Wednesday, 9 February 2011

A Confederacy Of Dunces

I'm looking at you, HateBeer and TwatAdvocate. Natalie Cilurzo of Russian River relates the latest sorry episode of spoogebeerian gaming the system...

Pliny The Younger on EBAY - Seriously?

I've seen comments in threads on your pages where members who couldn't get to the brewpub were offering fervent wishes that maybe some of the 2011 batch of Pliny The Younger might be smuggled out and passed along to those less fortunate. And lo! it came to pass that one arsehole managed to do just that, and he putteth it on eBay.

You can sense the exasperation in Natalie's blog post. She saw their breast cancer beer hoovered up by these locusts, some of whom are now reaping $400 prices on eBay - there's one up there now. The point, however, is that Russian River asked beer lovers to respect their efforts to get this year's PtY to a wider audience, yet they're catching out visitors trying to get the beer out of the pub by hook or by crook. eBay seem to have removed the offending beer, and I hope they've banned the prick who tried to sell it.

Really, if these beer fanboy sites are to actually "respect beer" (the rallying call of TwatAdvocate), they should be jumping on this kind of thing - lock down threads, ban members, send a message they won't tolerate idiots who ignore the pleas of the brewers and try and feed this disgusting secondary market for their own profit.

I don't believe that brewers, by and large, generate hype for these beers (notable exception: Three Floyds). It all comes from what I've seen described as the Pokémon effect ("gotta tick 'em all!") generated by these fanboy sites.

Clean up your act, before its too late. These people don't have any business being anywhere near beer.


Cooking Lager said...

You can never stop a secondary market, and neither is a secondary market illegal. If you legally buy something you can legally sell it on. In a restaurant I can ask for a doggy bag of my leftovers. They are mine, I bought them. If I want to pour my beer into a bottle and take it home, that is my right. If I want to sell it on, that also is my right. Many beer geek pubs sell customers take home containers.

If the brewer had any sense they would create a primary market for their beer by selling bottles instead of moaning about it.

If you have ever bought or sold a share in a company not via an initial share issue, you have traded on a secondary market. If you have every bought a none new build house, the same goes.

Sid Boggle said...

"Many beer geek pubs sell customers take home containers"

And if the beer geek pub has reason to not do this, and asks drinkers to respect this decision, is taking that beer to a secondary market still OK?

These people are vampires, Cookie...

Cooking Lager said...

Yes they are okay. If you sell me something I do not have to respect what you wish me to do with it. You may make a "covenant" a condition of the trade, but I may decline the trade. If I accept, it is up to you to enforce the covenant.

I am not saying the beer is any good if I bottle it and sell it on. It sounds nasty. The punters buying it off me ought to know it's nasty. Whether "vampires" or not, they sound an odd bunch. I'm saying it is neither immoral nor illegal.

I understand the brewer being unhappy the product is being traded in poor condition. They can resolve that by bringing to market product that is in good condition.

The buyer does not have to respect the wishes of the seller. You may sell me a beer to drink. I am free to pour it down my arse if I so choose.

Barm said...

If you don't have a license Cookie, selling it on is very illegal.

Jeff Pickthall said...


You can't sell rail tickets on.

It breaches the contract you have entered into with the service provider.

I wish someone would challenge the legality of this.

arn said...

Dont you have to have a license to sell alcohol otherwise its illegal?
Sellers on Ebay get round it by selling the 'bottle' not the contents which 'are not for consumption'!

Cooking Lager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cooking Lager said...

@Barm Yeh, you can give homebrew away but if you sell it you need to inform the revenue.

Take your word that you need a licence. I presume the same goes for farm gate sellers of cider?

I can buy lager in Calais for personal use or a gift for friends, but if money changes hands, that is illegal. I thought again that was a revenue issue rather than licence issue.

What if I have a cellar of old wine. All legally bought. Do I need a licence in order to sell one on ebay?

@Jeff, the joy of a restrictive convenant as part of a trade contract. By way of interest, some restrictive convenants keep regional rail stations open. The track and land often being acquired by was was then a rail company, later British rail from land or bridge owners that demanded all trains going over the track would stop at a specific station. Civic pride.

DemonBrewer said...

HMMM re-bottled cask sold on, reminds me of the bottled piss scam with the South Wales bottlers and their Panda Pop bottles filled out of a glass at beer festivals then traded between each other - more than a few unattended "samples" got "reinforced" when left behind the bar @ Splott.
Really makes you wonder what could be in the smuggled bottles doesn't it?

rabidbarfly said...

I suspect if some of the retailers grew a pair and started suing these parasites that a lot of these illegal online resales would stop.
I'd also love to see that happen.

Matthew Arata said...

Have to agree with Cookie here. If RR simply bottled and distributed the beer, there would be less cause for concern for inferior product making its way to the market. Any product with high enough demand will lead to inflated prices and secondary markets.

Beer trade on eBay is a whole different argument - and the main reason it is prevented is due to government wanting their piece of the action.

Cooking Lager said...

I get the argument why the “parasites” are not liked. Similar to ticket touting, customers believe the price of the commodity is being driven up and customers ripped off. Actually it is market making and the equilibrium price is being established in the secondary market. The price will only rise if demand outstrips supply, otherwise the ticket tout takes a loss as he is long when he ought to be short. Outlawing the practice has the side effect of also outlawing the genuine customer that cannot make the concert he booked 6 months ago and now has some tickets he cannot use. You may not like collectors and tickers and think their actions irrational but you have to accept that if you want a free market. I’m still interested in establishing a craft pong futures market that trades pong derivatives, Boggle. Never moan about market irrationality, read your Ben Graham and cash in.

arn said...

You are not allowed to sell wine, port, champagne etc. because its the ageing contents that have value not the bottle itself.
Old beer they consider does not have value and thus its the collectable item intact that is being purchased.

arn said...

^^^^^ thats ebay.

However i recently bought a brewdog AB:04 (same price as if i'd bought it from their shop before they sold out also) which obviously is for consumption.

Mallthus said...

I think there's a natural and unavoidable tendency to covet that which you can't normally obtain.

That this results in an unlawful* secondary trade in PTY is unfortunate, but, really, as much talk and hype as there seems to be about this, the reality is that we're not talking about a very large actual volume. The hype about the hype is bigger than the reality. Go figure!

Here in Oklahoma, where I live, we can't get New Belgium's product (amongst many). If I'm out of state, I'll pick up a case of their product just to watch the feeding frenzy when I break it out. Yes...I'm chumming the waters for fun.