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The Session #70: Hype

In this month’s session, Good Morning asks whether hype is a good thing for the craft beer industry. We think it’s both a good and a bad thing.

Things we like about hype:

  • Seasonal hype. When pumpkin beers are everywhere, I start getting excited about Mad Elf being right around the corner. It was one of the first beers I personally hyped to my friends who aren’t big craft beer drinkers and they remembered it. Over Thanksgiving a few of them even joined me at a Mad Elf brunch where the first keg of the season was tapped.
  • Event hype. Dark Lord Day, Steel City Big Pour, Extreme Beer Fest, SAVOR. All events centered around craft beer and bringing the community together. I’ve read awesome stories of people drinking rare beers in line at Dark Lord Day and sharing with those around them. SCPB has done so much for the craft beer community in Pittsburgh. It excites me to see so many people work so hard to put on such awesome events.
  • Collaboration hype. Who wouldn’t get excited about Stone, Dogfish Head, and Victory doing a beer together? It’s like being at a Willie Nelson concert and having Snoop Dogg come on stage to perform a song with him. Collaborations by breweries allow for hype to spread cross country and reach a much larger audience.

Things we dislike about hype:

  • Online beer scalping of hyped beers. It is extremely frustrating to see people buy rare beers just to try to make 10x their money by selling it on eBay. If I’ve missed out, I’ve missed out.
  • Insane markups of hyped beers. Bottle shops know which beers are hyped and take advantage of that. There is no reason Hopslam should be $29.99 per six pack. Then again, it’s still sitting on the shelf at our local bottle shop. Guess they aimed too high. I’m ok with a beer costing more if it takes more to produce. I guess those markups aren’t too different than scalpers.
  • Seasonal hype, a season early. I’ve only really see this become a problem with pumpkin beers showing up in August. Hopefully that’ll die out. I don’t want to drink a pumpkin beer before October. Don’t show up to a Labor Day BBQ with pumpkin beer, please.
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