FanPost

A Story About a Beer Company

I'd like to tell you a little story I came up with that you all might be able to relate to.

There was once a beer called Nice and Foamy Lager, or NFL for short.  It was the best selling beer in the company, because it suited everyone's tastes.  It was popular for casual drinking and binge drinking, for dinner, the pub, the club, sporting events, wings night, New Years, you name it.  It seemed like no matter what happened, NFL would be there, and people would buy it.  Because of this, NFL and all of its employees saw unprecedented prosperity.

Then, it seemed, the unthinkable happened.  Paradise was no longer peaceful.  In the wake of an economic downturn, the NFL brewery faced rising costs.  They felt that to keep NFL on the shelves without compromising quality, they needed to offset these rising costs by finding that money elsewhere.  They turned to their hops farmers.  The brewery had a long-standing agreement with a massive hops farm for the exclusive right to buy their hops.  They were widely considered the best hops in the world, and a major reason that NFL was so popular.  For this exclusive right, the brewery paid the farmers handsomely for their harvest.  However, in the wake of their relative struggles, the brewery asked the farmers to reduce their prices by about 10%.

The farmers declined, stating that the brewery had agreed to pay that price, and they saw no reason to reduce it.  The brewery argued their financial plight, and in said that they needed that price slash to offset rising costs in producing the beer.  It would be for the good of both parties to keep their stranglehold on the industry.  The farmers then asked to see the brewery's books, so that they could see this downturn themselves and come to agreement on a reasonable giveback.  But the brewery refused, stating that those figures are private.

Negotiations became tense.  Neither side wanted to give ground, and both seemed set on sticking to their guns.  The brewery's stance was relatable enough - everyone had felt the pinch of the economy, and the farmers had no legal right to see their numbers.  The farmers' stance was also reasonable.  While willing to make concessions, they refused to do so until they were shown how much money was needed, so they wouldn't surrender more than was necessary.

The brewery said that they would stop buying the hops until the farmers agreed to a reduced price.  The farmers maintained that they would negotiate only when they saw the numbers.  Finally, right before the next harvest, the brewery made a final offer, proposing a much more modest cut, but the farmers ultimately declined, saying that until they saw the numbers, until they saw the proof that the brewery needed money, they wouldn't give up a cent.

So at this point, barring an unforeseen turn around, NFL will be hitting shelves late this year.  Some beer drinkers will eagerly await it's return, getting by on small doses of inferior product while awaiting NFL's return.  Others will turn to other drinks, like Northern Hard Liquor, a stiff vodka from Canada, or Madeira, La Belle, a French wine with unparalleled history but less suited to modern tastes.  Some converts will return to NFL when it does finally work out its issues.  Others, however, will never drink NFL again.  It would seem then, ironically, that the fans became more bitter than the beer.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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