LCBO Online Exclusives

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El Pinguino
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby El Pinguino » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:52 am

atomeyes wrote:takes time for people to burn through their savings.
takes time for investors to want a return on investment.
taes time for a brewery to see that they won't reach their 1 year targets.
takes time for people to realize that places like Bandit are absolutely awful with awful beer and they should go anywhere else.

hearing stories about breweries not hitting their targets. a certain west end brewery apparently is actively trying to find contract breweries to fill in their dead fermentor space. they have not hit #s and they have lots of shiny, new equipment that needs to be paid for.

this year, you'll have Godspeed opening up in the summer. they'll be pushing out volume within 12 months. Cowbell in Blyth will be huge volume-wise. Junction's moving into their new space, as is Blood Brothers.
Left Field apparently has 1 or more large fermentors coming in and they already expanded this year.
GOose Island will have a brewpub open here.
the US breweries will really start to fight for market share. i expect to see Oskar BLues, Lagunitas, Stone, SE, Ballast Point on tap here within the year and to eat into local shares a la Goose Island.

go through a list of good pubs. the pie ain't as big as what one thinks.
we're gonna have a big-ass crash. the bigger guys may feel the hit first, since they're fighting for LCBO shelf space and city taps.
the small guys (i.e. Leslieville breweries that move their brewery into the basement during kitchen service) will realize that Toronto rents and brewing 5 times a week don't add up to a fun and profitable lifestyle.


Some interesting insights there. Surprised you think the other US guys will make a push into this market....seems US brewers rarely stick around. I miss the old Great Divide days....but perhaps with some of those guys you mention having done their own east coast expansions...they think it may be worth coming here.

I remember Wellington brewery saying they were running 3 shifts all the time....doing a ton of contract brewing...a year or two ago...to fund their own expansion plans too. Nickelbrook has obviously expanded as well.

Would you have the same doom scenario view if we had a freer market here, with private bottle shops, etc?
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby Belgian » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:03 pm

atomeyes wrote:takes time for people to burn through their savings.
takes time for a brewery to see that they won't reach their 1 year targets...

Huh. :-? Aren't there metrics people follow? Are a lot of people in business without much of a plan? If so, why?

I was really curious. I googled. This is interesting stuff about cash flow & mentality.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby atomeyes » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:21 am

El Pinguino wrote:
atomeyes wrote:takes time for people to burn through their savings.
takes time for investors to want a return on investment.
taes time for a brewery to see that they won't reach their 1 year targets.
takes time for people to realize that places like Bandit are absolutely awful with awful beer and they should go anywhere else.

hearing stories about breweries not hitting their targets. a certain west end brewery apparently is actively trying to find contract breweries to fill in their dead fermentor space. they have not hit #s and they have lots of shiny, new equipment that needs to be paid for.

this year, you'll have Godspeed opening up in the summer. they'll be pushing out volume within 12 months. Cowbell in Blyth will be huge volume-wise. Junction's moving into their new space, as is Blood Brothers.
Left Field apparently has 1 or more large fermentors coming in and they already expanded this year.
GOose Island will have a brewpub open here.
the US breweries will really start to fight for market share. i expect to see Oskar BLues, Lagunitas, Stone, SE, Ballast Point on tap here within the year and to eat into local shares a la Goose Island.

go through a list of good pubs. the pie ain't as big as what one thinks.
we're gonna have a big-ass crash. the bigger guys may feel the hit first, since they're fighting for LCBO shelf space and city taps.
the small guys (i.e. Leslieville breweries that move their brewery into the basement during kitchen service) will realize that Toronto rents and brewing 5 times a week don't add up to a fun and profitable lifestyle.


Some interesting insights there. Surprised you think the other US guys will make a push into this market....seems US brewers rarely stick around. I miss the old Great Divide days....but perhaps with some of those guys you mention having done their own east coast expansions...they think it may be worth coming here.

I remember Wellington brewery saying they were running 3 shifts all the time....doing a ton of contract brewing...a year or two ago...to fund their own expansion plans too. Nickelbrook has obviously expanded as well.

Would you have the same doom scenario view if we had a freer market here, with private bottle shops, etc?


obviously i am not privvy to brewery numbers. you here whispers here and there and can fill in some blanks on your own.
some things can have devil's advocate explanations that will let someone like you, who may not think of the "both sides now" possibilities, pause and say "oh, yeah...."

using your Wellington's example (again, with zero knowledge on their finances), brewing 3 shifts all the time and through the night and doing contract brewing: that doesn't necessarily equate financial success. especially when you're midnight oiling shifts for contract breweries. ideally, your fermentors are filled with your beer all the time. that's what should be most profitable. and if you're a contract brewery, how much profit can you be making if part of your bottom line goes to pay Wellington's employees to brew late at night or overnight? 3 shifts means "we can't keep up with supply and demand" or "we run an inefficient-as-hell" operation. i heard that, prior to their expansion, Wellington's had significant consistency issues. also heard it wasn't the, errr, most modern of brewhouses or the most pristine.

