The concept of beer trading is an interesting one. While there are many online websites that discuss the how-to’s and enable trading, I want to spend a few minutes discussing the emotions of a trade. The basic premise to trading is to use your inventory to acquire beers that you otherwise couldn’t get, either because of geographical distribution, limited distribution, or you just want more of a specific beer.
I’ve traded a few times with some really good people whom I’ve never met. California, Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma all are home to some great people who are also great beer traders. I’ve been able to taste beers that I would otherwise never get to taste and hopefully my trading partners would be able to say the same. The anatomy of a trade is an interesting one; since I’m not really what you would call an active trader or a known trader in the beer trading community, I’m usually the initiator when I want to make a trade.
For example, I’m in the middle of a trade with a good person in Oklahoma, Michael Holland. The good people at Prairie Artisan Ales recently had a brewery only release of Pirate Paradise Stout…and I really wanted to get a couple of bottles. If you’ve been reading any of my blog posts, tweets, or Instagram posts, you probably know that I am a big fan of any and all stouts that PAA releases. I love Pirate Bomb! and I also loved the glass of Paradise I was fortunate enough to taste at a local establishment, so I had to have Pirate Paradise!
I threw out a feeler on the PAA Facebook page and Mr. Holland kindly responded. We went back and forth and quickly settled on the exchange. I was willing to “overpay” since I was the initiator and Michael was pleased with the deal. Now to turn the deal into reality. I spent a good hour packing up the bottles and glassware to insure it would make it safely to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bubble wrap, bubble wrap, styrofoam noodles, and more bubble wrap. The last thing I would want is to have Michael open a box of broken glassware or to have a bottle break during the shipment. I’ve read too many accounts of broken bottles or opened packages by the shipper so I tend to overpack. My shipper of choice is UPS so my next stop is to the UPS Store to send it on it’s way. It’s usually $20-30 to ship a box so it’s important to pack it well enough so it gets to it’s destination safely.
Well, my box of goodies made it to Tulsa in one piece and I am anxiously awaiting my delivery from Michael – it’s scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Part of my emotion is relief that my package made it safely so Michael can enjoy the contents and the other part is the anticipation of getting something in the mail that I am really excited about! I’m looking forward to coming home from work tomorrow with a box on my doorstep!
Fortunately, I’ve not had a negative experience in any of my beer trades. I’m not a frequent trader, but I do consider myself to be an experienced trader and I do my best to make sure my trading partners are happy.
Do you have any trading stories that you are willing to share? Good, bad, or ugly? Any tips you want to share with us? Leave a comment so we can all learn….