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Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:00 pm
by Blankboy
Andicus wrote:Wasn't aware that my enjoying this meant that I hated beer, but thanks for your opinion! Good thing taste isn't a subjective thing.


I didn't say drinking it meant you hated beer, I said people who hate beer could drink it. There's a difference.

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 2:15 pm
by pootz
Blankboy wrote:
Andicus wrote:Wasn't aware that my enjoying this meant that I hated beer, but thanks for your opinion! Good thing taste isn't a subjective thing.


I didn't say drinking it meant you hated beer, I said people who hate beer could drink it. There's a difference.


I agree and I think this brew has very good niche potential in the southern Ont. Market.

Price is the real stumbling block...if this was $1.80-$2.25 ( or less) It would draw a lot more business from the upscale light drinker.

Posted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 4:42 pm
by Andicus
Blankboy wrote:I didn't say drinking it meant you hated beer, I said people who hate beer could drink it. There's a difference.


Yes, I see your point. Knee-jerk reaction rescinded! :)

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:55 pm
by Rubaiyat
Thank you for all your positive - and ... not so positive - comments on the J Ginger .. :-)

I just want to state one thing for the record: this beer IS the regular Jenlain Blonde with added "ginger essence".

My point, simply, is that this beer is not a brand new (cheap, inferior, "swill") concoction per se.

That's all I have to say on this for now .. ;-)

As for contacting the LCBO -- they do, indeed, make the buying decisions but let's not just bombard them with do's and don'ts -- it's not as simple as that.

CHEERS,

Paul

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:47 pm
by pootz
Rubaiyat wrote:Thank you for all your positive - and ... not so positive - comments on the J Ginger .. :-)

I just want to state one thing for the record: this beer IS the regular Jenlain Blonde with added "ginger essence".

My point, simply, is that this beer is not a brand new (cheap, inferior, "swill") concoction per se.

That's all I have to say on this for now .. ;-)



Paul


Did I mention it is detectable that the beer was actually well made....not just flavor dumped in a corn fizz beer....sorry if I gave that impression with my "spritzer" analogy.....sorry.

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:46 pm
by Belgian
Blankboy wrote:
tupalev wrote:The Spring release is the most dissapointing release that the LCBO has had as far as I can remember.


Apart from the mildly interesting La Choulette BiƩre de Garde Blonde, the Spring Release was to me a non-starter (and tragic loss of shelf space.)

Profit over quality. Overpricing. Do they think we are fools??

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:54 pm
by Belgian
Rubaiyat wrote:As for contacting the LCBO -- they do, indeed, make the buying decisions but let's not just bombard them with do's and don'ts -- it's not as simple as that.

CHEERS,

Paul

I bet it isn't.

I politely emailed them about certain beers, and they more or less said if the brewer never approaches them about a specific release program, then by default we may never see those products on LCBO shelves.

At least they were this forthcoming.

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:49 am
by Rubaiyat
A very diplomatic answer -- from them.

OK. HERE is how it works. Once a year (occasionally there are others throughout the year but this is the main one) they issue their annual purchasing plans which set out what essentially amount to tenders. These "tenders" which are spaced throughout the year (spring, summer ... etc.) set out what type/style/country of origin of beer they are looking for. These criteria are based on what they perceive to be what the market is looking for, what's selling well currently, what's "hot", what's "in" ... and so on. It's not ALL about what's hot and in they also understand there are some "classics". Then -- each agent (who effectively represents the brewer/brewers) makes submissions. These are all done very uniformly in terms of paperwork, what's required to be submitted, terms, etc. They then select a few based on tastings, marketing support proposed, packaging appeal, and so on. And that's it.

Now ... this whole submission process takes places over a few months usually (not the deadline which is strict but all the follow-up afterwards including their selection process -- tasting, testing, lab testing, etc.) and, finally, what THEY actually SELECT is probably anywhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 ... even more perhaps ... of what is submitted to them. For example, if their "tender" is for "belgian ales", they might get 50 various beers submitted that meet the submission criteria but they will only select, say, 3 or 4.

This is basically how it works.

SURE what they describe as "if a brewer doesn't offer/submit then they won't know about it" -- sure that MAY be the case obviously but that DOESN'T mean that if any given beer IS submitted they WILL buy it.

