Cigar City is no stranger to well-orchestrated releases. From their bold “trickle out” release of California Brandy Hunahpu which alienated a large segment of their fan base, to their teeth gnashing decision to release three barrel aged Hunahpu variants simultaneously, this Tampa-based purveyor of fine libations has become an expert in making sure that any potential customer will “absolutely fucking hate [them.]”
“If we pride ourselves on anything here at Cigar City, it is making things needlessly complicated, expensive, or just outright not delivering on what we promise to the customer,” noted CCB public relations officer, Daniel Jerkins, “we know people want our beers, and we will have failed as a brewery if we leave a patron ever wanting to deal with us again. It is a touchstone of the Cigar City philosophy.”
Most recently, Cigar City made the innovative decision to line up over four thousand people to distribute their prized Hunahpu Stout. “We know people in Florida don’t have much to look forward to beyond retirement communities or latent racism, so we wanted to give something back to the community,” Jerkins stated while scribbling on a chalk board, “it would have been simple enough to separate pickups, or to bifurcate the event from the actual bottle sales, but that simply is not the Cigar City way. We want the customer to know that we regard them with the utmost contempt.” To ensure this level of top-tier customer dissatisfaction, Cigar City decided to use an easily counterfeited ticketing system coupled with a paucity of bottles and a lack of space for attendees to attend their Hunahpu release event.
“We knew it would be a crowd of thousands, so we wanted to ensure that they moved through the line as slowly as possible. Not enough beer for patrons? On it. Not enough guaranteed bottles? Certainly. Having police oust people from the premises? If we did not ensure these standards were met, CCB would be doing a great disservice to its principles of making customers absolutely fucking hate us.” Jerkins proudly noted while he played the following video in gleaming pride, nodding in calm pride:
“You see, the way we closed the gate on the thronging, dissatisfied crowd, that was a touch we worked out early on in marketing discussions. Flawless execution on our part, if I may say so myself,” Jerkins succinctly stated while surveying the police cars outside his Tampa office. “It looks like people are still being dismissed, this really could not have gone any better.” The lamenting of Cigar City patrons had not resounded so loudly since CCB decided to sell Catador Club exclusive beers to the general public. “Well, I cannot take complete credit for angering Catador members nationwide, I will have to defer to Carl Wilkerson for that honor.”
At press time Carl Wilkerson was busy fielding angry emails from the contingency of their reserve society, each more disheartened than the last. “Yeah we really pissed em off good with this Catador thing. See, we made a $125.00 club, sold them a previously infected beer without enough units to fulfill even a third of the members, but today we really executed things in a magnificent way,” Wilkerson gleamed gushingly while poring over spreadsheets. “We decided it would be best to reward non-club members with exclusive beers for showing up early and standing in line, you know, contributing to more of the problems we were looking forward to. Some might say to me ‘Hey Carl, why not take those 72 cases of Double Barrel Huna and sell them to the biggest supporters who already paid $125 to be in your poorly organized club?’ to them I ask ‘Who will that piss off?’ There is your answer. We are trying to maximize people’s rage and doing things in an orderly, fair way just wont hit those benchmarks.” Wilkerson explained in great detail how Cigar City expected to maximize the beer nerd rage, “you see, just selling Double Barrel Huna to the peasant tier, non-Catador members would not be enough, we wanted to make a statement. To that end, we decided to set the limit at a case per person and then continue to sell other Catador beers to the mouthbreathing masses. Oh man, the results have been amazing.”
Wilkerson strode through the Cigar City premises and looked on lovingly at the paper-thin Gildan Catador Club shirts. “See here, we could have used something above ‘undershirt quality’ for our merchandise, but again, who would that disappoint? Hell, I thought our customers would have seen this coming. We even made the affirmative decision to infect a dopplebock, pasteurize it, then sell it to reward our closest supporters. Make a domain for bottle sales? Not on my watch. We knew early on that bottle sales to Catador members needs to be at the pristine level of frustrating that Cigar City prides itself on,” Wilkerson declared as he blew his nose into one of the Catador Club shirts.
“This is just the beginning though,” Jerkins announced over the boos from attendees outside his office, “we recently made a press announcement that we would be making this right. To double down on the anger, we asked people to present the item they were most likely to discard, their wristband, you know, really piss them off.” At press time, the complex and highly questionable CCB plan was netting intended results across Facebook:
“My particular favorite aspect of this outreach are the demands from these peasant-tier beer drinkers, as though we really give a shit if they buy White Oak Jai Alai,” Jerkins laughed scrolling through the comments from hundreds of dissatisfied customers. “This year was a huge success, and we are already in talks with the organizers of Dark Lord Day to brainstorm items that we may have missed to really piss people off. It’s like they don’t even realize that Prairie still brews Bomb on a regular basis. Hell, it is a work in progress, but I look forward to kicking our customers in the nutsack on a daily basis: the Cigar City way.”
More details will be made available as they develop.