Rant du jour
OK, I have a couple beers in me and it time to let the shit fly. Now I’m a firm believer in “every thing has its place”, but there are just some things in the craft beer world that is plain getting out of hand. eBay is my gripe of the day, rather rant du jour.
So this afternoon a great beer trading buddy of mine emails me. He knows I’m going to San Fransisco on vacation and will be there while Toronado is having there big 23rd anniversary celebration. Now my friend I are always hooking each other up with beer we can’t get locally; It’s been a great trading partnership. So, he says Toronado is having their 23rd anniversary party, do you think you could grab me a bottle of Cable Car. Now my buddy is about on the up and up as you can get. He olny trades with people who are in it for the experience of the beer, not because it is the best shit according to Beer Advocate or Rate Beer trading forums are giving their first born and right arm for the beer, no he wants to drink the beer. So I tell him, “sure if I can get it there, I’ll gladly get you a bottle”.
This afternoon I call up Toronado and ask them about Cable Car and their Pizza Port anniversary Imperial Red. The gentleman tells me it is only for consumption on premise and can’t be taken away. So I say “Okay… why” He say, we are sick of people selling the beer for $200 a bottle on eBay. WOW! I totally get what they are saying. Cause a few money grubbing people were selling this beer on eBay, it stops people like myself from enjoying it and sharing it with some friends. It really pissed me off! I’m not pissed at Tornado, I agree with what they are doing, but damn I would love to take a bottle home to New Jersey to share with my #BrewYork crew!
About 2 years ago I used to buy some beer on eBay that I couldn’t get here in NJ. I thought $20 dollars for a bottle of Carnivale was worth 20 dollars including shipping, but it is no longer like that. What I’ve seen on eBay over the last year is a travesty in my humble opinion. I’ve seen the Allagash coolship beers for $200 a bottle. Now, I’ve had the coolship beers. Allagash sent them to me as part of a podcast I was doing on spontaneous fermented beer. But, these beers have never been released to the public. You get a company like Allagash being generous enough to give them to some people who then go around and sell them on eBay? That is just wrong in my opinion. I’m not even going to start with Dark Lord…
As long as there are people out there who see a dollar to be made this will always be a problem. At some point the money become more important then what the beer is or was intended to be. There are dozens of example of beer being hyper-inflated on ebay, Lost Abby, Russian River, Allagash, Utopias, Dark Lord, Surly, Imperial Stout Trooper, Sexual Chocolate, Perfect Storm, Black Tuesday, and more. Quite frankly I’m surprised many of these brewers don’t make people sign ledgers so they can track who is perverting the good names trying to make a quick dollar.
After my original post and some great comments below, I went on eBay. Here’s some numbers/greed:
- 4 BA Mikkeller Black Holes – $110, retail $65?
- ’08 Kate the Great – $135!
- Three Floyds Alpha Kong – $80
- ’08 Surley Darkness – $85
- ’10 Surley Smoke – $79.99
- 3 Firestone Parabola – $139.99
- 09 Utopias – $279.99
This is just the first page, not all of these had bids. I guess what gets me is that people will pay that for these bottles. As long as there is a demand the price is “justified”.