I started the beer haul posts here because I thought they were a lot of fun. People I trade with can see their beers on my blog, I can easily add things to my Cellar excel spreadsheet once a month using those photos and I can have some fun with it like glass-ware hauls and photos of bourbon instead. I enjoyed doing these and they’re not completely going away. In fact, when meeting people who read this blog at beer festivals and once at a beer store in Philly who recognized me, everyone seems to really like these posts. “Beer-Porn is what it should be renamed to” said one guy so that’s nice but the problems outweigh the advantages / entertainment value.
I’d like to outline some of the reasons the format is changing:
- When a Beer Haul post is made at the start of each month, I get emails and text messages from people I may have traded with once or complete strangers asking me to send them some things they saw in my haul. The offers are usually good but it’s a lot to handle. I already get too many messages through this blog and RateBeer asking to do trades and this just adds more and sometimes, they’re beers I traded for and want to drink so then I post a picture of Crianza or 6 bottles of Fou Foune and suddenly I get 10 emails from people I’ve never met asking me to trade it. It adds work to my day and I hate telling people no.
- The second issue is perhaps a good one to have but it’s weird when people come to my place and walk in the door asking to open a certain bottle they saw on the beer haul posts. Sometimes yes, I still have that bottle or I’m saving it for someone else but I’ve had 3 people at my house with a list of beers they saw on the beer-haul post asking me to open them. I trade so much that most of what you see here is consumed or mailed away after 60 days. This is also awkward to have a complete stranger no what I have available.
- Finally, there’s the security of it. Posting exactly what’s in my cellar makes me nervous. I’ve had bottles stolen from my cellar from strangers who sleep at my place on their way to Hill Farmstead or people opening up bottles of beer after I go to sleep and helping themselves. This hurts my feelings but if people don’t know what’s down there, I like that a lot. One guy actually opened a bottle of utopias, left it out and open on my counter overnight and now that bottle tastes very off.
The haul posts won’t go away like maybe I’ll get something cool and want to share it so there will be a Beer Haul post of something neat. So maybe these posts will happen more often. Most of the photos go on my Flickr throughout the month so if you want a constant stream of beer porn, just go there (Flickr). So technically there will be more beer haul but less of what I buy / trade for will be posted to this blog. My page views will take a hit but that’s no big deal.
Something else I’ll add is no matter what happens with Beer Hauls as a subject matter on this site, I will no longer be posting any Hill Farmstead beers to this site unless I review the beer (meaning it’s already consumed). I’m frankly overloaded with Hill Farmstead requests, questions and inquiries. When I pickup one of Shaun’s beers and only get 1 bottle of it, the amount of people pinging me is overwhelming. Or I’ll review something on this site like Sankt Hans and talk about how awesome it’s drinking and people message me looking to trade. My response, “that was my only bottle but it’s being rebreed and I’ll send you one when it’s out”. This gets the person off my back.
Seasoned beer traders know how this is going to end. Sankt Hans comes out again and suddenly 7 people I promised bottles to come out of the woodwork. This year, I made 2 trips to HFS while Sankt Hans was on the shelf and I bought 8 bottles. I thought “this is plenty! Some to drink, some to age” 1 week later, I have one bottle left and haven’t even drank a drop of this year’s batch.
I’m not flipping this bottle for whales. I think some is going for some New Glarus berliner 12oz bottles, another to my Bruery trustee and another is my friend near Russian River who takes my cash for beer she picks up. I traded Sankt Hans $4$ local beer or as thanks to people who do nice things for me. I don’t regret sending this stuff out, but if people reading this blog don’t know about a Vermont beer, then I don’t have to promise them a bottle when it comes out and thus make good on that promise.
So from now on, I’m no longer pre-promising anyone any beers from Vermont breweries, I’m not going to include pictures of VT beers as a part of my hauls and I won’t review every VT beer on this blog. Besides, I suck at reviewing beer anyway.
This should eliminate the problem. I wanted to open a Sankt Hans every few months but instead I have 1 that I’ll have to sit on and hope no one comes to my place and asks to open it because this beer really is good after 6-10 months.
yes, writing this makes me look like a jerk but I’d like to drink my local beers and I can’t say no to people so I just get overloaded, drive 2 hours to Hill Farmstead or Lawson’s and get back and throw everything I just bought in a box and mail it to strangers. No more. Sorry guys.