They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Monday, 17 August 2015

Illusion Of Price

People just don't know how much beer costs, it's as simple as that. And it's a fact that's beginning to get on my nerves more and more.

How often do you hear people complaining about the price of a pint, or how much a bottle of lager costs in a pub? I hear it all the time! And I find it pretty funny that no one ever looks twice at the price of a bottle of wine in a bar!!

We get it in the off trade all the time too.. People asking if we "have any deals on" or "I'm sure it's a good beer, but I'm not paying that much"

We don't do deals. We don't have 3 bottles for a fiver or any of that selling strategy. We can offer a 10% discount when you buy a case, but that's about it. We stick to a strict mark-up across our whole bottle range and believe we offer a fair price for all our beers. If they cost more, it's because the breweries sell it to us for more! It's as simple as that.

People just don't seem to understand it though. When I say to customers that we don't offer any multi-buy deals they look at me like I'm from another planet and usually leave in a huff.

It's not these people's faults though, heavens no!

It's the Supermarkets.

They've been doing it so long now we just assume that what they do is the norm. Two bottles of wine for £5, 5 beers for a tenner, or a case of twenty stubbies for less! Supermarkets have been driving down the price of alcohol for so long that our attitudes towards price have become so poisoned and deluded that we turn our noses up at a bottle of wine for £8, but are perfectly happy to pay 2 POUNDS FOR A BAG OF LETTUCE!!


Why don't we do it then? Well because we'd go out of business, simple as. All we sell is alcohol, so unfortunately we can't make massive fat profits on selling people a sandwich, packet of crisps and a drink, calling it a meal-deal for a fiver, whilst not making a margin on a bottle of beer they might buy as well.

Bring the ban on multi-buys to England, a ban on selling below cost price, and a cap on how low margins can dip on alcoholic products! We need it.

...and grow your own chuffin lettuce!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Don't Give Me That Crap!

I drank the worst beer I've ever tasted a couple of weeks ago. This is by no means an exaggeration or some sort of dick waving spiel, it was literally the worst beer I've ever had. I poured it down the drain after two mouthfuls, something I've never, ever done! (probably because I'm a Yorkshireman....)

If you're a newish brewery and you're trying to stand out, here's a really good idea/piece of advice: If one of your team comes up and says "why don't we make a beer and put A,B,C, X,Y,Z in it and then age it on some wood we found.." tell them politely, but firmly, NO. Especially if you don't have a single ounce of experience in the field said team mate suggested.

Spend some time learning how to make good beer first before you start churning out a conveyor belt of multi-ingredient garbage.

I shall not name the brewery or the beer..

Just don't give me that crap.

A similar experience was had last week which got my head in my hands again. We had just received a nice big delivery of beer upon which was a case of highly sought after and well known beer. We put it out and sold a few, job's a good-un... Two days later we got an email from the brewery.

The long and short of it was, the beer was not ready for sale. It needed few more weeks before it was ready. This was fine, at least they told us. But they also said in regards to if we should send it back or not, no, we should just keep the beer to ourselves.

Keep it till when? Keep it where? In our mass of extra cellar space?
I sent it back. If it's not ready for sale, I don't want it. That's not how you run a business.

I shall not name the brewery or the beer...

Just don't send me that crap.

Amongst the gloom there's always the good that shines through though. We got a case of beer in that was covered in a slight mold last week. Apparently the whole pallet was in a similar condition and rather unfit for sale. We called up the brewery and they said they'd get back to us.

They got back to us very shortly saying they'd used a wrong detergent in their cleaning process. They were very apologetic about the whole thing and sent someone to pick up and replace the whole lot. The whole matter was cleared up and managed very quickly, efficiently and professionally.

That's someone that cares about their product, and wants a successful business.

The brewery was Vocation and the beer was Heart & Soul.

Pretty fitting name if you ask me.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Flavour In A Bag

I recently was told of an article which sees an interesting if not bizarre new gadget (I'm not sure what else to call it!?) in the beer world.

Hop Theory have come out with what is essentially - beer tea bags. A bag of three ingreidients; Cascade hops, coriander seeds and orange peel are all packaged up in a bag (not sure exactly how you'd trademark that!) which you can pop in your beer to steep some more flavour into it. It's apparently a "solution for lackluster brews" - something that you'd stick in your glass of mass produced lager to make it taste a bit better than dirty dishwater I guess.

