Monday, August 22, 2011

Tears

We released Galactic Double Daisy Cutter this past Friday. It sold out by 7pm.

We first want to thank everyone that came, sent people, drove hours and showed an interest in hoisting this beer. We send out a pixelated embrace to each one of you.

To those that weren't able to get your hands on some of this brew: Bottom line, we thought it would last longer. Our last big release was for Small Animal Big Machine which also sold out in the same amount of time, but was half the volume. We thought double the volume would increase the odds of spreading this hop-goon to interested parties, but again we underestimated the passion for the sticky bits.

We're going to explore some other options, but none are great and all increase the rigamarole considerably, so we'll see what hits.

That's for your understanding and solid support.

Till Then,

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL

43 comments:

G said...

You're getting too popular too fast. What a problem to have! :)

It's great beer, by the way.

Peesie said...

While it is unfortunate that some of those that wanted to get this brew didn't, you can't make all the people happy all the time...

You were more than fair with the release:
1. You gave people ample notice about the release.
2. You set a fair bottle limit.
3. You made a good faith effort to let people know what was going on.

As a working stiff myself, I knew I really wanted to get this brew. To that means I made accommodations to be there at 11:00 to get in line and get the brew.

The only thing I might suggest doing differently for the next release would be to set the cost at an amount that taxes out at an even dollar amount. That way you could easily setup 2 lines. 1 in the shop for credit or debit, and one in the bay for cash transactions.

Other than that I think they way your going about your business is great! Congrats on selling out so quick, and as always the brew exceeded my expectations.

Keep up the good work!

Joe

Anonymous said...

You need a bigger brewery, stat.

Such Luck said...

Any thought to offering it year round instead of a one-off?

Norman said...

To the boot strapping, ooze pulling creators of GDDC, Half Acre.

Please telling where I can find this limited Uber-hazy and jam packed with the stickiness in a keg. In the comments from 8/19, you said there is some held for a few SPECIAL, VERY SPECIAL local bars. Who are they? Can this be disclosed?

Please say it to be so!!Please!!

Piddy said...

Why were some sold without wax?

Anonymous said...

Nobody really needs six bombers and a growler. Selfish stockpiling and hoarding is becoming the bane of craft beer. Accessibility should be a priority but breweries will make the same amount of money either way so sadly, I would not expect the bottle limit to decrease at all.

That said, I'm not whining...I came by and grabbed three bombers, a reasonable amount. I just wish more people could partake in limited releases instead of getting shut out by a select few.

Alex said...

May I ask why you can't do releases on Saturday? As one of the many 9-5ers who enjoys your beer and looks forward to the releases of new and special batches, it is disheartening to think that in order to make sure I get one I need to take a day off from work. Very often, it's not feasible.

It seems like holding events like this and ticket releases on Saturday instead of Friday would eliminate a lot of the gripes from this process, but maybe there is something I am not considering, so I would appreciate being illuminated if there is.

Gabriel said...

We don't do releases on Saturdays because that's when we offer our tours, which have over 100 lining up at our door every week already. Tour + release = chaos of unsurmountable proportion.

A lower bottle limit would'v been good in this scenario.

satan165 said...

whatever the bottle limit is, there are lots of people that will max out regardless. this whole thing has spun out of control...i really thought that small animal big machine caused me to wait in line because it was a collaboration. now i realize this is how all half acre beers will be released from now on. and its no fault of the propriters and as has been said above, its a good problem to have. for them. taking off of work, waiting in line/sweating, i dont know how many more times i can do this. ill relish the memories i have and drink something else.

sincerely, the #2 half acre rater on ratebeer.com (by quantity/checklist - 33/41, 80%),

satan165

Alex said...

Then it seems Sunday would be a good release date, or reschedule tours to Sunday. The point is, if you want to make it accessible to the most people, a weekend seems to be the best choice.

Also, 6 bombers seems like a pretty high limit. 2 seems reasonable, to me.

I don't say this to be petty or because I'm upset I didn't get to buy any. Sure, I would have loved to buy some, but I couldn't get there before it sold out, so better luck next time. I just wonder if it's possible to set up more people for success. That's all.

SledHead said...

Thank you for at least acknowledging that it's an issue. And I agree with many that have said perhaps the limits should be cut down so more people can enjoy, because when you take off work to stand in line and don't get served, it's an issue.

Peesie said...

But sledhead, you didn't take off work or you would have been able to get your allotment. It sold out in 7 hours not 7 min...

Perhaps Half Acre needs to look for some less whinny customers as well. Am I the only one who has been to another brewers 1 off release before. If I am, thems' the breaks folks. If you want the brew, show up at the time it's released, if it's gone in 8 hours such is life. I have friends out west that start lining up at 3 AM for 9 AM releases on a Thursday.

