Author Topic: It's getting worse...  (Read 1366 times)

Offline Phil_M

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It's getting worse...
« on: March 08, 2018, 11:26:57 PM »
My local liquor stores are depressing me.

The freshest Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I've found was packaged on December 6th.
Torpedo? November.
Anything Dogfishhead? October, 2017.
Guinness? Well I haven't worked out their codes, but a few are still selling the flying Toucan anniversary cans. The St. Patrick's display at one store still wasn't the current can design, but rather one prior.

I have not been able to find anything from any German breweries that was packaged this year. I did manage to score a 12-pack of Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale bomber that were awesomely fresh, but all the ones I could afford to buy will likely languish on shelves for a few years.

Can't help but think this sort of thing will be what does in many craft breweries. I'm sure much of the blame is distributors that order too much, but still. I can find fresh Yuengling, and Sam Adams products...I'm sure it's different in other areas, but I know around here that's about all that can be had fresh.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Robert

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 11:57:07 PM »
I understand that a part of the problem is that often retailers have to eat the cost of stock pulled for being out of date, when it's the distributor who caused the delay in getting it to market.  It gets worse as you add layers.  For instance the steward at a local market says he has problems with Great Lakes:  GL has their canning done by Magic Hat (owned by you know who.)  GL specifies the expiration date for a batch, but Magic Hat delays getting it to the distributor,  where there can be further delays.  Now the store may get their entire lot of a particular release with only days left.  Good retailers bite the bullet, some just sell out of date product.  So here's another way big beer owning multiple layers of the process hurts independents.

As for imports, well, big beer is only hurting themselves.  But they seem not to care about looking after their "import" brands in a given market as long as they have a market presence through at least one big brand.  Some move well, but I can't get anything from most German and Continental brewers that's not stale.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2018, 12:10:37 AM »
In my town, which is 50 miles from Field 41, the freshest Field 41 i have seen is 5 months old. We are 150 miles from Bend, and the freshest Worthy IPA is usually 4 months. It can be empty shelf one day, new stock the next, and the new stock is that old. So it's Columbia Distributors in The Dalles. I chock it up to the lovely 3 tier system.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2018, 12:38:44 AM »
In my town, which is 50 miles from Field 41, the freshest Field 41 i have seen is 5 months old. We are 150 miles from Bend, and the freshest Worthy IPA is usually 4 months. It can be empty shelf one day, new stock the next, and the new stock is that old. So it's Columbia Distributors in The Dalles. I chock it up to the lovely 3 tier system.

I've got exactly the same issue. Local brewing 1.5 hours away by by car, usually a week or so from the drink by date when it appears on shelves. (If you're lucky.)

Being close to DC and Baltimore, I wonder if distributors send their fresh stock to city shops that charge more, and slough off the old stuff on us SMIBS.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 12:43:30 AM »
In my town, which is 50 miles from Field 41, the freshest Field 41 i have seen is 5 months old. We are 150 miles from Bend, and the freshest Worthy IPA is usually 4 months. It can be empty shelf one day, new stock the next, and the new stock is that old. So it's Columbia Distributors in The Dalles. I chock it up to the lovely 3 tier system.

I've got exactly the same issue. Local brewing 1.5 hours away by by car, usually a week or so from the drink by date when it appears on shelves. (If you're lucky.)

Being close to DC and Baltimore, I wonder if distributors send their fresh stock to city shops that charge more, and slough off the old stuff on us SMIBS.
Another was Cascade Lakes from Redmond, OR, Hop Smack IPA. I haven't gotten around to trying it. Finally did the other day. Bland, and very low aroma. Seemed too sweet. Flipped over the can. 6 months old. The brewery is 130 miles away.

