Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Skinny

There's been some very passionate dialogue concerning our special release beers, their quantity, how they're sold, etc.

We first want to recognize that having this debate at all is a luxury. We could concept these beers, guide them through our tanks and release them to the sound of crickets.
Fortunately, people are interested and show up to see what we made.

When we release beers, throw parties or whatever, we do our best to think through the process and run things in the best way for you, the faithful consumer, and Half Acre.

Here's where we'll address the common issues we've come across:

Why don't you release beers on the weekend, so us 9-5ers can have equal access?

-We release beers during the week because Saturdays are our tour day, which already has 100+ people lining up outside the brewery every week. To have that line and then a release line would make life for everyone a little crazy. We haven't released beers on Sundays because like most of you, we need some rest. Much like you 9-5ers we work all week, too. We actually put in hours that can sometimes be described as "brutal," and "exhausting." We're tossing around some ideas and might have a solution, but that's why releases have been during the week so far.

Bottle / Growler limits.

-They've been to high and will be reduced for the first day or two after release.

Why don't you just make more?

-We have made more. We do make more and will make more. The amount of beer we produce today relative to two years ago is pretty staggering. We have expanded….dramatically. With that said, we struggle to keep inventories in line and have responsibilities to the people carrying our beer in bars & stores. Thumbing our nose at those people would be out of line. Additionally, we produce as much or more special release beer relative to our total production than any production brewery making beer in this thirsty country.

A lottery system

- This could probably work if we had the time and energy to effectively work out the details.

We are a small brewery that utilizes every hand on deck to produce the beer we brew each and every week. Our days are long, intentions positive and aim constantly geared towards improvement.


Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL


Anonymous said...

when's the next release?

werlkjh said...

I don't see a problem with your system. I work the 9-5 during the week and if I really want a beer I can take a couple hours off to get some. I left work last Friday at 6pm for the Galactic Double, rode my bike over and was able to get four bottles. Seemed like that was more than I could ask for given its popularity and the fact that I waited in line for half an hour to get it at 6pm.

You guys are doing an amazing job, thanks for such great beer and keep it up!

Anonymous said...

thanks, keep up the good work!
(I'm lucky* and can make many of the releases)


Peesie said...

I personally think your doing a great job. I'm a little bummed to hear about a 2 bottle limit as, if I (a 9 to 5er) decide to take a day off (which I do 2-4 times a year) for a release have always felt 4-6 bottles make it worth taking the day. That being said I completely understand you are trying to please the masses and not just my a$$ (es)...

Keep up the good work, I always enjoy your daily brews and special offerings and will continue to hit a few special releases a year.

On a side note, I keep hearing about "the cloud" I think it's an Internet term. Perhaps this cloud can be captured and trained to rain more of your special brews into there bottles thus relieving some of the burden... Just a thought ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the candor, transparency, and the great beer. Much appreciated.

Jeff Judge said...

It is frustrating to miss out on these beers, but it's totally understandable given your growth and limited time in the day. You guys are doing a great job and we all really appreciate it.

re: lottery - My company (http://www.signalhq.com) provides software that could help you with this, super easy to use and I'd just let use it for free.

Yinka Double Dare said...

I think my favorite was the guy who said you should make less of the regular lineup, including Daisy Cutter, and told you to "hear your customers." Uh, maybe this guy hasn't noticed that Daisy Cutter is relatively hard to find on store shelves at this point because people buy the hell out of it. Hearing your customers certainly doesn't involve making LESS Daisy Cutter! Contrary to what the increasingly annoying "beer connoisseurs" think, breweries don't exist to be EXTREME DUDE and serve the people who only drink the newest double IPA or barrel-aged somethingorother (a real beer geek loves sessionable beers too). The regular lineup is what pays the bills for pretty much any brewery, especially when your regular lineup includes something as good as Daisy Cutter is and as popular as it has become.

Glad you'll look at reducing the bottle max per person. I would think 4 is sufficient for most releases, and for the really limited ones like Small Animal, you could do 3 or even 2 if the bottle count is low enough to warrant it. I didn't make it in for this release (figuring it would sell out by the time I could get there) but got a chance to sample it at the Oak Park fest the next day - good stuff. Keep up the good work, most of us know you're making as much as you can already.

satan165 said...

i just want to say that i did 'complain' in the last post after the galactic release. but just for the record i have zero ill will with half acre or the way they have handled things, it has literally gotten to the point where no beer is worth that trouble. ill relish the many, many beers i did try in the past. keep on truckin guys.