And honestly from a business stand point the faster they sell their product the better their business is doing. Keep in mind folks Chicago is one of the biggest city's in the world. HA supplies a great product, they are finally getting recognized for that quality (and if you are a trader and have ever sent their beer to a buddy your responsible for the hype) and pretty soon they could release their one offs at 2:00 AM on a Sunday morning and the same people will be winning, and the same people will be whining...

Plain and simple, they will brew it, we will want it. Those that want it most will buy it, those that don't will whine about how it's not fair that it wasn't delivered to them on a silver spoon...

Anonymous said...

I understand that weekday releases are most likely going forward, since the Half Acre guys don't want to work on the weekends any more than the rest of us do. I do think a bottle limit of three would have meant that more people would have got some beer, and it probably still would have sold out by the end of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

What about the idea of a "staggered" release. (emphasis on stagger) Say you produce 6,000 bottles--do 2 releases at 3,000 each. One on Friday at noon, one on Saturday or Sunday at some other time. Or, 4,000 on Friday at noon, the rest at a crazy time Tuesday 3am or something.

For me the problem isn't that the beer is selling out (no, I didn't get any this time), it's that it's a one-shot-only chance.

But congratulations on the success, looking forward to the next release

Anonymous said...

Have to agree on either limiting the max purchase, or brewing bigger batches. You'd build up more good will by letting more of us fans sample your latest and greatest.

Anonymous said...

I got 6 bottles and a growler and am loving every sip. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Peesie, I don't think people are whining so much as they have lives, families, jobs, etc. It's great that you have the luxury of committing long periods of time to waiting in line, but perhaps this beer should also be enjoyed by people who can't do that.

Jon said...

It's a whole culture of beer snobbery that you're battling against. People lining up so they can be the first to throw up their insight on beer advocate, or hoard it away to resell on ebay. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

This isn't Half Acre's fault, but now that their beer is part of this trend, I won't be one that stands in line so I can say I've tried something. It's just beer. Not worth taking a day off of work.

ChrisQ said...

I think the release was handled very well considering you didn't expect as big a turnout as you got. There's only so much beer per batch, and you guys are in the enviable position to have such amazing demand for your special releases.

I got to try the beer, and I think it lives up to the name!

To help out those who didn't get a chance to pick up a bottle, maybe it would be helpful to announce any tappings you know of going on around town.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

I got a growler and 6 bottles, totally maxed out. but i gave up 2 bottles to a friend who couldn't make it due to work. a third one to another buddy who couldn't make it but we're trading for a small animal that i never got since it sold out (i made it for the growler though :) )
the growler is mine and 3 bottles, which i had one last night for MNF. and WOW what a treat of a beer.

Anonymous said...

I think people need to consider that the dudes at half acre are already working as much as they possibly can. The brewery is maxed out. They work 16hr days. It's a small place, and they are all there ALL THE TIME. And doing the releases any other way will be guaranteed to still have plenty of complaints. Then the people who work on weekends will be upset that they can't go. There's no way to please everyone.

as for the staggered release idea, if they could release 6000 bottles, the issue probably wouldn't be there.

When it comes down to it, it's just a beer. You're going to survive. Your life is not over. Continue to threaten them that you won't wait in line for their beer. Whatever, they're all good guys and they're doing what they can. But at the end of the day, the world is not going to end if you didn't get to try the beer. You will survive.

Stunna said...

Was lucky enough to grab the full allotment. Such a great tasting offering. Thanks!!!

Sonny said...

Thanks! This beer MADE my weekend. Can't believe Freedom lasted an entire week. Those were the good ol days!! Best line I ever waited in!

Anonymous said...

This is just a side effect of Chicago entering a new era of beer appreciation. Some great suggestions but in the end HA can't do much when demand far out-weighs supply. And they can't pick which bars will get their kegs. But if you live in Chicago you know there are really only a handful of bars that have an audience for this beer, and they will most likely get the kegs. Follow the bars on twitter and they'll tell you when they are tapping. Kudos to HA for another great beer!

BigTime said...

Since no one mentioned it... announcing a release date then changing it is pretty shitty. I moved things around to take that day off then was unable to do that for the next Friday since I moved two separate meetings til that day!

I know everyone is trying their hardest, but I don't want to leave that out. Don't set a release date you can't meet.

