The Bruery Announces a New Beer Club: The Hoarder’s Society

 

The Bruery has announced a new tier to their beer club Reserve Society, The Hoarder’s Society. The catch is, it’s by invite only. Whale searchers everywhere just went crazy with this news.

For those of you that don’t know, the Reserve Society is a club akin to being a wine club member at a winery. The cost of membership is $295 (at least for last year’s membership), which includes 9 guaranteed bottles, some of which are only available to members, all of which are rare to a certain extent. The membership also gives you first shot at other releases, discounts in their store, and invites to exclusive members events, among other things.

The Hoarder’s Society (HS) will consist of hand picked member’s of the Reserve Society (RS). No criteria has been set, but it seems to be based at least somewhat on the amount of money spent and also whether or not you’re a regular visitor to their brewery and bottle shop. The cost of the membership, if you should choose to accept the invitation, would be $695(!). This would get you all of the bottles the Reserve Society would get (see end of post for projected releases), plus beers available only to the HS:

– 2 bottles Portola Coffee / Strong Ale Blend (1st Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Peach Sour Blend (2nd Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Fess Parker Riesling / Sour Collaborative Blend (3rd Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Fess Parker / Saarloos & Sons Late Harvest Syrah / Black Tuesday Collaborative Blend (4th Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Bois (5th anniversary) aged in new French oak barrels (4th Quarter release)

As you probably imagined, there has been a vast range of reactions to this news. My reaction: Holy Crap that’s a lot of money! But, that’s a lot of great sounding beer! SInce I’m not a RS member (though I do take advantage of my friend’s membership), I’m a little indifferent about these beers. They sound good, but I know there’s no way I’m getting my hands on these. I don’t even want to think about the percieved value of these beers on the trade market.

RS members who got an invite are either happy and ready to sign up, or weary of the price (No I did not take a survey of RS members; I’m basing all of this off of the forums that have sprouted up after the news was released. I’m not that nerdy).

Members who did not get in also seem to fall into two camps. One of them is the “Well, at least I won’t have to worry about spending even more money than I already do.” Which is a reasonable reaction I think. We are talking about beer nerds, however, so the inevitable reaction of “That’s not fair! I want some to!” have already begun.Some are so offended that they’ve already decided to not renew their RS membership for next year. There has been many complaints of “I spent $3000 last year on your beers. That should be enough for me to get in!” First off, we don’t know the exact criteria. Calm down. Second off, $3000!?! Are you a drug dealer? Can I be your friend? Lastly, CALM DOWN. It’s just beer. Stop feeling entitled to every damn beer that’s released. Oh, and if you’re not renewing next year, I’ll take you membership spot, thank you very much.

My only real problem is that, just like the Oncemade Project, this is bordering on manufactured rarity. I’m not really a fan of that idea. The key difference between this and Oncemade, however, is that the Reserve Society is actually a society. They have get-togethers, special events, beer dinners, etc. And a lot of the beers available to the RS do become available to the unwashed masses eventually; members just get first crack. This obviously won’t be true of the HS, but is that really different from being a regular at a brewery and getting access to the owner’s or brewer’s secret stash? Does it differ from getting special treatment and discounts? Not really, no. The HS is essentially a perk for the Bruery’s best customers, though it does come with a price. There’s not really anything wrong with that.

So please, calm your beer nerd rage down (I’m cool with this, and my nameĀ is That Beer Nerd). This is just another step in the same direction the Bruery has been traveling for years, and it doesn’t really come as a surprise to me.

Oh, and if you get an extra bottle of those beers, send it my way. Thanks.

This is the (alleged) welcome letter to the Hoarder’s Society:

Dear Bruery Supporter,

You’ve been chosen to be an inaugural Hoarders Society member due to your prized status as one of our top customers. We have been having a great time developing new and interesting beers for the Hoarders Society, and we look forward to you trying them as we get to know you better at the exclusive events that we’ll be having for you next year.

The Hoarders Society will be a much smaller membership base than the Reserve Society for next year and for the foreseeable future. Opportunities to join in the future will be very limited and will be by invite only. Members of the Hoarders Society receive all of the benefits of the Reserve Society, plus more.

If you wish to accept this invitation to join the Hoarders Society, please do so by purchasing your membership through this page by Sunday, September 23, 2012. Only purchase one membership, please. Duplicate membership orders will be cancelled and refunded.

Cost: $695

Membership begins on January 1, 2013 and ends December 31, 2013.

Membership includes the following bottles, exclusive to Hoarders (many of these beers are not yet named, our apologies):
– 2 bottles Portola Coffee / Strong Ale Blend (1st Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Peach Sour Blend (2nd Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Fess Parker Riesling / Sour Collaborative Blend (3rd Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Fess Parker / Saarloos & Sons Late Harvest Syrah / Black Tuesday Collaborative Blend (4th Quarter release)
– 2 bottles Bois (5th anniversary) aged in new French oak barrels (4th Quarter release)

Membership also includes the following bottles, available after their release date (except for initial package offerings):
– 1 bottle of Melange #3 (Initial Package, January pickup)
– 1 bottle of White Chocolate (Initial Package, January pickup)
– 1 bottle of Otiose (Initial Package, January pickup)
– 2 bottles of Chocolate Rain (Available in March)
– 4 bottles of Black Tuesday (Available in late October)
– 1 bottle Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings (Available in December)
– 1 bottle of Mystery Beer #1 (Mystery Release Date)
– 1 bottle of Mystery Beer #2 (Mystery Release Date)
– 1 piece of high quality merchandise

Other Perks:
– Ability to purchase at least double the amount of allocations compared to Reserve Society members
– 20% off: Allocations, other purchases through The Bruery website, purchases at the Tasting Room, and when purchasing Bruery beer at The Bruery Provisions (compared to 15% for Reserve Society members)
– Access to special growler fills, special flights, access to Reserve Society events
– Access to Hoarders Society events
– First right of refusal to join 2014 Hoarders Society
– Shipping within California (will apply to Reserve Society as well)

Anticipated Releases for 2013:
*Society Member Exclusive = Hoarders & Reserve Societies
– Sour in the Rye
– Chocolate Rain (Society member exclusive)
– White Oak
– Sans Pagaie
– Bois
– Bois Aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels (Society member exclusive)
– Bois Aged in Brandy Barrels (Society member exclusive)
– Bois Aged in new American Oak Barrels #4 Toast (Society member exclusive)
– Kumquat Sour In The Rye (Society member exclusive)
– Barrel Aged English Barleywine with Portola Coffee (Society member exclusive, not yet named)
– Blueberry Sour (Society member exclusive, not yet named)
– Mystery Beer #1
– Mystery Beer #2
– Tart of Darkness
– White Chocolate
– Barrel Aged Apricot Strong Ale (Society member exclusive, not yet named)
– Bourbon Barrel Aged Smoking Wood
– Cherry Oude Tart (Society member exclusive)
– Oude Tart
– Black Tuesday
– Grey Monday (Society member exclusive)
– Melange #1
– Bourbon Barrel Aged Autumn Maple
– Melange #3
– Rueuze
– Barrel Aged 5 Golden Rings (Society member exclusive)
– Smoking Wood – Rye
– Approximately 8 very exciting Provisions Series releases

 

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