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Monday, October 26, 2020

I'm Featured in the Columbus Dispatch!

Big news! I was featured in the October 25th Sunday edition of the Columbus Dispatch by Patrick Cooley. The article was about the people who camp out at various liquor stores to get first dibs on rare bottles when they are unloaded from the supplier (spoiler alert... they are the worst). I'm gonna be famous!!

There wasn't much context in the article so I want to provide additional details on why I don't like the people who camp out waiting for bottles. Below is the email I replied to the Dispatch when they reached out asking if I knew any bourbon lovers who like to camp out near liquor stores when their trucks come in order to find rare or expensive brands. After a light back and forth, Patrick asked why I don't like it when people do this and I replied with the following:
Hi Patrick,

My real complaint is with the State managing the supply of liquor. What this means for a consumer is that we are locked into the products they feel best as well as the prices they want to dictate, rather than what the market wants which leads to secondary bourbon markets with inflated prices. 

Specifically, for the people camping out... it means that people who are working at that time or can't be at the very specific location at the very specific time are out of luck. I've also seen where the stores keep the bottles in the back and only allow their favorite customers access to the bottles. What they are doing is preventing consumers the opportunity of ever getting one of the bottles. I think Bourbon is for drinking. From what I've seen, most of the camp out people hoard multiple bottles with the intent to either showcase (and not drink!) or to resell on the robust secondary market.

Some concerns of my friends are how a good size chuck of people legit "chase the truck" and move from place to place, scooping up the hard to find stuff at 9am?  There's a constant joke about "do these people work?!" and "HOW" are they finding out.  There are legit reasons by searching on OHLQ, but, there's a constant question as to what "INSIDE" information they may be receiving (kind of to my point about hooking up favorite customers).

Hope this helps,


What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 


  1. That's awesome man! Love reading your posts

  2. I couldn't agree more. I enjoy nothing more than finding my favorite bourbons and then opening it!!! and drinking it!!! with friends!!! Whenever I go to a liquor store I often preface my search with; I am going to ask you that stupid question to the clerk. Worst part is, I am not even asking for what is now considered rare bourbons anymore. But whatever, I still love my Bulleit!!

  3. Mark, I was happy to see the article and also pleased to see you were contacted to comment on the story. I wondered if there was more to your comment when I read the story last week; now I know. As an old timer who remembers the days of the "State store" back when they were still run by the state and operated by state employees, I have mixed feelings about how stores manage the "unicorn" bourbons. On the one hand I like that I can purchase liquor in a grocery store while i'm getting other items and I like the longer operating hours of a non-state run store. But on the other hand, I wish the state would do something to help balance the opportunity to find hard-to-get bourbons against those who seem to have nothing but time to stand in line at various stores. Thus, I wouldn't mind seeing something like scanning driver's license (or state id card) and limiting purchases on hard to find stuff to one per quarter/month/week. However, I know this would only lead to the legislature getting involved which would really screw up the system. While I'm at it I'll take a little jab at the OHLQ site. I like the concept of the OHLQ search engine but am annoyed when it is wrong - or I show up at a store and an employee tells me it's wrong. That's always left me wondering if store clerks are indeed holding back bottles for certain customers. Thanks Mark, keep up the informative posts - I truly appreciate it!