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  1. buzz
    February 21, 2019 @ 5:21 am

    The thing that this article is ignoring is that often distributors are trying to move product, and have developed relationships with beer buyers. Beer Buyers, at least good ones, dictate to the distributors what they can move, based on consumer wants and needs. BAD Beer Buyers let the distributors dictate deals…. i.e. You can have this high demand annual release but only if you move this lesser selling SKU. The result is a glut of poorly executed mediocre taps, that eventually get emptied out 1/2 ounce at a time in samples.

    This is an economic system. Consumers demand product from Beer Buyers, who need to demand product from distributors, who demand product from producers. If the producers don’t make what the Consumers ultimately want, the producers shouldn’t be in business, but with that third tier in the middle, producers can get away with making crappy beer.


    • Greg
      March 2, 2019 @ 4:21 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more. If I owned a craft beer pub and were forced by the distributors to buy the ‘dogs’, could I form an association with the other craft beer pub owners in my town and leverage that to push back on the distributor?
      Over and over and over I see distributors controlling the retail outlets they sell to in exactly the way you are referencing. It happens in the beer biz, the flower biz, the bridal market biz and many others. The tail is wagging the dog.


  2. Older Thanyou
    February 5, 2019 @ 11:22 am

    My biggest issue with these tap situations at “craft” beer bars are the non-craft beers that try to camouflage themselves and get a tap. AB-Inbev, Miller-Coors and Constellation tried for over a decade to KILL craft beer. When their dumb asses figured out they couldn’t they did the next best thing; they bought or created craft beers. Most of you would be amazed how many “craft” breweries arent craft breweries!
    I fully support these breweries rights to “sell out”. Its the American way. But once one of these companies owns even a bit of those breweries yiud be a fool to believe the “craft” has not left the building and been replaced with cheaper more profitable ingrediants/methods.
    Take your money and run Ballast Point, Kona, Brooklyn, Devils Backbone (wait, didnt AB just create that one?), 21st Amendment, Brekenridge…CIGAR CITY & OSCAR BLUES??? Say what? Yep them too. But don’t try to sell yourselves as craft. Cuz you ain’t anymore.
    Check out Infographic:


    • Greg
      March 2, 2019 @ 4:24 pm

      If you buy locally produced craft beers you know you are getting craft. I live in Columbus, Ohio and we have probably a dozen well known, recognizable local brewers. I always look for their beers when I am in the bars.


  3. Beer Grills
    February 1, 2019 @ 7:20 pm

    You don’t want to have to sit on garbage no one wants to buy/drink. This model has you basically rotating 20% of those taps regularly while the other styles sit. Businesses are in business to make money.


  4. Will Correll
    January 30, 2019 @ 5:34 am

    A craft beer bar with 2 taps is going to have atleast 1 cider and maybe as many as 3 (usually if there are strong local options).


  5. Mike Malsed
    January 29, 2019 @ 3:56 pm

    this shows a sad lack of business knowledge on the post of the writer. Pricing an Imperial Stout and Hazy IPA or a cellared keg, strong beer, etc. at the same tier as a craft lager or hef is ridiculous. The writer should know that MOST beer pricing levels are set around the cost of producing the beer. A $7 pour is likely going to be a hazy IPA (which costs a lot more in late addition hops, which are not efficiently utilized, meaning it takes a LOT more of them to get the same IBU as early addition) or a strong beer/imperial stout (which cost a lot more in malt and then in hops to balance. A cellared beer is likely going to cost similarly or even a bit more because of time spent in barrels plus a lot of extra money invested in malt. And, as mentioned above, Pliny the Elder? at the same price tier as a Sierra Nevada Pale? The cost is so much different.

    It’s about business. Craft beer, at least at the lower end, is NOT a “good margin” business. It works. It can be good, but once you get into distribution (specifically shelf space) you’re hitting significant competition. Charging these lower prices is going to hit the craft brewery’s bottom line, which is already a bit thin.

    Yes, craft beer can be expensive. But it is also widely varied. You can find SN-PA for low prices; you can find Stone for low prices; but if you look for Lost Abbey Deliverance, you’re going to pay through the nose. Gee – guess why.



    • CF
      January 30, 2019 @ 9:22 am

      I don’t think they’re suggesting only two price tiers. They’re just separating the available handles into two categories (permenant handles + standby styles & rotating + experimental / one-off). The word choice of “tiers” could be questioned, however they did clarify about pricing kegs to cost / strength, etc.


    • Jake Green
      January 30, 2019 @ 11:49 am

      “or have tiered pricing based on locality, strength of beer or cost of beer.”

      Too stoked to interject your opinion and feel “smarter” than the author that you couldn’t be bothered to actually read the article?


    • Buzz
      February 21, 2019 @ 5:15 am

      We’re seeing $6-$7.50 pours of ANYTHING that is not a “flagship” in rural college town VA. But we’re also seeing $5 6-packs of Hamms Tallboys and $24 four-packs of mediocre double IPA.


  6. Brian
    January 25, 2019 @ 10:49 am

    Full time Pliny? Helles yes!


    • Duke Cabrillo
      January 29, 2019 @ 9:53 am

      I was excited to get my hands on two bottles of Elder (and 1 Blind Pig) last week here in Sacramento. RRBC distributes to this area and some of the better craft beer spots get a keg occasionally.


  7. Monte Summers
    January 24, 2019 @ 2:28 pm

    You forgot craft cider!


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