Saturday, 2 October 2010

The Curious Case Of The Beer That Never Was...

One of the things I like about many US brewers is their sense of place and their support for the communities they sell beer in. Not just by the act of brewing and selling beer, but by embedding themselves in the life of the community.

So it is that, each October, Russian River Brewing Co of Santa Rosa CA, supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month by raising money for a local womens' health centre in Santa Rosa. Parade floats, sales of special "All Hopped Up For The Cure" merchandise, raffles and sales of beer. Last year, they wrote a cheque for $12,000, and hope to beat that for 2010.

As it turns out, they already put $3,000 in the kitty, but nobody is jumping up and down too much. RRBC brewed a small batch of beer (supposedly based on their Beatification ale), oak-aged for 6 months with raspberries. "Framboise For The Cure" was released at their pub on Thursday, but before they could announce it officially, the Spooge Vampires got wind. The lovely and fragrant Natalie Cilurzo takes up the tale on RRBC's blog:
I will admit, I am a little bummed that someone posted it on Beer Advocate before lunch yesterday and all 23 cases were snatched up in less than 24 hours.
From Beer Advocate, I learned that people were frantically calling local contacts to help them obtain the beer. Seems like our friends the mules were also in evidence to help the greedy buggers get around the '2 bottles per person' limit RRBC set to ensure fair availability.

I'm happy that RRBC sold all that beer and put a nice wedge into the fundraising kitty. What annoys me is the behaviour of these sad gits every time a limited-edition beer is released, even when it's for a worthy cause. HateBeer and BA trading forums are now glowing with traffic generated by this, with some traders self-righteously patting themselves on the back for supporting such a good cause. No doubt some of this beer will wind up on eBay selling for multiples of the $12 retail price, and bottles will be traded back and forth. After all, with only 276 bottles brewed, it's uber-rare. I don't suppose any of the profiteers will think of making a donation to the cause.

I'll leave the final word to Natalie:
And to those who did get a couple bottles, please drink it humbly with friends and family in honor and memory of the survivors and especially the ones who lost the good fight.
Fat chance.

Pic above by Mario Rubio


Curmudgeon said...

Maybe they would have raised more money for the charity if they had auctioned the cases of beer rather than selling them at a fixed price.

Sid Boggle said...

Maybe an idea for next year...

Lew Bryson said...

I write about whisky, too, and one of the best lines I ever saw about collectors was a quote from a Scotch whisky distiller when asked about how much a certain bottle was worth in resale. He said, "You know, we make the stuff to drink."