It’s Tampa Bay Beer Week and as always, the Facebook threads are a beautiful dumpster fire that you can’t take your eyes off of. Every day seems to have some kind of release with loads of out of towners leaving their hotel rooms empty, opting instead to spend the wee hours of the morning sleeping on lawn chairs purchased right off their flights. Checking into the hotel can happen later; it’s time to for war.
All I ever wanted
Had to Get Away
9 AM on day two. Angry Chair decides that for the sake for fairness, safety, and generally to not piss off their neighbors they are moving their bottle release from noon to 9AM. A logical choice; there are about 700 people in line already and quickly it’s getting close to being more people than beer available. Quite an interesting mix of people you have here on this Tuesday morning. The majority of the line is made up of locals and people from across the country out on vacation for Tampa Bay Beer Week and the Hunapuh Day festival. Sprinkled across the line are various people making a quick buck by standing in line for someone that solicited their services through craigslist.
Minutes go by and quickly a flood of comments come seeping through their Instagram. The vast majority of people are rather relieved to hear of this decision. The line will move through easily and people can get back to enjoying their vacation. Any reasonable human being can understand their motive; why have late stragglers stand for those extra hours if by that point bottles would be out before the last couple dozen…
Amongst the stream of encouraging comments we get our first pissed off “enthusiast”. The brewery tries to explain itself with no avail; nothing is going to convince this person that they are wrong. In their mind, all they can think about is the fact that they missed out on the beer that they deserved, despite the fact that they haven’t even had the chance to purchase it…
Screw safety and taking care of your community, I just want my beer.
This has seemingly become commonplace with each limited beer release. No matter the brewery, location, or even the style, if it’s limited you’re bound to hear people complain about beer that they feel they deserve. A quick scan of event pages or Instagram posts show the toxic dump of people losing their collective minds over losing out on the next hyped release. Regardless of what a brewery does, beer nerds are likely to find something to complain about.
Limit the allocation to three four packs a person? Bring it down to two! What are you thinking?!
Use Eventbrite or Brown Paper Tickets instead of making your customers wait hours in advanced? BOTS BOTS?! THE WEBSITE IS BROKEN!? WHY DON’T YOU MAKE IT FAIR?
Release special release beers multiple times a year? Why don’t you just make enough to have it on the shelves year around?!
If I had a sip of beer every time I read a comment with something like “Why don’t you take care of your real fans?”, I’d probably have alcohol poisoning.
Customer service is incredibly important. Consumers keep the doors open for breweries and it’s in their best interests to keep them happy. A bad experience can keep a potential loyal customer from returning to a brewery, especially in areas with much competition. For the most part, breweries do a great job making adjustments to benefit their loyal customers. Unfortunately, we are seeing consumers taking advantage of this. The craft beer “fan” of today has become entitled and has begun to use their voice to harass breweries in any situation where they feel like they did not get what they deserved. Every release becomes a time bomb; the expectation being that will be some kind of controversy because someone missed this or didn’t get enough of that.
It’s gotten out of control.
Thankfully much of these instances online have been met with a significant critical response from beer people that have been around long enough or simply don’t act like children when they don’t get what they want. This attitude is still prevalent and we must do what we can to keep this crap out of our community. You are not entitled to beer. Craft beer has been and will continue to be a luxury item. Striking out on the next it beer won’t change your life and if this means you can’t have beers with your friends at the next share, you may want to reevaluate your friend group.