and what's expansion? so many breweries expand. it's a dog chasing its tail, really. you spend millions on equipment and infrastructure in order to make more beer and increase sales. there's a period where you're likely financially stretched due to expansion plans. then you're in recovery mode for 1-3 years to pay off your expansion costs. then you have more beer to sell. and, eventually, if/when you sell it? you think of expanding again. lol.

beer's obviously insanely profitable and if you're able to move units, you want to maximize your output. but, like, any business, you hit a theoretical cap. you try to gain as much market share in as many markets as possible and try to maintain it. you then go from a bottle shop/LCBO game to a distro and bar/resto sales game.

if we had independent bottle shops in ontario, the market would possibly change. but those shops would just be a drop in the ocean. when breweries are expanding, they're looking to add 100 key accounts, not 5-10.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby atomeyes » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:25 am

Belgian wrote:
atomeyes wrote:takes time for people to burn through their savings.
takes time for a brewery to see that they won't reach their 1 year targets...

Huh. :-? Aren't there metrics people follow? Are a lot of people in business without much of a plan? If so, why?

I was really curious. I googled. This is interesting stuff about cash flow & mentality.


of course there are metrics. restaurant owners probably have access to similar metrics. doesn't stop them from going tits up within a year.
most people who open up breweries don't do it as business owners. they do it out of passion, which usually leads to trouble.

the most basic of brewing metrics is this:
do not open up with anything smaller than a 7 barrel (approx 800 litre) brewery. that's the baseline for profitability.
so who in toronto is smaller than that? i can think of 2 right off the top of my head. one pays its own rent, one doesn't. both are probably brewing 6-7 days a week to keep up with demand. if you're doing that, then you're either pissing away profitability on wages or you're an owner working 70 hrs/week for less than minimum wage.

a few years ago, i talked with a brewer that wanted to open something in the west end. he told me his plan was to open a 3 bbl brewery. he'd be the only employee. someone wanted to buy a bottle? he'd stop doing what he was doing and sell them their beer. like, he actually thought through what he thought was a logical idea. i asked him about his #s and he pretty much such that he didn't care about numbers. ok...
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby Belgian » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:21 pm

atomeyes wrote:most people who open up breweries don't do it as business owners. they do it out of passion, which usually leads to trouble.

the most basic of brewing metrics is this:
do not open up with anything smaller than a 7 barrel (approx 800 litre) brewery. that's the baseline for profitability.
so who in toronto is smaller than that? i can think of 2 right off the top of my head. one pays its own rent, one doesn't. both are probably brewing 6-7 days a week to keep up with demand. if you're doing that, then you're either pissing away profitability on wages or you're an owner working 70 hrs/week for less than minimum wage.

Thanks. I guess that answers some of the questions about what might be "the difference that makes the difference" for successful ones - ie. not ignoring metrics (like bbl scale) of what is proven to work or be vitally necessary to work.

It's shocking that some ('most') brewers could lose a LOT opening up an operation out of 'the passion' to brew despite the financial liabilities. Seems like an expensive hobby.

It appears some people getting into a business seem to know A-Z exactly what to do - eg. experienced restaurateurs, some just drop a new type of resto, fully worked-out in every detail and it's wildly popular right away and presumably sustainable with a good margin. That's amazing. I assume they are applying a model formula they sort of know won't fail them or excessively delay their recouping an investment & keeping a healthy cash flow going & a reserve for future need. They build a lot of 'inevitability' into the model and leave nothing to chance.

^ It's fascinating and scary. But alluring! I mean most of us (just working jobs) aren't taking advantage of the heady financial leverage afforded to business owners. Some owners achieve financial independence and also don't need to be there 24/7, and can eventually sell the business without needing to be any part of it. I would hate to be stuck in the 'entrepreneur trap' of working 70-90 hours a week just to keep my business solvent because I have no choice or control built into in my situation, and forever having to stay in it as integral part of it...

I certainly appreciate what the brewers do here in any case, and hope they enjoy doing it.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby atomeyes » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:20 pm

Belgian wrote:
atomeyes wrote:most people who open up breweries don't do it as business owners. they do it out of passion, which usually leads to trouble.

the most basic of brewing metrics is this:
do not open up with anything smaller than a 7 barrel (approx 800 litre) brewery. that's the baseline for profitability.
so who in toronto is smaller than that? i can think of 2 right off the top of my head. one pays its own rent, one doesn't. both are probably brewing 6-7 days a week to keep up with demand. if you're doing that, then you're either pissing away profitability on wages or you're an owner working 70 hrs/week for less than minimum wage.

Thanks. I guess that answers some of the questions about what might be "the difference that makes the difference" for successful ones - ie. not ignoring metrics (like bbl scale) of what is proven to work or be vitally necessary to work.

It's shocking that some ('most') brewers could lose quite a bit opening up an operation out of 'the passion' to brew despite the financial liabilities. Seems like an expensive hobby.

It appears some people getting into a business seem to know A-Z exactly what to do - eg. experienced restaurateurs, some have the apparent ability to just drop a new type of resto, fully worked-out in every detail and it's wildly popular right away and presumably sustainable with a good margin. I assume people are applying a model formula they kind of know won't fail them or excessively delay their recouping an investment & keeping a healthy cashflow going / reserve for future need. They build a lot of 'inevitability' into the model and leave nothing to chance.

