|Image is from UpaDowna’s site|
A moment ago I read a most interesting post on UpaDowna about how many liquor stores across Colorado Springs have jacked up the price of Bristol’s famous Venetucci Pumpkin Ale. The author, Bunny, writes that he usually runs all over town the day after the release stocking up on as many bottles as possible but through a conversation with a friend began to see that this might be a serious problem. The beer is supposed to be a fundraiser but people are making profits from the high demand. I highly highly recommend reading the whole article, because I’m only quoting one small part of the larger piece here but Bunny goes on to say:
They’re a business, that’s exactly what any successful business is suppose to do. Buy low, sell high. The truth is these beers are advertised and sold with the understanding to many that 100% of the proceeds are going to the Venetucci Farm, it says it right there on the bottle. What does this mean? Are all these stores that have hiked up the price pocketing off of this? Or are they donating 100% of the profits back to the charity, hmmm? The truth is they’re not all doing this, if any are at all.
These things have happened before. A few months ago we posted to facebook an article from the Washington Post about rare beers sold on eBay for large amounts of money. (More discussion on that post is here and here.) A number of brewers are really upset that this is happening. But, similar to the Bristol beer, Russian River made a beer called Framboise for a Cure:
[The beer] sold for $12 per bottle to raise money for a local breast cancer treatment center. The beer sold out in a day, and soon somebody sold a bottle on eBay for $400. Then someone else put one up for sale. “We contacted that person,” Cilurzo says, “and we said, ‘This is absolutely ridiculous, because we donated 100 percent of this for charity.’”….The seller didn’t budge. “The guy said, ‘I have to support my habit somehow.’ ” Not heroin or cocaine. He meant craft beer.
This is an interesting thing to think about and I wanted to see what your thoughts were on the matter – Is it okay for liquor stores to jack up the prices if it is for their own profit? Obviously this happens with specialty rare beers but how about these not-for-profit-fundraising-beers? What do you think should be done about the situation? Is what’s happening a problem, or is that just the way things go? Bristol is donating the money they get, so does it matter what happens once it changes hands? Ultimately the higher price builds a type of buzz about the beer, which makes it increasingly popular, which makes it sell out fast, which brings more and more attention to Venetucci and Bristol…Is this a bad thing? What do you all think?