Offline Robert

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 12:55:36 AM »
And yet I get some very fresh stuff, both local (including bottled GL) and non local, even the odd import.  I might get Deschutes fresher than Jim, for all I know. It's clearly complicated. The whole matrix of brewer, packager, distributor,  retailer, money, politics....  If you want something done right do it yourself, right? Well apart from homebrewers and pubs nobody has that level of control.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline Phil_M

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2018, 01:01:47 AM »
If you want something done right do it yourself, right?

Don't even get me started on that. I've spent the last week, and way too much of my time sorting through a tire balance issue that never should have happened in the first place. I do all the work on my vehicles myself, because I'm sick of shoddy work at premium prices...but I'm not about to drop the coin on a tire balancer...

Anyway, back to beer. From the shops I've talked to, they do what they can to get fresh beer, but they're really at the mercy of whatever the distributor offers.

It's even worse with craft whiskies. The local distillery has to go through a distributor, and the result is we only get a handful (less than a dozen) a month or so.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Robert

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 01:12:53 AM »
Like some places where the distiller has to sell the whiskey to the state which sells it to a distributor who sells it back to the distiller to serve in his tasting room.... At least beer's not usually that bad.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline majorvices

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2018, 01:24:01 AM »
Recently we bought about $25,000 worth of outdated beers back from the distributor. It is extremely painful.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2018, 01:55:17 AM »
If you want something done right do it yourself, right?

Don't even get me started on that. I've spent the last week, and way too much of my time sorting through a tire balance issue that never should have happened in the first place. I do all the work on my vehicles myself, because I'm sick of shoddy work at premium prices...but I'm not about to drop the coin on a tire balancer...

Anyway, back to beer. From the shops I've talked to, they do what they can to get fresh beer, but they're really at the mercy of whatever the distributor offers.

It's even worse with craft whiskies. The local distillery has to go through a distributor, and the result is we only get a handful (less than a dozen) a month or so.
Dyna Beads! Check them out.

Offline Robert

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 02:39:08 AM »
Had to Google it. That is one cool idea! Let physics do the job!  If only there were Dyna Beads to balance the beverage industry.
Rob
Akron, Ohio

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2018, 03:14:06 AM »
Ive used them for years in my Harleys. They work as advertised. The only hassel is filling/checking air pressure. Valve stems have to be at 3 or 9 o'clock. Lead weights balance the wheel at the time of balancing. Dyna Beads rebalance the wheel every time you get over 20 mph

Offline Phil_M

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2018, 11:45:01 AM »
Sadly the Dyna Beads won't have helped the current mess, as the Camaro has TPMS sensors. (And I don't know that I'd trust those at high speed, the Camaro sees track use.)

However, they look like a great solution for the pickup. That's got mud/snow tires on it, and would likely benefit from those.

Recently we bought about $25,000 worth of outdated beers back from the distributor. It is extremely painful.

With all the recent issues Maryland had been having trying to reform the beer laws and brewer/distributor relationship, that sort of problem is what stuck out to me the most. IMO the distributor should be the one on the hook for those losses, their job is to be salespeople after all. If breweries can be made to buy back stale product, there's no risk in it for the distributor. They've got a win-win with no incentive to order beer in appropriate quantities to sell fresh, as one way or another somebody (consumer or producer) is going to buy it.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline narvin

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2018, 05:34:30 PM »
I wonder if this is related to an overcrowded market for shelf space in general. Not only have a lot of breweries popped up in the past few years, but many of them are aggressively growing their distribution.
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Offline flars

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Re: It's getting worse...
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2018, 05:58:21 PM »
I brew the Dead Ringer, a clone of Bell's Two Hearted Ale.  I was thinking of changing the recipe a little bit.  Picked up a 6 pack of Two Heart yesterday to get familiar with it again.  Freshest I could find was almost four months old.  Tastes terrible.  Very little aroma and finishes with an oil slick reminiscent of motor oil.  I brewed the clone before I tasted Two Heart a number of years ago.

The clone would never had been brewed if I would have tasted one like I had yesterday before brewing the clone.  The 6 pack out in front on the shelf was 6 months old.