They Brew it, I sell it, You Drink it... and so do I..

Friday 20 February 2015

Beer "Hype"

We've been having discussions in the shop recently about a phenomenon which I'm going to call Dark Lord-itis. We feel that some breweries are making one off beers and creating such a hype about them on social media that by the time they're put on the shelves they're already sold out! And some of the time these beers in question aren't even very good! (but that's another blog all together..)

A current example I can call on is Beavertown's Bloody Ell Orange IPA. We had people asking us for this beer over twitter weeks before we got any in.. It's a beer we got in yesterday (Thursday) and in under 20 hours we sold out of all three cases we received. More are coming, but they won't last long. That's 72 cans, if you look at our five best selling products (not just beers) for those twenty hours it seems pretty ridiculous;

1- Beavertown Bloody Ell cans - 72
2- Beavertown Gamma Ray cans - 22
3- Carlsberg Lager cans - 16
4- Roosters Fort Smith cans - 15
5- Beavertown Neck Oil cans - 14

These are our five best sellers for the past twenty hours in a shop that has around 1000 items. Just let that sink in....

Another few breweries that have had a similar beers pull at people's heart strings only just recently are as follows;

Magic Rock Un-Human Cannonball
Buxton Double Axe
Roosters Baby Faced Assassin
The Rainbow Project Beers

I'm sure there are plenty more but don't even get me started on Thornbridge X which will be hitting our shelves next week. People have been asking after that for over a month!

The thing is I've not really come to a conclusion if Dark Lord-itis is a good thing or not.. I guess time will tell. If there is one thing I know for absolute certainty though, it's this - If you're going to make a limited edition beer, there will always, always, be some people left disappointed.

I think a future blog post will be focussing on when exactly did the hype created by twitter outweigh the quality of a beer...


  1. You make salient argument, and I say that as someone who has fallen for such hype (Unhuman Cannonball, Stone Enjoy By etc.). I've recently been drinking loads of Pressure Drop's Bosko Absoluto, which I only became aware of when I saw a tweet from Five Points referencing it. If Pressure Drop courted social media the way others do they could have generated similar hype - but they didn't.

  2. These beers seem to have taken the place extreme beers in general had a few years back. I see them analogous to super cars. Not many people will buy them, but they do create a lot of buzz around the brand. What I would like to know is how many people who wanted to buy them ended up buying something else from the same brewery.

  3. Maybe an opportunity for you to blog about beers that deserve attention but get missed?

    1. Better would be perhaps a post about "If you didn't get [insert name of overhyped limited release], you could drink [insert name of a comparable beer].

  4. I think a lot of it is about people enjoying being part of a community and part of significant events (I was there when... etc). With regards to Bloody El, I personally think its a fantastic drink, but like Peter McKerry states above, not any better than beers such as Bosko Absoluto