Barrel Backers Delivers The Beer You Want
Do you have a favorite beer from your past, but it’s not available in the area you live now? Or are you looking for a new and fun way to get beer you haven’t tried before? The new startup company, Barrel Backers, is looking to fill that need, and your glass, with out-of-market beers delivered right to your door.
What Is Barrel Backers?
Barrel Backers is a website that allows users to suggest, vote on, and eventually buy selected beers from anywhere in the United States. Brothers Adam and Dan Rivette founded the company earlier this year after a vacation trip with friends. Barrel Backers “was really a joint idea that coalesced around this idea that there’s great breweries out there, why can’t we get them in different locations” said, Dan Rivette who I recently sat down with to talk about their product.
Not Your Normal Beer Club
Unlike the typical beer club where you don’t have much say in the beers you get. Barrel Backers flips the idea on its head and puts the customer in charge. Rivette said one of their main goals is to “Let people have a voice in their beer”, and that goal is achieved throughout their implementation. Users of the site can nominate any U.S. beer they want through a simple web form, in hopes that it will eventually become a campaign. Once a nomination is received, The Barrel Backers staff confirms that it’s an American craft beer and sets it up on the voting page.
Once voting begins, the leg work really falls to the website community, and this is where the fun begins. Users are able to view all the current beers in the mix and up-vote which ones they would like to see turned into a campaign. If you find a beer you want, you need to get people involved. Through quick-links to Facebook and Twitter, users can easily post to their world what beers are available for candidacy and urge them to get the vote out. When a beer hits 99 up-votes the Barrel Backer staff goes to work. They connect with the brewery to see if they have the ability and desire to be involved in a campaign with the Barrel Backer community. If both sides are able to come to an agreement on items such as how many units will be made available, and what the expected order date would be, the beer can be featured on the site for pre-order.
This final phase is where the Barrel Backer community gets the chance to pre-order their desired beer. The page tells you how many are still available and what the price will be when ordered. Once the designated order number is hit, the campaign closes and billing and shipping will take place. If, on the other hand, the pre-order limit is not reached in the allotted time, the campaign ends, and no one is charged for their order.
Plenty Of Options
In addition to the single beer campaigns, some of the breweries are offering up mix-packs of two to three of their brews. This is great for someone looking to taste multiple beers from a normally un-obtainable brewery. “We want to be a mix of (new beer) discovery, but also give people the throwback or (beer) memory option” said Rivette.
Additionally, there is a beer of the month club for those that would prefer to get a shipment of a variety of beers from around the U.S. without having to vote or pre-order. The beers for the club are hand-picked by the Barrel Backer staff to ensure a good variety each month.
As with any company dealing with shipping a product, especially a liquid, shipping costs can be a big barrier to the customer. And cost concerns are no different here. Generally a 12-pack of beer on Barrel Backers is going to cost between $35-$40, 4 packs of bombers run a little higher, and the beer of the month club ranges from $40 – $47. Rivette acknowledges it’s an issue, but it’s clear that they continue to work with their distributors to keep shipping costs as low as they possibly can. At the same time, Rivette notes that “If I’m going to spend $18 – $25 to pick something up locally, am I willing to pay $12 – $15 more to have the beer delivered, and (more importantly) to get something that I cannot get otherwise? Then, it’s not such a stretch.”
WLD Bottom Line
If you’re a craft beer lover, Barrel Backers is a great and fun way to get access to beer you simply can’t get through normal avenues. With their focus on customer engagement, wide distribution availability, and constantly evolving menu, it looks like we have a potential hit on our hands. So go get signed up and I’ll see you on the voting board!