In a moment of clarity. Some sensible behavior in a grown up fashion.
This blog post is a serious point of view of a lover of beer and business owner.
This one time we are done with the outrageous comments, wild similes, allegations, silly behavior and nonsense you would expect from this particular piece of internet garbage, gracing your computer screen.
Surely by now, you know that in real life, I’m not as foolish, obtuse and irrational as some of the blog posts suggest.
If you haven’t understood that yet, well maybe there is no hope for your intelligence.
However, I can be as angry (so, so angry) cynical or opinionated as on display. You would, have to really piss me off to experience that.
I thought it time to discuss the beer industry philosophically.
And what I really mean by this if I wanted to tell the truth (and we all know how I fell about the truth, whether it be delivered delicately or brutally), is that about the growing divide between the two main parties in the industry.
And they are;
1. The people who work in the industry, few by choice. Most have somehow stumbled into this particular rabbit hole, one way or the other
2. The people who consume the product. Decide, dictate, pontificate and most importantly (and where, I think some people forget) actually have to drink the product.
I consider myself a mixture of both (this could also be debated).
Like everything in life, it’s all about balance.
Y'know, not too much carbs, not too much fruit, not too much fiber.
Ok, we are all on the same page then?
What the blog intends to do (sometimes), and by all means can fail miserably.
Is not only a medium for me to inform you what beers have arrived in store.
However, it gives you an insight on what its like to actually be in (and by “be in” I mean work, live and breath beer) the industry.
Not - “oh well I homebrew heaps, done loads of brewery tours, read heaps and heaps of books. I help out at beer events and festivals and I keep hand written diary of all my beer tastings”- in the beer industry.
I’m talking about your lively hood.
I’m talking about when the food on your dinner table and the cloths on your back are supplied by your thoughts and passion for malt fermented beverages.
Now please don’t get this confused with beer knowledge.
I also know plenty of people “NOT” in the beer industry that are plenty more knowledgeable than me and some sales reps that are total bell-ends.
I know plenty of people “IN” the beer industry that would know dick about beer.
They have had some IPA’s, Imp. Stouts and a sour beer or two and all of a sudden they're Adrian Tierney-Jones.
You’ve probably met some of them along your travels.
And, so all my snicky, pithy comments are in fact exaggerations of the perennial mood swings of being in the beer industry and being passionate about it.
The carry on is there to get your attention and reaction, to think about something you might not have thought about previously.
Otherwise, it would just be another one of those 350,000th beer blogs about the same stories, same beers, and same tag lines.
“Wish it had more hops….” So on and so forth.
I don’t expect you to understand. For all I know, I could have described or summed you up exactly a few sentences back.
Well, sorry. Kinda.
One thing that I like is to be realistic (sometimes brutally) about the industry or the folk that inhabit it.
So lets say I wanted to discuss prices of single beers (a sticking point for some people. Including myself).
If I’m honest (here we go again) that’s why I’m typing this very badly spelt blog entry.
This is where I’m going to give you a view from the other side of the counter.
However, right away if your one of those “customer is always right kind of people” than I think its best you stop reading now and continue buying seafood (imported from Thailand) from Woolworths and bread from Coles that is imported from Ireland and baked (and by that I mean warmed up in an oven) in Australia.
If I was to quantify as a percentage, the sales and contribution of good beer (craft beer, if you want to call it that) as a whole for both my stores, as a business and an economic enterprise.
I would be generous in putting that at 25%.
If I was to quantify as a percentage. The effort, time, dedication, organization, effort, hounding down, bending backwards in stocking the right amount of the right thing at the right time and pre ordering products for perceived demand, to get the first, to get the best etc..
I would be realistic in putting that at 80%-85% of my time and effort.
Now this doesn’t bother me. I love great beer. More than most people out there (or that read this blog), everything single last detail about it.
However, from a business perspective, those numbers do not stack up.
They do not stack up at all.
Now you might not agree with me, hate me, or think I’m a magnanimous twat.
But anyone with any simple knowledge about business and business practices cannot dispute with those kind of raw numbers.
It’s not a very sustainable business practice.
All my singles (those applicable in 4-6pks) are pretty much $10. And I’m not ashamed of it.
Some would call this price gouging, I call it economic encouragement.
If you want the beer at a good price, you are more than welcome to purchase the beer at the 4-6pk prices.
Buy a case? I can do an even better discount for you. A very good one, in fact.
What’s that business term? Um, ahhhhhh.
Oh yeah, it’s buying in bulk.
It might seem twisted to you. However, it’s what works for me and both my stores.
I do not, and would not expect anybody else to go to work every day, so that (oh, lets call him) Gerard can try three different types of IPA.
Then, me or someone else (some other poor bastard at the fate of finicky beer customers) is stuck with the remainder of unsellable, slow moving un-fresh stock, slowly eating away at valuable cash flow, hindering other fast moving parts of the business.
I never said you would like what I would have to say.
I just said, that it would be an insight to what its like on the other side of the counter.
To finish up, the ultimate food for thought.
From my point of view.
A substantial (not all) amount of the people (YOU? Maybe?) that complain, bitch and whine about beers (particularly from the United Sates – always Hoppy offerings etc..) not being super, super fresh 24/7.
Are usually the people that only try and dink said beer, ONCE (ticked that box).
So the question I ask is.
How the fuck do we get (continuous) fresh stock of beer if YOU and everyone else only try and drink said beer, once. And move on?
It’s purely formulaic.
You end up being part of the problem and NOT part of the solution.
Please, think about it.
How’d I go with this one? Not too much of a dick? Yeah? Nah?
A few outbursts, here and there. Oh well.