Thoughts On the @IthacaBeer LeBleu Release [#CraftBeer]

Did Ithaca respond at all about how much of a mess the release was? I’ve seen nothing but negative PR on just about every website regarding it. Probably a little late to clean up their mess at this point, but I see absolutely nothing on their website, Facebook, or Twitter since the release. They haven’t even responded to the to the long thread of negative complaints beyond “Hey, we have other beers here, too. And cheese pairings.”

I love the way Cigar City did the release for Hunahpu, and wish other breweries would adopt a similar method.

  1. Determine exactly the number of beers you’re selling and have a corresponding limited number of wristbands to give to people waiting in line. If you don’t get a wristband, you won’t wait for three hours in line with the expectation that they’re going to get any and then walk away empty handed when they sell out.
  2. Have a beer fest with food trucks, beer trucks, and live music the entire day celebrating the release of the beer. Yes, this should be a celebration. Not two weeks of people bitching about how much your release was a clusterfuck.
  3. Have said beer on draft at each one of the beer trucks so that the people who aren’t going to be able to take a bottle home at least get to drink as much of it as they can handle at the fest itself.
  4. Have a reasonable bottle limit. Two is plenty for someone looking to drink one and cellar another. Or cellar both since you’re able to drink it at the fest anyway. If you want more than that, bring friends. Anything beyond two and people are buying it for trades and/or eBay. I’m sorry but a brewery really shouldn’t be catering to these type of people. Not that I’m knocking beer traders, since I’ve done some in the past, but selling a case plus extras to someone when you’re turning away a hundred something other customers is just bad business.
  5. Have a second release at the end of the day with whatever’s left and up the bottle limit to a case. This caters to the traders/ebay sellers while also not completely pissing off the people who waited in line for three hours during the two bottle limit trade. The second release should hold NO GUARANTEES that you’re going to get any extras at all and it just sells out when it sells out first come first serve.

My brother and I walked away with two bottles of Hunahpu each and we drank plenty throughout the day to satisfy even the biggest Hunahpu fanatic. Anything beyond that is for retail, ebay, and beer trades, none of which benefit Ithaca nor their direct customers/fans. Get your shit together, people.

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