Another Reason to Hate Ebay — Reselling Boston Beer’s Hops…

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I suppose we all should have seen this coming but for some reason it still surprises me. Not 48 hours after the Boston Beer Company held its hop lottery, in which it selflessly sold off excess hops AT COST to craft brewers who desperately needed them, some joker has put a bunch of the hops up for sale on Ebay. A brewery entering the hop lottery paid $5.42 for a pound of Tettnang Tenttnanger hops. The cost on Ebay? The bids start at $29.95, a 550-percent markup for starters (plus $9.50 shipping). The odd thing is that the website also has Spalt hops for sale at the same price, but the Boston Beer Company didn’t offer this variety in the lottery. Out of respect for Boston Beer, I won’t post the web address but you can surely find it.

You are bidding on a full pound of HOPS PELLETS. aquired from Boston Brewery, maker of samual adams. . THEY ARE VERY GREEN. Sorry about the photo. TOO high tech of a camera.

This one is Garth Pellets Type 90 Spalt Spalter. Alpha 4,5%. Crop 2006. They had them in a Freezer at 20 degrees below. PACKED IN NITROGEN for added shelflife. 5 years shelflife if under zero degrees. We are packaging them in 1 pound packages and selling them to the public.

Item will ship out the same day your payment is received. Shipping is $9.50 for the first pound and only $2.50 for each additional.

Boston Beer appears to have anticipated this problem in a press section of its website:

Q: What will prevent the brewers who buy these hops from reselling them at a much higher price?

A: Nothing other than doing what is right. We believe craft brewers will help one another. We’ve asked brewers to order only what they need and to let their consciences be their guide.

Nice to see how human nature works that whole conscience thing out. I sense someone has reserved themselves a toasty place next to the fire in a beerless hell…

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So I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this…

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Here I am, only a day or two into this Notebook and already I’m set to write about a relatively minor issue that has come up in every day drinking.  It’s the heart of “blogging”, which I had hoped to avoid with this broadly focused feature.  Anyways, I was perusing the selection at Downtown Wine and Spirits here in Somerville yesterday and came across a beer I thoroughly enjoyed last year, the Mendocino Winter Ale.  While I’m not generally drawn to Mendocino products, last year’s Winter Ale was a tightly packed Double IPA smartly priced at around $6.99.  So I grabbed a six-pack and decided I wanted a malty companion, so I also selected the excellent Smuttynose Winter Ale. 

After getting home, I was a bit concerned that I couldn’t see through the bottle for sediment.  My suspicions were confirmed when I poured the beer into a glass and it came out pitch black.  My Double IPA had transformed itself into an oatmeal stout.  By all label appearances, this should have been the Double IPA.  A closer inspection revealed a new neck label that in the world’s tiniest letters noted the beer was an 7-percent ABV oatmeal stout.  Putting aside the issue of why anyone would brew such a ridiculously high-alcohol oatmeal stout, I feel a bit cheated.  The stout is perfectly fine, but I wanted and expected the IPA.  It’s clear that Mendocino is simply reusing leftover main labels and six-packs containers (lamely and vaguely “celebrating over 20 years of brewing excellence) and just adding new, hard to distinguish neck labels.   Shame on them.  I want my DIPA.

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