When running a bar, especially one focused on craft beer, one of the bigger concerns is getting your hands on some of the more limited and rare offerings from a brewery to offer alongside some of the stalwarts. A lot of times, bar managers and beer buyers have to remain in close contact with their distributors to get a whiff of what limited kegs are dropping and when. A lot of the time bars miss out or they might not have even had a chance in the first place.
The other side of the coin is that a brewery has some special releases available, often times in very little quantity, and either distribution isn't sure what exactly to do with them or bar owners aren't privy to the knowledge that some of these releases even exist outside of the brewery.
Most breweries also feature taproom-only drafts because the batch was too small for distribution, or they don't have any real way or marketing these selections out. There's never really been a good way to directly connect those brewers and their ever so limited beers with the end buyer, until now.
Smuttynose Brewing has developed a system that puts limited and rare releases at the bar manager's fingertips. The Beer Vault opens a direct line between Smuttynose's beer cellar and on-hand directory, and the beer buyer of your local establishment. Specialty beers, vintage selections, draft-only availability and even beers from their innovation center, Smuttlabs, can easily be perused and selected.
The Vault is the only way to get Smuttlabs beers like Brett & I, The Stallion, as well as brewery-aged, vintage beers and new, draft-only releases of storied Smuttynose Big Beers, such as two-time GABF gold medal-winner, Wheat Wine.
Much like a consumer logging onto an online bottle shop to purchase bottles, The Vault puts that same type of power into the hands of the beer buyer. Each user can log on and browse the real-time inventory and select beers to submit requests for. The rest is taken care of by the wholesalers and Smuttynose.
"The last few years have seen a paradox with limited release beers. Beer drinkers crave them, but they can be difficult for wholesalers to manage because of the small volume," explains Michael Saklad, Smuttynose's Sales Director. "Creative limited-release beers drive buzz and excitement, but they're not efficient for volume growth because of the time needed to constantly create new brands with short life cycles."
If you manage a bar or restaurant and want your own keys to The Vault, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don't manage either, but want to drink Vault beers, ask your favorite bar to drop them an email to get set up.