The response to the launch of The Lupulin Exchange over the last week has been overwhelming. Brewers have purchased thousands of pounds of hops, brokers are shipping orders around the country and there are currently 21 varieties of hops for sale.
I’ve also gotten a bunch of questions. The most common questions were also the biggest surprise – everyone asks “What’s the catch?” and “Who are you guys?” Is the Lupulin Exchange associated with one of the hop brokers or are we investors speculating on the price of hops? The Lupulin Exchange isn’t any of those things – it’s completely the opposite.
My name is John Bryce. I’m a brewer and the Lupulin Exchange was my idea. I’ve been in the industry for about a dozen years – ever since I opened an ugly little brewery named Blacksburg Brewing Company. Since that time I went to brewing school, have worked in lots of Virginia breweries and I’m the technical chair for the MBAA District Mid Atlantic. I’d be at GABF right now, but Chris Swersey agreed with me when I told him that it wouldn’t be that cool to leave my wife at home with a 3-week old baby and a 2.5 year old.
I wanted to build the Lupulin Exchange because I saw a huge need in an industry that I owe my livelihood to. The Lupulin Exchange isn’t a dot com startup with a foosball table or a get rich quick scheme. It’s a bootstrapped company that I started with some old friends - some of the best brewers and programmers around. We all still have day jobs - which we really like and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon.
What are our fees and how do we make money? It’s really, really simple:
- We take a small percentage (5%) of every sale. Most of that goes to our costs – like payment processing and hosting.
- Selling hops on the Lupulin Exchange is totally free – there are no fees of any kind. The price you set is exactly what you will make on every pound you sell. If you sell 11 pounds at $10/lb – you will receive exactly $110. If you don’t sell a single pound – you don’t owe us a single dollar. The buyer pays our fee and pays for shipping.
- The prices listed on the Lupulin Exchange are exactly what Buyers will pay, plus shipping – there are no additional fees. If you see 11 lbs at $10/lb – you will pay exactly $110 (plus shipping). You won’t pay anything else - listed prices already include the 5% fee.
I’ve had to resell a lot of hops over the years during previous brewing jobs. In many ways, I built the Lupulin Exchange for myself because I hate the old way of selling hops. I hate wasting days answering questions, wondering if I’m getting ripped off and arranging payment from strangers. The Lupulin Exchange solves all those issues and completely eliminates the risk of selling hops. I want to get hops that brewers don’t need into the hands of brewers who really need them.
Hopefully that explains some things for now. I’m looking forward to future posts when I can give you a better introduction to the Lupulin Exchange and the team. In the meantime, I would love to hear your questions or suggestions via email or comment. Thanks!