Should Liquor Stores Impose Limits on Special Releases?

As craft beer fans, we all know that some seasonal releases from smaller craft breweries are only available in extremely limited quantities.

A few of the craft-centric stores here in Victoria are wise to this and when these special releases come out, they impose a limit per customer. Sometimes it’s six bottles, sometimes two, depending on the availability.

Sure, this can sometimes be annoying, but do you really need 12 bottles of a fresh hopped IPA? My example here of course being Driftwood’s Sartori Harvest, which always sells out at breathtaking speeds every year, leaving beer nerds hunting around town like packs of wild dogs. I’ve actually seen people get mad at liquor store employees over limits imposed on this beer. Their argument is always that they are willing to pay, so why can’t they have as many bottles as they like.

Some local liquor stores prefer to avoid this confrontation and don’t impose any limits. This has lead to me missing out on a few limited releases recently, because I’ve headed overĀ on the day of release, only to find out that one or two people came in early that day and bought the entire stock.

Really it’s not the liquor stores to blame here, but the greedy people who decided they needed a unreasonable amount of bottles of a limited release at the cost of other people being able to try it. However, I do feel like liquor stores should have some sort of system in place to prevent these beer hoarders from denying everyone else the pleasure of trying out these special releases.

At the end of the day it’s actually better for the breweries when liquor stores impose these restrictions, because it allows more people to try their products out, rather than just a handful of hardcore beer nerds.