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My Friends Say They’re Done with Beer Presales and I Think They’re Insane!

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I love the beer presale option, and I really can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t. Ordering beer online is the future! C’mon people, get with the times!

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My IG feed is littered with beer releases. There are so many that sometimes I can’t hit them all up without having to sleep on the couch! Beer presales help me grab the beer I’m after without having to risk missing out.

When it comes to beer presales, SpindleTap is the biggest user by far, with almost every one of their releases having the ability to purchase beforehand. I’ve also taken advantage of it via Baa Baa and Brash.

With all of these releases around town, offering beer presales is a game-changer for breweries.

My friends used to be all over them too. But as of late, they’ve backed out.

They say they’re done with beer presales. But why?

Online presales are typically offered via a third-party website, like Eventbrite. You pay a small fee to preorder your packs, just like you would order concert tickets ahead of time. With Eventbrite, in particular, fees are per pack of beer.

As far as I know, breweries can’t change that. (According to their site, when a ticket is sold, Eventbrite charges 2.5% of the ticket value, plus $0.99 per ticket, along with an additional 3.5% for credit card processing.)

That’s about 15% PER PACK when you look at it. Whoa.

So I somewhat understand my friends’ indifference. But they also don’t see the point of the online beer presales. Sometimes the presales are even for event tickets rather than beer which makes Eventbrite all the more obvious.

While people will line up for an event, hardly anybody lines up for beer releases in Houston anymore. There’s just too many.

Our beer scene is EXPLODING. 65 breweries in the Greater Houston area, and it’s still growing.

I remember doing it in the early days, and it was fun, but ain’t nobody got time to line up every weekend now.

With more beer available in stores, and now to-go, it seems there’s less of a need to wake up early and head to the brewery.

So that’s why my friends are out on presales.

But I think they’re insane!

I do presales because it means my order is guaranteed.

I’m going to start with the fees argument. First, though, to be fair, my friends aren’t wrong. Fees SUCK.

However, companies like Eventbrite are chosen because they can handle the spike in online demand when the presale goes live.

Cheaper sites might crash during the sale, causing you to miss out on cans.

For me, that’s not a risk I’m willing to take, so I pay the fees.

My friends also think presales are pointless because there’s more beer available. Why pay more for something that’s probably going to be in stock at the brewery?

Again, makes sense. But why risk it? If I decide I want to buy a beer, I want to get that locked down — less for me to worry about.

If a line should still happen, I don’t want to wait. Waiting sucks, but it’s even worse to show up later only to find out that they’re sold out.

Don’t forget, the hype is still very strong.

Plus, on a weekend with multiple releases, we can divvy up those pick-ups because we’ve ordered ahead of time.

Our beer is already there waiting for us.

You could even take this further. Presales allow out-of-towners to snag Houston beers. They either drive into town or use mules to pick up and ship their beer. Some trade for it via beermail.

To presale or not to presale. That is the question.

It certainly has its advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I love it.

Guarantee your beer online and pick it up at your leisure.

As long as you’re willing to pay more for your beer, you’re all set.

But that’s just my opinion. What about you? Do you presale or no?

If you’re not into beer presales, but love buying beer online, you should do so through HopDrop. Use our code “BEERCHRONICLE” at checkout to save 10%.

Beers to you, Houston


Brent is originally from Ohio but has been in Houston for over 10 years. As an Aggie, musician, animal advocate, and Lego collector, he always has something going on. If you have an imperial stout, come find him. He’ll want to add it to his insatiable beer spreadsheet.


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Brent Topa
brent.topa@beerchronicle.com
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