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Old 03-23-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
mjinfla
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Default New Here - Need a Little Help

As the owner of a liquor store I am seeking your expert opinions as to what beer I should stock. (not brand names yet) My goal is to have the best selection in town.
How many different brands of each type of beer would you feel is an excellent selection.
1)Domestic
2)Import
a. countries
3)Micro
4)Lager
5)Ale
etc..


Thank You in advance for your help

Mike

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #2
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My favorite liquor stores are the ones that have a pick-6 cooler. As far as micro-brews and imports go, that is one of the coolest things you can do. I also think it helps to have a cooler or more dedicated to bombers.

You pretty much have to have the American macro-brews somewhere. Most people on this site wouldn't buy them, but a lot of your customers will.

Some of the rest of your categories are overlapping. I don't necessarily go looking for an ale/lager, I'm just looking for good beer. I would say go 2/3 of your stock as domestic/microbrews and 1/3 imports, but I'm sure others would say to reverse that.

I would also suggest that you don't look for a static inventory. You would be better off moving different brands/types in and out. And pay attention when your customers ask "Do you have _______?"

Best of luck.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:07 PM   #3
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Wow. That is so tough. I would have to be able to see your distribution catalogs, I would need to know how much shelf space you have, how you were handling the product, etc. There's no one answer for that, but I would think you'd have to tailor to your clientele. Offering craft beers that are not readily available in most of the stores around is a good start.

I am just not sure what the playing field is like where you're at.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwjester View Post

I would also suggest that you don't look for a static inventory. You would be better off moving different brands/types in and out. And pay attention when your customers ask "Do you have _______?"
The best way to do this is to offer some seasonals. There are some beers you'll always want in, but a lot of great breweries make beer that isn't available all the time.
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:28 PM   #5
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Wow. That is so tough. I would have to be able to see your distribution catalogs, I would need to know how much shelf space you have, how you were handling the product, etc. There's no one answer for that, but I would think you'd have to tailor to your clientele. Offering craft beers that are not readily available in most of the stores around is a good start.

I am just not sure what the playing field is like where you're at.
shelf space is no prob. the area can support all price ranges. I am in central florida seasonal can be a little tough. I would like to create a complete beer selection. What would you stock?
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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I have some general ideas as to stock, but who better to ask than beer lovers. What
would your dream beer store have in it?

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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I would stock your average **** beer, because that one guy is right, people will buy it. I wouldn't overdo it and waste space on Shock Top when you could have Hoegaarden for essentially the same price.

I would have a large selection of craft beer in 6 packs and 22s.

I would have an entire area for Belgian beer. Big bottles with corks, stuff like Cantillon, Duvel, Chimay, and even the local Belgian style brewers like Jolly Pumpkin and Ommegang and all that.

go to beeradvocate and look at the highest rated beer that is available in the area you're in. The guys on their forums will be able to give you specific examples of stores in your area that will act as a guide to you. Remember that for any snob, proper temperatures for cellaring are important, and if you want to attract that crowd you will have to adhere to that.

I am in San Diego where we have no weather, and I still appreciate seasonal offerings. It isn't about dark for winter or anything like that. There's a ton of good beer that only comes out once a year.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
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It would look like this list:

Bottleworks Beer List

or like this:

The Brickskeller & RFD Washington DC

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:38 PM   #9
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the best liquor store I have ever been in had most of their specialty beer warm on shelves. they had them broken down by brewer (domestic) and then by country. they had 6 pack prices on everything as well as single bottle price. for me personally, i would even pay a premium on a single beer, say 20-50 cents more per bottle. it allows me to try a bunch of different stuff without buying a whole sixpack. I would also rotate stock, maybe feature a new brewery every month.

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Old 03-23-2009, 11:42 PM   #10
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I would also rotate stock, maybe feature a new brewery every month.
The problem I see with that in a store environment is that if someone comes back looking for that beer that they loved, and it is gone, they're not going to come back. The majority of people hit stores to get what they know they like. I go to one store for craft beer, one for Belgian beer, and I know what I am getting each time.
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