I have two thoughts on this product. Firstly the people already drinking crap beer aren't going to give two monkeys about making it taste better, and secondly people who do want beer with actual flavour aren't going to be buying these things, they'll be buying better beer! I know I won't want to be giving my money to the bigger companies and making their beer taste better instead of buying good beer from people who are passionate about making it..

Now there'll be people that say it'll make cheap Lager taste great, and it will still have lower calories than a 'craft beer', lower abv, be cheaper and all the rest.. but I do wonder how much these bags will cost, even if you can reuse them 4 times!

All that being said, I still actually would like to give it a go!

Small time non-starter fad, or trendsetting way the beer world is moving towards??

Check out the article here and judge for yourself:

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Power Of The Negative

Giving a negative review of a certain beer or brewery is probably something we've all done, be it either on twitter, blogging or just in general conversation.

It's easy to do, and some of the time it can be quite fun! It carries no sense of responsibility from the person, or possibility of recoil done anomalously, and at the same time gives that person a sense (possibly a false sense) of power and authority over anothers product.

So why do we do it? Well there's many answers to that question, but I bet the question that you're all thinking right now is WHAT BEER AM I DRINKING AT THIS MOMENT???

People love a bit of juicy gossip. I think it's just a part of human nature, but the thing I find really interesting is how negative gossip can effect people. They say there's no such thing as bad press, and I think there is a lot of truth to this.

If someone I know, who really likes their beer, knows their stuff and doesn't bullshit the truth - if he tells me he doesn't like a beer he's tried, I'm not sure what it is, but I need to try that beer!

Maybe that's so I can agree, tell him he's wrong, or whatever - but I still want to try the beer.... If people are drinking a similar thing and everyone is just blowing smoke up it's arse, how boring is that? If you don't like it and everyone else does shouldn't you say something? But at the same time, you might be afraid to disagree with everyone else in fear of your thoughts being rejected as ludicrous.

I think a lot of people are so afraid of getting bad press that they completely miss the fact that it could be good for them in the long run! On the other hand, if you weren't completely convinced in your own product, you wouldn't release it for public consumption...

I think the question of why we're drinking beers that make us feel this way is another topic all together though...

Hmmm.... The beer industry can be a funny place sometimes....

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Peer Pressure

There's been some interesting goings on recently around one of our local pubs which seems to almost border on the Hot Fuzz-esk shenanigans. I feel the recent actions of the Far Headingley community can only be classified by the term "for the greater good."

We have a well know pub in Far Headingley - it's second on the 'Otley Run' and is called The Three Horseshoes. It's stood in it's location for many many years, probably about a thousand... (not actually sure, but it feels like a thousand years when some people talk about it!)

The pub recently changed hands and this was the scene I observed when coming back from the deli one afternoon;

Crap quality photo I know, but you might just be able to make out that the name changed to the Industrialist - a pub that was going to push "All day food, Live sports and Craft beer" once the referb was completed.

This obviously had mouths agape and tongues started wagging whilst fingers pointed and heads shook... you get the gist. I personally thought it was a bit silly, but held some silent optimism and waited for opening night.

Now I was too busy to pop in for a pint on opening night but assumed it went down well. About a week later me and some friends decided to go check it out only to find the doors locked and closed. Without seeing any explanation I didn't think much else of it until I saw this tweet from Greg Mulholland;

@GregMulholland1: Well done & thanks @SpiritPubCo for listening to the #FarVillage community & re-renaming the #ThreeHorseshoes!

The tweet had these two accompanying photos:

There it was, plain as day.. the name had changed back to The Three Horseshoes.

Now some of these women in the photo come in the shop from time to time and I see the rest of them out and about in Far Headingley a lot. I'm pretty confident when I say that I'm 99% sure that they do not drink in the shoes. I'm also pretty confident in saying that I'm 99% sure that these were the only people who will have complained about the name change.

I knew the Far Headingley community had a lot of power behind them, but for all of this to go down in the space of 2 maybe 3 weeks is very surprising to me.

All this pushed to one side for the moment though, name aside the referb is a vast improvement to the place. We went in for burgers and beers the other night and had to go back the very next day as the quality was that good. Call it what you want, surely it's the quality that matters the most?