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As a big Half Acre fan, I will say the whole new releases selling out in a matter of hours is a real turn off and I'm quickly loosing interest. I live just outside of the city and always make a special effort to stop by on the way out, but hardly make the stop any more since there aren't any beers available I can't get a Binny's. I think there are others that would agree this is steering loyal customers else where and the boys need to come up with a way to either produce more or make it available for thos of us that love it so much. For a long time, if was never a problem to get the new releases, but now it's nearly impossible and it's been a very long time since i've had half acre, sadly. I'd say you are loosing very loyal customers and please think of ways to produce more. It doesn't seem to be an issue of producing endless amounts of gossamer, over ale, or daisy cutter. Why issues with producing more of what's selling so hot? hope there is a solution, otherwise, i continue to drink elsewhere unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I am one who agrees with the person's comments above. I have been drinking Daisy Cutter since you started making it, and will probably buy it on occasion, but for now, I'm going to seek out some other area breweries whose new brews I can actually try, and not have to plan a day of waiting in line.

Anonymous said...

Chicago is a big city. Half Acre is a small business trying to grow as fast as they can. You can't flip a switch to create more brewing capacity. It takes some time. I'm sure if they could brew more now, they would. I'm sure one day they will have enough capacity to meet their current account obligations, grow new accounts, and make all of us happy at the same time! Be happy for them, don't run home to mommy screaming it's not fair because she'll just tell you that life's not fair. So get over it.

Anonymous said...

I live in the NW burbs and made plans to get out of work early to get this beer. The line was great, HA was great and the beer was great. That being said, I cannot attend every release. I'm cool with that. Pick your battles and commit to them. You are not entitled to every release because they brew it. or you've been a fan from day 1. Kudos to Half Acre and their success. We'd all like our businesses to have the same problem.

jeandawga said...

I randomly showed up at the brewery last Friday to get some regular Daisy Cutter (straight from a 2-day trip in the car w/my 3 yr old and 5 month old!) and saw a line. My husband and I decided to wait. We picked up 4 bombers (total, not apiece) and have to say that I only saw one person max out with the 6 bottles. And I do believe that many who max out are actually sharing them with friends. I'm not working right now, but generally speaking, my husband and I are 9-5ers, and a Friday release would just be off the table for us, so a weekend release would work better, but I see the reasons why HA doesn't do it. What about a lottery for small special releases? I.e., have a week-long window when people can throw their name in that they want to buy the new release, then, have a random lottery of who can actually get some. Lottery winners have a week or 2 days or whatever to pick up their allotment - anything else either goes to the wait list or just put on the brewery shelves.

One question - it seems pretty easy to get Over Ale and Gossamer, but Daisy Cutter isn't even available in Binny's in the city anymore - any consideration being given to decreasing production of the first 2 beers in favor of more Daisy Cutter?

Anonymous said...

I think the complaining here lacks merit. Should I stop drinking Three Floyds, because I could not get Darklord this year? No way. Special releases are just that, special. For those non-special occasions, Gossamer, Daisy Cutter, and Overale, are wonderful beers. Keep up the great work guys!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a 9 to 5 er myself. the last few releases have sold out at 7 pm, give or take. there's plenty of time to get out of work and drive there and hang out in line. it's good to meet new people and talk brews. Captain fantasy day i happened to be off for other releases so that was sweet for me. When i got to HA at about 4, i waited about 10 minutes before i got run of bombers.

i'm the poster that posted above saying that i maxed out my 6 bombers and a growler, but i gave up 2 bottles for a friend that worked, and a third bottle in trade for a small animal.

Jean, i see daisy cutter 6 packs at whole foods all the time.

beerecorder said...

I swore I wasn't going to comment on this situation again but here it goes, this time only positive comments.

1) I think dismissing people as simply "whining" is inaccurate. There are more than a few people out there who really want to support every single release from Half Acre and aren't getting a fair shake.
That's a shame no matter how you cut it.

2) If you sell 10 bottles to 2 people you'll get FAR less word-of-mouth exchange then if you sell 2 bottles to 5 people, and so on.

3) A lottery system seems like a cool idea. Perhaps email in after a certain date and they do a random lottery for allotment, who knows, could be a huge pain in the ass.

4) After attempting a few times to get to Half Acre after work on these release dates to find out the beer is gone I've given up. It was just too defeating and it's not entirely convenient to bike up Lincoln during rush-hour on a Friday.

5) I can't leave my job for a beer release. Though I've never asked I think crossing that boundary is close to joining some meetings. That's just me.

6) I'm not entitled to any beer ever and no one else is either. However if people feel disenfranchised due to missing these releases they have every right to spend their money elsewhere / on or at other breweries.

7) I wonder how many of those bottles are being traded on beeradvocate this week.
http://bit.ly/pXynO0

I'm glad I got to take the tour two weeks ago and really enjoyed myself.
I'll stick to buying Daisy Cutter every 3 or 4 months for now.

deeeezzzznuts said...

Kudos to Half Acre on their success.I didn't get any Galactic Double Daisy Cutter,but I'm not Whining about it.I've gotten most other special releases including Small Animal.I should have gotten in line,but underestimated the demand for this beer.Wont make that mistake next time.If you are one of the people whining about not getting any, remember its only beer.Next time get in line!

