Imagine an all-virtual wrestling match and you’ll begin to understand the chaos as fans scrambled to secure their allotted $50 can of A Deal with the Devil during its 2020 release on the Tavour app, an online retailer that works directly with small breweries.
The highly sought-after A Deal with the Devil (ADWTD) Barleywine has historically drawn massive crowds to Anchorage when the brewers release a new limited edition at the taproom — this time, everyone flocked to Tavour. Tavour saw the highest traffic numbers in its 6+ year history as craft beer drinkers jumped at the chance to get one of the best beers in the country.
“We know how fantastic A Deal with the Devil is, how highly rated, how much collectors and beer enthusiasts love it, but we were still blown away by the community’s response when we released the 2020 vintage on our app,” Talia Shapiro, Content Manager at Tavour says. “They went absolutely nuts.”
Although there was a one can limit, some folks went to extremes to work the system — using multiple accounts under different emails, convincing friends to order for them, and hitting the purchase button repeatedly until the entire stock sold out, in hopes of tricking the queue. Someone even posted a photo of their fingers hovering over the ‘Get It’ button on 4 different phones, simultaneously!
Anchorage packaged the new 2020 vintage in wax-dipped cans for the first and ONLY time EVER, making it even more rare. It’s also extremely small-batch, with a mere 178 cases produced. In light of COVID19, Anchorage postponed their on-site release party and, apart from a small reserve they stowed away in the brewery cellar for locals, the entire batch came to Tavour.
“Next time just release it without a darn notification and Instagram post. LoL,” one fan wrote on social media. Countless others were left empty handed: “DAMMIT THAT WENT FAST. I just refreshed once and it was gone!!” While others remained optimistic that there was still a fleeting chance: “Waitlisted! C’mon I need this!”
The beer sold out in 15 minutes and it only took a few hours before the first ISO (In Search Of) pleas began to pop up on BeerAdvocate and other beer trade forums. Enthusiasts offered exclusive treasures from Floodland, Westbrook, American Solera, Holy Mountain, Side Project, and other word-class breweries for trade.
A temporary distraction from the current state of the world? Absolutely. A delicious and brag-worthy 17% ABV distraction, no less.
“It’s imperative that we not only continue to support breweries but also give craft beer fans something to look forward to,” Meghan Packard, VP at Tavour says. “And now, during a time like this, it is more important than ever.”