And there you have it.

Cheers,

Paul

Posted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:53 pm
by Belgian
Rubaiyat wrote:...what THEY actually SELECT is probably anywhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 ... even more perhaps ...

SURE what they describe as "if a brewer doesn't offer/submit then they won't know about it" -- sure that MAY be the case obviously but that DOESN'T mean that if any given beer IS submitted they WILL buy it.

And there you have it.

Cheers,

Paul


So it could happen that (in the LCBO's committment of to us,) certain of the world's greatest beers are POSSIBLY never selected by the LCBO because, in spite of the beer's sales potential, they MAY never have been submitted by the great breweries than make them?

And shall we deduce that of late the beers that DO make it through the LCBO's "selection process" all just happen to be generally inferior because the breweries involved remembered to get up one particular morning and to submit them?

(I deleted my next paragraph here to not offend anyone who may like the products offered in the spring release, but I hold in question the intentions and/or the competence of the LCBO behind this offering.)

Hoping for the best (and a stronger LCBO if it's sticking around awhile, c'mon you guys!)
JK.

Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:13 pm
by Rubaiyat
"potential" is the operative word here.

unfortunately -- and i've thought a lot about this -- i can't blame the people who run the department necessarily. it's more a function of the SYSTEM. the monopoly system, the archaic rules that are behind it, the drive for profitability, etc.

certain beers - anything really - have become "classics" because they have been ALLOWED to sell in the first place. aside from bartowellers who would recognize and know a "classic" it's conceivable others - the mass market - won't respond to it the same way ..

basically they operate like a well oiled super market or big chain. think wal-mart, costco, etc. with ROI per linear foot of shelf space in mind, with supply chain conformity in mind .. and so on. i have said this before; there IS a place for this in the market .. we all like (don't we .. ;-)) wal-mart, costco .. and so on .. but we can CHOOSE to go to pusateri's, longo's .. or even just our local daisymart for groceries if we want to. it's CHOICE we're talking about here. the problem is that with alcohol in ontario there IS no choice. so ... back to the question at hand here ... every beer submitted is considered for it's marektability HERE and how it fits into the MASS market HERE ... and on that note, clearly, the MASS MARKET aint you guys ... simple as that.

so while a classic OUGHT to be here it may not get here because it's marketability in THEIR system is not assured. this would be okay if there was a secondary system (well .. there IS .. CONSIGNMENT) but there isn't (IN stores). so that's the state of things ... for the forseeable future.

now to answer the last post more specifically --

paragraph 1 -- yes this is POSSIBLE but ... sometimes can't blame the producer ... the way products are marked up .. the way they have to conform with bottles, labelling, etc. -- all the paperwork that goes in this -- the RELATIVELY small orders with no guarantee of repeat orders (EVEN if it sells well that is) has put off many suppliers -- MANY of the classics in fact. they just couldn't be bothered. this isn't always the case obviously but it IS/CAN be very frustrating dealing with this system and they know that.

paragraph 2 -- well .. these beers may not have been up to YOUR standard but they are still decent enough i guess and they are MARKETABLE to the MASS market ... to an extent ... ALWAYS a consideration with the LCBO releases (versus the consignment stock we bring in). don't forget too .. as has been explained many times in these forums this wasn't like they say ok we want to buy 4 ..5 ..6 whatever of the BEST BEERS out there now ... it's always restricted (often quite narrowly) to a COUNTRY of origin to a STYLE of beer and so on. now you may still argue well is st. louis geuze the BEST geuze out there .. ? no. but ... now we go back to all the other things we talked about ...

it's complicated ...

always here to help ... :-)

nevertheless --- THANK YOU for your patronage, as always .. !!

cheers,

paul

Posted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:45 am
by Belgian
Thanks for the thoughtful answers Paul.

Correct, those beers must have some market legitimacy or they wouldn't be there.

I think we beer snobs sometimes assume that because 98% of what LCBO already sells already fulfills the 'marketability' mandate, we can expect to be spoiled a little with these seasonal one-offs.

System works against this obviously.