Anonymous said...

It's worth mentioning, again, if Half Acre produced a little less of the Gossamer, Over Ale, and Daisy Cutter to increase production on the special releases, there wouldn't be an issue. I don't mean to be crude, but those brews are very comparable to things that are widely available. We beer connoisseurs are looking for new and interesting things we can't get. I guess if you’re a guy that picks up a case of miller lite every week with no complaints, knock yourself out, but I look for the new and tasty adventures out there, and judging by the overwhelming demand, it would appear we are right. So simply make more. I can name 10 or so "specialty" beers I would buy on a regular basis Half Acre has produced in the past that aren't available. I would not purchase Gossamer, Over Ale or Daisy Cutter if I'm in a beer isle with other tasty choices. Step it up boys, hear your customers. It's pretty obvious what you need to brew when you sell out in a matter of hours. If you’re aiming for mainstream, keep producing your mass quantities of mainstream beer. Otherwise, produce the things that are creating lines, debate, and desire. I don’t hear anyone fighting over Gossamer, Over Ale or Daisy Cutter.

Gabriel said...

Wow, that last one really made me laugh. We've been taking in all the feedback and plan on making some changes (upcoming blog post) to our release process to make it better for those buying beers and more enjoyable for us, but that last comment was off the charts.
1. You called yourself a connoisseur.
2. "Simply make more." There is nothing simple about that little idea.
3. "Step it up." As a company, I'd wager that we've logged more collective hours in the last two years than 98% of any business with the same number of bodies.
4. "Mainstream beers." "Mass quantities..." Are we not edgy enough for you? Factory protocol only allows us creativity once a month. The rest of the time is reserved for stamping out mediocrity one liquid oz at a time. Rules.

Every comment seems to have merit, but the one lovingly left above really has no bounds and seems to stray so far from what can pass as actual dialogue, that it had to be left by my dad. Thanks for breaking my balls dad, you're the wackiest!

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

: ( SO sad I missed this one, PLEASE make REALLY HUGE batches when you have such unique brews, my half acre growler is getting dusty! Brew bigger batches!

YeahNateNelson said...

I would strongly suggest not instituting a lottery process for your special/seasonal releases. Don't discount the chilling effect of making the people that support your business go through an elaborate, time-intensive process to buy your beer.

I love what you guys do and I love supporting local brewers, but I don't see myself going through any more strenuous a process than showing up at your doorstep to try your latest creation.

My suggestion: make more growler-only releases and lower bottle limits. Or, of course, dramatically expand your capacity. Have you considered black magic?

Scooter said...

To the hilarious douchemaster up there who is a "connoisseur": You must have no understanding of how this works or how to run a business. If craft breweries (which are businesses, in case you forgot) started cannibalizing their core brands to satisfy the few who consider themselves above "normal" beer, they'd go broke.

Imagine we cull all the Half Acre drinkers that exist into a giant field. Once they're out there, you tell everyone: "Hey, we're selling beer at two tables. This one has Daisy Cutter, Gossamer and Over Ale for $3 a 16-oz can and there's no wait to buy it. At this other table, we have Galactic Double Daisy Cutter and Small Animal Big Machine for $12 for a 22oz bottle and you'll have to wait in line for an hour." Which one do you think is going to get more attention? My point in all this is that Half Acre's core brands are shown to be successful among drinkers every single night at bars, liquor stores and restaurants around town. To suggest that Half Acre should simply up their production of big, one-off beers while cutting back production of beer that they already have trouble meeting the demand for is hilariously ignorant. At the very least, respect the fact that by being successful with their core brands, Half Acre has afforded themselves the capability of doing one-off beers and thus satisfying your need for less blasé (dripping with sarcasm) fare.

At the very least, Half Acre provides quality beer to many people and peppers in some experimentation. This is the right model for running a craft brewery. Just be happy the brewery can sell directly to consumers. In my state, we can't do that (yet), so limited releases are far more of a free-for-all. And also, get over yourself and homebrew if the (excellent) local brewery isn't enough to satisfy your condescending palate.

Nick B said...

I, like many of you, got no Galactic double Daisy Cutter on the release day. Stupid People's Gas had to show up and find a leak that needed immediate attention in my basement... That said, I find myself in the very lucky situation to be the bar manager/beer buyer for one of the places lucky enough to have received five gallons of what I'm told is an exceptional brew. When we do get special releases from HA, we consider ourselves very lucky. However, like average Joe on the street, not everything is able to come our way. Thems the breaks! If you want to know when we'll be tapping GDDC, just follow Jerry's Wicker Park on Facebook, or "WithHotSauce" on twitter, and we'll be happy to let you know!