Waiting in line for an insanely limited beer release creates a certain kind of camaraderie among anyone crazy enough to brave the elements in an effort to procure booze. You bond with your fellow masochists over your shared pursuit, because it’s better than standing around in silence for an eternity.
I’ve never camped out for an ultra-hoppy seasonal brew before, but one time I did stand in line for five hours on a freezing, snowy December night to secure a front-row spot at a Less Than Jake show in 2002. Hey man, we all have our priorities.
In fact, some of my best memories from that era include meeting other like-minded fans in line outside dingy clubs, just as beer snobs surely enjoy striking up conversations with kindred spirits before the distributor doors open. (The only difference? There are a lot more Russian River T-shirts than Streetlight Manifesto hoodies in this scenario.)
Fun as waiting forever can be, though, I bet we’d all like to have our treasures—whether they’re tasty rare ales or tastier ska licks—as soon as possible. And one of the best breweries in the northeast thinks it has the answer.
On Friday, Brooklyn-based Sixpoint is dropping an app that lets you buy beer straight from the brewery—the first that cuts out the middleman and gives consumers all the purchasing power. Here’s how it works: Starting September 25, you can snag six-packs of Sixpoint’s new Lil’ Raspy Raspberry Berliner Weisse and Toppen-ish IPA through the app, and then show up on September 30 at the brewery’s Red Hook courtyard to claim them upon their release—no waiting required.
In fact, there won’t be any walk-up sales on release day; all transactions take place on the app. (Download it here.) It’s a potentially game-changing development that other breweries could follow soon.
In a press release, Sixpoint founder Shane Welch likened the app to other moments that “altered the course of brewing forever,” like the discovery of yeast, the invention of pasteurization, and the, uh, development of the automobile.
While we won’t go that far—yet—it’s easy to be excited by the possibilities.
“For generations, breweries and their supply chain were shrouded in mystery—the process and the entire ecosystem was kept out of the public eye, and the actual product was just something that appeared on the shelf or on tap alongside a marketing message,” Welch said. “We’ve changed all of that with our mobile app, as we have directly linked our customers with our great suppliers, the formulation process, and the product itself. We’re the conduit.”