What’s in a beer glass? Other than our fresh, hand crafted, creatively curated beer.
Now, you and I appreciate that every pint of our beer should be served in a chalice worthy of the heart and soul put into each millilitre of the good stuff.
Our glasses are heavy, robust and have a lovely note when cheersing with mates. All important attributes when we were originally selecting our glassware.
Let me take you back to when it all started… December 2020.
Here’s a pic taken of the shortlist before we opened in.
Even though we were spending mountains of cash every week trying to get the brewery open, what’s another $5k on glassware? “Let’s get awesome glasses!” We all cheered. It’s an investment!
So we ended picking the two beautifully robust handled glasses in the middle, a pint and half pint glass*
*Sidebar – The size of a pint is discretionary. An imperial pint is 568ml an American pint is 473ml, and in other parts of the world they're often 500ml. The pint glass we selected was 500ml, with about 100ml of headspace, so they look mint when poured correctly with a nice creamy top.
But get this!
We had a bloke come in the other day complaining…
“Mate, that’s not a pint,” he stated.
“Yeah, it’s 500ml, see, there’s the line” One of our best bartenders, Emily, said pointing to the measurement line printed on the glass.
“Yeah, Nah, that’s not a pint” He shot back.
“Ok, do you want it or not…?” Emily presented the ultimate beer ultimatum.
With that, he grabbed the pint and sulked back to his table. Shoulders slumped like he’d just lost a game of chess to an 8 year old.
2 weeks later we received a visit from the bloody government! Responding to a complaint regarding our pint sizes.
We were fine, because like I said, a pint is discretionary and we’re transparent that our pints are 500ml. But jeez Louise…
Back to the story of our pint glasses.
So we decided to invest in these majestic glasses, and brand them with some Bucketty’s beautification. It’d only cost an extra $2 a glass… and then we could sell them as merch too!
If we could sell 1 glass for every 2 that got smashed or stolen, we’d be square.
So we bought 144 and filled the racks ready for our opening day.
Everyone loved them!
Instagram was awash with punters savouring Bucketty’s in our epic branded glasses.
But then after a few weeks…
We didn’t have enough left to get through a busy shift… And cause the glasses are so heavy, they hold heat from the glass washer for about 30mins. And we can’t be pouring a fresh delicious Bucketty’s in a warm glass.
“Did you guys break a heap of glasses last week?”
“No, maybe one or two, but not really” was the reply.
Hmm… that’s is weird. We’re missing a couple of racks… But hey ho, we’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about a few missing glasses, I figured.
We’re gonna need more glasses though, so we went and ordered another 600 so we’d never have to worry about pouring into warm glasses again.
$10,000 out the door.
For the next 6 months things really cranked up as the brewery became more popular. It was a great feeling to see so many people sharing a beer and raising a glass (our glass) in celebration.
(6 MONTHS LATER – A BUSY SATURDAY NIGHT)
The place is packed, we’re 6 deep at the bar, the team are filling pints faster at a frenetic pace. I pick up a pint glass and ready to pour a fresh one.
“These are fucking warm! What the fuck, Grab another rack” I tend to get over react about a warm pint glass, but Jesus… we don’t serve beer in warm glasses.
“Ah…There aren’t any… They’re all out on the floor ” Our Venue Manager Alex looked panicked while spinning between the glass washer and the bar.
“How are there 400+ glasses on the floor? No way, there must be more upstairs!”
“I’ve checked, there aren’t….” Alex responded
“What the fuck? Arg!”
We collected more glasses from the floor, chilled them with water and made it through another intense shift by the skin of our teeth. Once the dust settled we counted the remaining glasses…
Since we’d opened we’d bought 740 pint glasses, and we only have 300 left?
There’s no way in hell we’ve broken that many… so…
So, our awesome, loyal, mother fucking customers are stealing them?
They’re stealing a lot of them...
I don’t know whether to be proud that people love Bucketty’s and our glasses so much that they’d be willing to break the law and pilfer from a startup small business like us. Or offended that people are so cheap they’re not willing to spend $15 and walk out the door as a winner.
What’s more confounding is how difficult it is to catch glass thieves. Now we’re onto the racket, everyone in the team watches like a hawk, and we’ve even offered a $50 bounty to anyone who catches a glass thief. Alas, this bounty is yet to be paid…
In our annual budget, we now have a $20,000 a year line item for glassware…
But what are the options?
Get cheaper glasses?
Leave them unbranded?
When we do eventually catch a thief, sever their drinking hand and mount it above the front door as a warning?
We’ve taken the view that let’s just try and sell enough beer to counter the cost of serving them in these incredible glasses.
And next time you’re in the brewery after a skinful and think to yourself “I would really like one of these to take home”
Just go to the bar and buy one – They’re only 15 bucks and you deserve it.