Anonymous said...

No beer is worth the trouble of waiting in line, but it's still worth the trouble to complain about it online. Got it.

Anonymous said...

Please don't do lotteries for special releases.

Anonymous said...

We all can't get every beer that comes out everywhere all the time. So we live in Chicago, we want a new Half Acre brew -- there are so many new ones coming out all the time -- but we can't get off work in time and we miss it. And you kno what? It's OK. You didn't miss anything life-changing. It's just beer.

So, please, to HA: Do NOT go lottery, it will only drive people more nuts. To beer geeks in Chicago: We are spoiled beyond belief here. If you miss a new Half Acre beer, relax and spend the $$ on something else instead; go to West Lakeview Liquors or Armanetti's and get something else you've never had before. IT'S JUST BEER.

Anonymous said...

Please no lottery.

Jacob said...

I think you guys are doing a great job and I want to see you keep on doing a great job.

Have you considered charging more for this special, limited releases. This way the purchasers have more to think about when they deprive those behind them in line of a new beer.

I think you will find that more people would be able to enjoy your beer and you would be able to invest the capital in making more of it.

Deeeeezzzz nuts said...

Lower the bottle limit,But please no lottery.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful that I, too, was one of the lucky few to grab some of this. I do have a 9-5 job, in a suburb, but am lucky enough to sneak out a little early on Fridays. I love this beer, and it was worth standing in line. People need to quit complaining. If you really want some, be resourceful. How do you really feel such a sense of entitlement to it that you'll ask the brewery to change their schedule or distribution structure to accomodate you? Seriously, people, more thinking and less talking.

One more thing: HUGE thanks again to you guys at Half Acre who continue to churn out brews good enough to warrant taking off work early! Keep 'em coming!

Anonymous said...

So the best system is to have a yearly membership for "x" amount of dollars. For that, I get the right to buy two (2) bottles of whatever release goes on sale during the course of the year.
Those bottles can then held back for 2-3 weeks so that I, a 9-5 person can come in at any time and get the beer with my membership card/id. If I choose not to buy the beer, it goes on sale to the general public. Under this system your "true" Half Acre beer lovers will ante up the dollars for the right to buy the beer. Makes more sense then a "bottle limit" or lottery, right?

Beer Teeth said...

I'm a chef and have an idea about the hours and love that go into the art of creation and love you have for the product you produce. Getting the maximum out of your equipment and staff while producing the highest quality of product is something to be commended on. Saved some bottles over the months and did a 5 course for some friends, everybody loved the idea of a beer tasting. Looking forward to the next blockbuster.

Erik - Sweden said...

I usually stay at the Crowne Plaza Metro Downtown when I get here, and the bar people now know what I need when I get here (actually, i am having a Daisy Cutter right now.....delicious! The only thing I need right now is a bottled version of your Daisy Cutter to bring back to my beer nerds in Sweden (only on draft in the bar...).

Really appreciate your product and I will certainly try to schedule a visit to your brewery if I can get here in time for it.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that a lottery system would be all that great, but I do like the idea brought up of a membership system where you could pay a yearly fee and get 2-3 bottles or growler on each special release. I would say those should only be on hold for the member for a week and then after that they can go to the general public.
The other idea would be to do a ticket pre-sale on the special releases. You could get it setup online to purchase up to the bottle limit and once the release happens, those who got their orders would have up to a week to pick up their amount. Whatever is not picked up after that time can then go to everyone else.

Paul said...

Brew strong, guys. Brew strong. With so much other stuff to complain about in the world, the my favorite brewery's not very high on the shit-list.

Aaron said...

Membership system is a great idea - it gives HA some money up front and a really precise number of units they basically have sold ahead of time. If people don't stop in within a week to exercise the option they purchased to buy beer, you get the pleasure of doing a "second release" of that stock, so another bunch of people that don't want to sing up for a full-on membership get a crack at it. It's win-win!