And FWIW, while my putting down certain products sounded a bit strident, I appreciate all you importers try to do and the ideals upheld. Can't be easy work sometimes. So thank you.

Posted: Tue May 10, 2005 4:21 pm
by pootz
Rubaiyat wrote:A very diplomatic answer -- from them.

OK. HERE is how it works. Once a year (occasionally there are others throughout the year but this is the main one) they issue their annual purchasing plans which set out what essentially amount to tenders. These "tenders" which are spaced throughout the year (spring, summer ... etc.) set out what type/style/country of origin of beer they are looking for. These criteria are based on what they perceive to be what the market is looking for, what's selling well currently, what's "hot", what's "in" ... and so on. It's not ALL about what's hot and in they also understand there are some "classics". Then -- each agent (who effectively represents the brewer/brewers) makes submissions. These are all done very uniformly in terms of paperwork, what's required to be submitted, terms, etc. They then select a few based on tastings, marketing support proposed, packaging appeal, and so on. And that's it.

Now ... this whole submission process takes places over a few months usually (not the deadline which is strict but all the follow-up afterwards including their selection process -- tasting, testing, lab testing, etc.) and, finally, what THEY actually SELECT is probably anywhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 20 ... even more perhaps ... of what is submitted to them. For example, if their "tender" is for "belgian ales", they might get 50 various beers submitted that meet the submission criteria but they will only select, say, 3 or 4.

This is basically how it works.

SURE what they describe as "if a brewer doesn't offer/submit then they won't know about it" -- sure that MAY be the case obviously but that DOESN'T mean that if any given beer IS submitted they WILL buy it.

And there you have it.

Cheers,

Paul


The facts that blow their elaborate bureaucratic pretense of fair tendering and selection all to hell is the ridiculous waste of shelf space with, an approaching, 2 dozen commie welfare state pilsners/lagers...if not bland many are substandard Trotsky puke in a bottle. Hell, I even got one last week with ,I'm sure, an infected or ruined yeast strain.. foul tasting stuff. Where's the "taster selected" quaity there? Where's the "it's hot" market studies to justify the repeated shelf swamping of this swill, when the "hottest" micros in the US or most sought after traditional/quality Euro beers are totally under represented?

I still maintain that they make big coin on this cheap commie corn fizz and they have lesser margins on importing the ( what could be popular up here) US high-demand micros as a disincentive... to hell with what the consumer wants, our proft margin and bureaucratic jobs come before choice and quality.....either that or they still use the chimp with a magic '8' ball for purchasing strategies.

Posted: Tue May 10, 2005 7:43 pm
by Andicus
pootz wrote:I still maintain that they make big coin on this cheap commie corn fizz and they have lesser margins on importing the ( what could be popular up here) US high-demand micros as a disincentive... to hell with what the consumer wants, our proft margin and bureaucratic jobs come before choice and quality.....either that or they still use the chimp with a magic '8' ball for purchasing strategies.

I agree completely! I wince every time I see an entire side of an aisle populated with this crap.

Posted: Wed May 11, 2005 1:01 am
by Rubaiyat
indeed. i wince and cringe just the same. but ... no -- margins are all the same, relatively speaking -- it's just that basically each of those eastern lightweights are "guaranteed" a reasonable level of sales within their ethnic groups many of which are swelling or rising in the ranks these days and that's about it. i don't think any of those are particularly aimed at the conoisseur. but you know what -- they still outsell some real classics many times over and at the end of the day ... that's what counts.

Posted: Wed May 11, 2005 12:54 pm
by Belgian
Rubaiyat wrote:-- it's just that basically each of those eastern lightweights are "guaranteed" a reasonable level of sales within their ethnic groups many of which are swelling or rising in the ranks these days and that's about it.


it's true, Central / East Europeans know their regional beers and will go to all lengths keeping a vast supply. By contrast from Western Europe, we don't have thousands of Belgian Canadians tearing around trying to find Rochefort 10 - those Belgians (and some Germans) mayber aren't as proudly, defiantly identified with a national brand, or are happy with Stella/Holsten.

At least this all means... Czechvar & Staropramen are going to stick around AND we've now got all these pretty East European ladies prowling around here... I think I'll head out now for a Karlovacko!