Okay, so when you make a trade, it’s a common part of the culture to include a couple/few extras in the box, unless it’s agreed that we’ll skip that part. Me, I’ll often research (cyberstalk) the hell out of my trading partner to find out what (s)he likes/wants/needs/doesn’t already have. Tools like seekabrew.com and wants/gots lists exist to make this easier.
Lately there’s been a disturbing trend… after years of getting solid extras in trades, all of a sudden I’ve had a string of trades where people are sending absolute garbage — and some from established, repeat trading partners. Here’s some of the highlights of the shit I’ve received in just the last six weeks:
Jolly Pumpkin (distro here)
Lees Harvest Ale (distro everywhere)
Petrus Pale (distro everywhere)
Victory at Sea (distro here and listed as a beer I have already)
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (distributed… well, fucking EVERYWHERE)
Some Sam Adams dunkel (Sam Adams has even better distro than SN)
BCBS (not distro’d here yet, but listed as a beer I have already)
Random cans/bottles that don’t get distro in the sender’s state, and are obvious “regifts” of stuff they’ve received from others
Six-month-old pale ales and IPAs that were scrounged out of the back of someone’s fridge
Nothing at all
Some of these are honestly baffling. Really guys, if you’re gonna send them, don’t just grab whatever you have laying around that you’re not gonna drink. Extras are your chance to blow someone away and establish a good trading relationship. Fuck it up and just send a bunch of random shit and you’ll soon be wondering why no one wants to do a second trade with you.
So… yeah. I’m not as disgruntled as some people after Swamphead changed the allocation to one bottle per person after 20 people had already gone through, but I have a few thoughts. To make this work out a lot better, Swamphead could have:
Announced the number of bottles that would be available at some point
Figured out that their own event posted on Facebook had more than 120 people coming to get the 200 bottles that they did have available (not including the mules that seemingly everyone brought)
Done a final headcount just prior to opening to set the allocation accordingly
Made twice as many fucking bottles, and not waste a Pappy barrel on a DIPA
Any one of those could’ve improved things measurably for the people who drove hours from out of town (in one case from Miami! Gotta feel bad for that guy). Had I not already been there I can’t imagine that I’d go through all that for a single bottle — and sorry, BA 10.10.10 is not a consolation.
It also didn’t help that one person reportedly left with at least 24 bottles with his mules. Honestly, I don’t have that much of an issue with the muling as much as him talking with people near the back of the line, bragging about his seven mules and more on the way, in a very loud voice in front of many people who either only got one bottle or got shut out.
It wasn’t a total clusterfuck. All of the staff were very nice, even in the face of some irritable people. Credit the bartenders in the tasting room, who had their shit totally together; I didn’t see anyone waiting for a beer for more than a minute or two the whole time I was in there. And at least I met a few cool people, who I’m sure I’ll see again in the future for shares. Cheers to them!
“Some of the bottled beer was worth $200-to-$300 per bottle. More than 570 bottles were recovered during a search warrant executed at the suspect’s home in Fort Collins, and included several cases of Isabelle Proximus beer ($200/bottle); bottles of Duck Duck Gooze beer ($100/bottle); bottles of Rogue Old Crustacean beer ($100/bottle) and one bottle of 2001 Rogue Old Crustacean Barley Wine ($100/bottle). Other beers recovered separately as evidence had been given to Dickinson’s new employer as a gift, and included very rare bottles of Black Tot Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout ($300/bottle) and Sui Generis Barrel-Aged Sour Ale ($300/bottle).”
Seriously?! Where do they get these valuations, directly from Avery? From this dope’s eBay page? I especially love the “$300/bottle” for the typically-infected Black Tot.