Leading up to the unique beer sale at Wise Guys (yes, I renamed it) I was trolling around craigslist and eBay looking at how much some of these beers were going for. And I revisited an old favorite: Dark Lord by Three Floyd's.
There it was, in my hometown nonetheless. It seemed like a reasonable price at the time and besides, I already convinced Brett to go in on half. The only thing I had to give up was the bottle. I had no problem with that as I am not in the habit of keeping the bottles. I was only interested in the prize within. So I arranged a meet with the buyer and ponied up $60 for the 2011 brew. Why did I do that?
Finally the day of the sale came and we lined up outside the store with a dedicated crowd more than likely chasing after the same beer: Founders CBS. We were ushered into the narrow first aisle of the store and told about the quantities available. They were selling 8 bottles of CBS that morning and there were roughly 60 or 70 people in line. Very interesting. I don't remember the specific counts of the other beers but we had six names in six beer drawings and the outlook seemed promising.
"You know," Melanie started, "we should have gotten back in line and come up with aliases to increase our odds." This was a brilliant idea! Unfortunately one that was shared after the name collecting stopped. If ever I find myself in that situation again, you better believe I'll remember that piece of advice.
First up was the CBS. They were selling it for approximately $18 a bottle. These bottles were fetching as much as $60 on eBay so the investment alone was worth the wait. Alas, we struck out. And the next round was lambic beers from Upland brewery in the form of raspberry, peach, or hell, I can't remember. We lost out on those too. Spirits were fading.
I was already holding a bottle of Hoppin' Frog's Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale which was a 2010 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner. I was happy with that. I just wish that I could get some of these other beers. And then it happened. The total take away was at least doubling up on the last four beers sold:
4 bottles of Hoppin' Frog Naked Evil @ $25 each - $100 (Why did I do that? I sold one bottle right on the spot because I couldn't imagine what I would do with four, so we'll scale it back to $75)
2 bottles of Stone Vertical Epic, years 2006 and 2008 @ $42 each - $84 (Why did I do that? Turns out Stone has been brewing Vertical Epic since 2002 and they release the beers on the following dates: 2/2/02; 3/3/03; 4/4/04; etc. and they will stop on 12/12/12.)
2 bottles of Hoppin' Frog DORIS @ $13 each - $26 (Why did I do that? I had a bottle at Beer Geeks the week before and it was good and remember BORIS got this whole thing started)
2 bottles of Victory Otto @ $10 each - $20 (Why did I do that? To be honest with you, I have no frickin' idea. It was just a limited release)
$205 on 9 bottles of beer averaging $23 bottle which translates to about $1 an ounce. Ok, that softens the blow a little bit. Plus I walked away with the Pumpkin Ale which I think was $17 and a bottle of Abita's 25th Anniversary Double Dog for $6. All told Wise Guys got $228 from me that Saturday morning.
Here's the problem I have: It was a total scam! Ok, the beer is real and I have it, but my friend Brett calls me half an hour later and says, "So I was at Nick's Liquors and they have Hoppin' Frog DORIS and Naked Evil on the shelf."
"Son of a bitch."
Ok Wise Guys, great marketing scheme. You bring in foot traffic and hype up beer only to ensure it's sold in one day. However, good luck getting any more of my money. Apparently Nick's Liquors doesn't need bells and whistles to sell their beer. Might be better priced too.
Post Script: This spawned a nasty habit. I went on eBay and spent $20 on Vertical Epic year 2007 and $10 on Vertical Epic year 2010. $42 at Wise Guys for beer I could have got on eBay at half the cost. Granted, year 2002 is going for about $600+. And I spent $75 on CBS because I didn't think I'd actually win that auction. Why did I do that? I can't even drink it now and feel good about it.