Best Wishes and Holiday Greetings from The Lost Abbey.
As many of you have recently contacted us about the Sinner’s and Saint’s club renewals, we felt it was time to make the announcement about our club status for 2011.
It is with sadness that we report, there will be no Patron Sinner’s and Saint’s clubs in 2011.
When we launched these programs in 2006, we were one of the first breweries in this country to do direct-to-consumer mail order shipments for beer.
It was an ambitious program that required us to develop a membership and order fulfillment system from scratch and commit a third of our workforce to the customer service side of the club. Many of you got to know the club managers, Ruby and David, quite well from your communications and pickups.
But this isn’t why we’re ending the clubs. (We’re 12 full timers and 4 part timers now — a veritable army compared to the old days.) The biggest reason for shuttering the clubs is the numerous changes at the state(s) level for shipments direct to consumers.
It’s been a tough few years for states economically and that’s caused direct-to-consumer-shipment regulations to turn into a constantly shifting landscape which had us adding and/or removing states from the do/don’t shipment mix as we worked to comply with all the various laws and rulings. Other regulatory burdens and reporting issues also compounded our troubles in keeping current with the demands each state places upon alcohol producers. As a result, we concluded that continuing to operate the Sinners and Saints clubs is at best a risky venture, and the smartest course of action is to suspend the clubs until a more favorable environment presents itself.
We apologize for the delay as we realize that many of you use the Sinner’s and Saints programs as Christmas Gifts (lucky those people who got a membership in their stocking). Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news. On the upside, David and Ruby still call Lost Abbey home and we’re actively pursuing angles that will allow the clubs to rise from the ashes in a new form in the near future. Keep an eye out for an announcement some time in early 2011.
We thank you for your support and look forward to delivering even more epic beers to you in the future.
Tomme & The Lost Abbey Family