^ It's fascinating and scary. But alluring! I mean most of us (just working jobs) aren't taking advantage of the financial leverage afforded to business owners. Some owners achieve financial independence and also don't need to be there 24/7, and can eventually sell the business without needing to be any part of it. I would hate to be stuck in the 'entrepreneur trap' of working 70-90 hours a week just to keep my business solvent because I have no choice or control built into in my situation, having to remain an inextricable integral part of it...

I certainly appreciate what the brewers do here. Whatever the plan!


in Toronto alone, i can think of 1/2 dozen breweries, easily, where the owner has to put in man hours and is putting in 60+ hrs/week out of necessity.
and i'm talking about brewery hours, not books/paper work.

again, the 7 bbl figure is one with some leeway, plus or minus. but with minimum wage what it is in Ontario, our rent being insane...we're probably looking at a 7 bbl system at just barely making money and only if all the factors are in place to be successful. if you're not averaging 75% capacity and you're not bigger than a 50 seat bar and if your not having good bottle shop sales and an efficient bottling method and if you're not getting fast turns in your fermentors and if you don't have 2 brite tanks and if if if....
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby spinrsx » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:50 pm

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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby Ceecee » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:19 am



The Poltergeist seems to be a collab with Pizza Port and Oxbow. $97 for 20, would love to split this 3 or 4 ways (in Ottawa :D )
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby portwood » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:37 pm

Ceecee wrote:


...would love to split this 3 or 4 ways (in Ottawa :D )

It would be easier to split it with your local LCBO store :wink:
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby FEUO » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:53 am

El Pinguino wrote:You guys make this too complicated...

I think GLB is still the best example, not some tiny new startup brewery.

If they are willing to sell through the LCBO at whatever cost that is...they should absorb the extra cost of AMEX direct sales as well. Because I BELIEVE they'd make more profit off that direct sale.

Dude, relax. After relaxing, give up this fight.
Trust me, no one is empathizing with your perceived damages from AMEX not being accepted everywhere.
Such entitlement.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby FEUO » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:57 am

Masterplan wrote:
El Pinguino wrote:You guys make this too complicated...

I think GLB is still the best example, not some tiny new startup brewery.

If they are willing to sell through the LCBO at whatever cost that is...they should absorb the extra cost of AMEX direct sales as well. Because I BELIEVE they'd make more profit off that direct sale.

What's one sale to a brewery? Frankly, you come off as a guy who is in love with their points card, and want merchants to foot the bill for your free stuff.

If I were a merchant, I'd take your AMEX card but be tagging you with a $5 charge for using a points card. Kinda wish the government would step in and outlaw points cards in general.

Gov't intervention on this? No. Dumb thought. The points is made available via the gajillions of dollars these guys make off interest. Its up to each merchant and unique and costly services for the niche cards and niche cardholders should be paying a premium to use it if they want it bad enough.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby FEUO » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:58 am

atomeyes wrote:
El Pinguino wrote:
atomeyes wrote:we already have enough Ontario breweries that have opened based on belief and not facts.
if you're patient enough, you'll see how accurate your belief was, since I expect lots of these breweries' cans to be collector items come 2018


I thought we'd start to see more dying off by now too....so it makes me think the market is still stronger than I imagined.


takes time for people to burn through their savings.
takes time for investors to want a return on investment.
taes time for a brewery to see that they won't reach their 1 year targets.
takes time for people to realize that places like Bandit are absolutely awful with awful beer and they should go anywhere else.

hearing stories about breweries not hitting their targets. a certain west end brewery apparently is actively trying to find contract breweries to fill in their dead fermentor space. they have not hit #s and they have lots of shiny, new equipment that needs to be paid for.

this year, you'll have Godspeed opening up in the summer. they'll be pushing out volume within 12 months. Cowbell in Blyth will be huge volume-wise. Junction's moving into their new space, as is Blood Brothers.
Left Field apparently has 1 or more large fermentors coming in and they already expanded this year.
GOose Island will have a brewpub open here.
the US breweries will really start to fight for market share. i expect to see Oskar BLues, Lagunitas, Stone, SE, Ballast Point on tap here within the year and to eat into local shares a la Goose Island.


Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Lagunitas on tap in Windsor a few weeks ago.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby spinrsx » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:15 am

are the online only evil twin beers all gone? I can't find any of them on the LCBO website
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby El Pinguino » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:01 am

spinrsx wrote:are the online only evil twin beers all gone? I can't find any of them on the LCBO website


Looks like it. You snooze, you lose I guess.
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Re: LCBO Online Exclusives

Postby skootles » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:15 pm

spinrsx wrote:are the online only evil twin beers all gone? I can't find any of them on the LCBO website

There's a new one in stock. Evil Twin Don No which is a "vegan-style Berliner Weiss ale with mango and pineapple added."

No idea what they mean by 'vegan-style' but I ordered a case to split with friends and will be returning a handful to the store I pick it up from (Yonge/Wellesley).

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