Billy is an IHB market manager. He is in charge of selling our beer on the Washington west coast. He sells beer, to beer buyers which are bar managers, restaurant owners etc. The following is a conversation he has far too often when he’s out in the field.
Billy: Hello [buyer], my name is Billy and I’m with Iron Horse Brewery, do you have time to talk about and sample our awesome Hef called High 5 Hefe?
Buyer: Sorry, I don’t drink beer.
Billy: (thinks) WTF? (says) uh, how do you order beer then?
Start Rant from Billy:
Yes! This actually happens and it annoys the hell out of me! How in the world can you successfully be the beer buyer of a bar or store, whether you’re the manager or owner and not at least sample beer?!? Seriously, with all the beer options now, some of the beer being HORRIBLE, how can a buyer just say “nope, I don’t sample beer?!”
Now, I’m not saying there aren’t good reasons to occasionally pass on the beer drinking, but most of the ones I hear are, “I don’t like beer,” and/or “I drink liquor not beer.” If you’re watching your figure I get it, the alcohol biz can be hard on the body but you can at least try it and then spit it out. It sucks to see people spit liquid gold out but at least they sampled the beer!
A buyer who doesn’t sample beer is like me out selling wine and then saying oh, sorry I don’t drink wine, but it’s the newest wine and it’s cheap so go ahead and buy it. (Yes that’s a jab!)
Now I understand how shitty beers make it into the market. It always makes me laugh when I hear a buyer say; “that beer just sits and we’ll never have it on tap again” or “I put it on as a favor.” Today I heard both by the way. Maybe some day things will change, I can only hope…but the old saying goes shit in one hand, hope in the other, see which one fills up first.