the lengths truly standout terrible individuals will go.
     
  16. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

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    $5 an hour pay cut.

    Edit: They found out that since we get tips they could legally pay us $3 an hour. The thing is we were a package liquor store and bar. A ton of our customers I would help would buy package goods to take home, so I wouldn't gain anything from that. We didn't have enough turnover to make it worth my time. Also they started skimming the tips. My checks would come up short and they said they had to take it out to match the tax rate. They were taking over 50% out. I'm not taxed at a 50% rate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
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  17. TripleSixHoppia

    TripleSixHoppia

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    Worst: Can you guys get Fat Tire / yuengling / other non distro'd beer. I would spend 5 minutes explaining the laws and the 3 tier system. Just to have them tell me, "well you guys should try to get it."

    Best: Actual questions from people that were interested in a product. Like when I would get a girl that "Doesn't like beer" to try Matilda for the first time. Then they want to know all about it and every product that is similar.
     
  18. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie

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    Being bitter is part of working in retail, in a poorly managed environment, insulting wages, and working with supplier reps that have no clue what they're talking about and only care about making quotas on pushing product. I bet most people on TB especially, know more about beer than vendors do. They might as well be selling fucking lawn chairs or post-it notes. There has not been one time that I've been out-foxed by a supplier in over 3 years of working in retail, simply from being part of BA, TB, and reading about the industry/product knowledge online. But it doesn't really seem that the industry cares about that. It's just pushing product.

    "We're getting an incentive on this product, can you just bring it in for me?"
    "This is new, I don't know anything about it yet, they didn't tell me."

    I love this:

    "So I hear you're getting _________, that's exciting!" Them: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    "I have a customer who wants ________, can you add a case of it?" Them: What's that?

    Its the last stop on a shit pile rolling down hill. Constantly shoveling out from other people's problems and barely able to cover cost of living (a separate argument) adds fuel to the fire, until some asshole comes in saying: "CAN I GET HEADY TOPPER!"

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  19. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie

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    There should be a retail draft in the US. Instead of going into the military, you should have to wait tables or work a register.
     
  20. MarkIntihar

    MarkIntihar Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, question - how do I get your job?
     
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