WOLF STREET Mug Shortage Decision Time: Please Weigh in if You’re on the “Mug List,” and Even if You’re Not

Wait for the original mug (no confirmation it will ever be produced again), or grab the mug I can get.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

It has been over one year since I re-ordered the WOLF STREET beer and iced-tea mugs. They’re adorned by the essential WOLF STREET dictum, “Nothing Goes to Heck in a Straight Line.” San Francisco artist Erika “Kitten” Lopez created the three-color art. I re-ordered the mugs on May 31 2021, while I still had enough to get me to November. And they did. But then I ran out. I have been in continued contact with my supplier, and there is still no word when production of the blank glass mug will start again. And I cannot even get confirmed that this model of blank mug will ever be produced again (the tangled-up supply chain of to the WOLF STREET mug).

And it’s decision time.

I have lined up another mug model, and it is available, and they’re holding it for me. Please let me know in the comments what you think. If you’re on the mug list, I particularly need to hear your opinion:

  1. Wait until the original mug may/might/could become available (“waiting for Godot,” is what I called it), which could be many months away, or an eternity away.
  2. Grab the mug I CAN get and run with it.

The new mug is smaller: 12 ounces instead of 15 ounces (12 ounces = standard size of US can).  It’s a little taller but a lot narrower. The handle is similar. Because the mug is smaller, the design will have to be smaller to fit on the mug. Here are the two mugs side-by-side:

Please let me know in the comments what you think about the smaller mug.

If you’re on the Mug List and if you do not want the new mug, but want to hold out for the original mug, please let me know via email (I need your name and email address). But please understand that I have not been able to get confirmation that the original mug will ever be produced again.

Thank you and my apologies for the supply chain snarls.

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  112 comments for “WOLF STREET Mug Shortage Decision Time: Please Weigh in if You’re on the “Mug List,” and Even if You’re Not

  1. Prince Gbanga says:

    Maybe you’ll learn your lesson and not use so many microchips in your mug design!

  2. MugMan3000 says:

    Option 1

  3. polistra says:

    Send out NFTs referring to a crudely pixelated image of a generic beer mug. Then the recipients can immediately sell the NFTs for 999 trillion dollars! Much better than a real mug!

  4. Confused says:

    I prefer the original mug because it appears to have a lower center of gravity.

    • RH says:

      I just got a “Best dad of the year” mug, so I do not need another mug. Thanks anyway. LOL

  5. Phoenix_Ikki says:

    Grab the mug you can and just slap a sticker and a personalized autograph on it and call it a day?

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      PI/Wolf-mebbe commission a run of Kitten’s art on technically-advanced (won’t wash off) or not-so-advanced (will wash off, but in books of multiples) decalomania for affixation to drinking vessels of choice?

      (i jest, of course. i like to believe Wolf’s integrity of product is what keeps us returning to his always-excellent establishment…).

      may we all find a better day.

    • WolfGoat says:

      Stickas, now there’s a real idea! We can start slapping them on signs around town!

  6. Wisdom Seeker says:

    Neither option. Tall & Skinny isn’t the style here. And although the market may be deflating, a 12 oz “deflated” mug just doesn’t feel right!

    It looks to me that there are larger / wider mugs available on the market – maybe one of those will serve better than the 12 oz “deflated” mug, and possibly as well or better than the “extinct” 16 oz mug?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Nearly no mug posted on the internet exists in reality. You reach out to these companies and say I need x hundred of these, when can you ship? And they weasel around and tell you that they don’t know, their supplier doesn’t know, and that yo can put in your order, and they will let you know when they know, etc. It’s total chaos out there. Don’t let the shiny websites that haven’t been updated in two years fool you.

      There is a 24oz mug available in quantity, but it’s very heavy, and shipping costs are out the wazoo. That’s a no-go

      • KEVIN KARSTROM says:

        I would like any mug when it becomes available

        • Tom says:

          Its a mugs game, I say! Also, being in Canada, and therefore outside the delivery sphere, my comments don’t count for much; as my chances of ever being able to display the simple truth it decries is… remote… but I say get a mug that works and spread the word! LOL

        • Douglas James says:

          A mug in the hand is better than two in the silica deposit, or bush, or tree…where do glass come from anyway?

      • Lauren says:

        But Wolf, we’re gonna need the extra booze in the coming years!

        • rojogrande says:

          It can also be used as a 12 oz shot glass in times of distress.

          I’ll go with whatever the commentariat decides.

      • Don says:

        Your Mug is a classic as are you.
        I can wait at least a while. Maybe just set a “give up” date.

      • Flea says:

        Try glass factory in Cabo San Lucas mexico

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Well, not sure about quality, but Amazon certainly has vendors offering customizable glass mugs, made in USA, in lots of 100 with delivery within 2 weeks.

        See e.g. DISCOUNT PROMOS storefront at Amazon. (small co. based in Florida)

        100-pack, 16 oz mugs, $6 per mug before customization. Customizable with a 1-color image (or do that separately…)

        The handle has that nice “thumb spot” on it too. Hand wash only though…

        Lots of happy reviews like “Second year in a row I’ve got glasses made for my party. Got “stein” style glass mugs with the party logo/artwork on the glass. Looks perfect. They even contacted me to show me the sample to get my ok. Great service and great product! Will buy glasses again next year.”

        • Wolf Richter says:

          I got a new mug. What I can’t get is the original mug.

          I have seen my original mug on a bunch of websites. But when you check it’s not there. Just flimflam.

          So contact them and see if they will actually ship x hundred mugs by x date. That’s always the hang-up. Forget the reviews. You need an order, and they have to confirm it. It doesn’t matter what it says on the website.

          This stuff gets to me. Someone googles this for 5 minutes and thinks he has all the answers by the flimflam on the screen, when the companies that are actually in this business cannot get what I want because the manufacturer went bankrupt and moved all production to China, where everything is stuck now.

      • Flea says:

        Wolf have you tried Johnson brothers liquor distribution,they bought out a glass bottle supplier

  7. JWB says:

    Heck,

    I posted that about an NFT months ago!

    Wolf, as a real estate veteran I suggest you grab what you can. Then go ahead and send me one so I have another vessel for drinking my Real Estate is The Smartest Long Term Investment Kool-Aid. I have yet to say yes to a mug and clearly shoulda awhile ago now. Non-Buyers’ Remorse is what I call that.

    Smiles!

  8. The Dark Heretic says:

    Available/new mug would be fine. Still holds beer right?

  9. Tipster says:

    Definitely tippier – I like it

  10. MarketMissing says:

    Go with the new one and add “special shrinkflation edition”

  11. Laurent says:

    Go with new one

  12. unamused says:

    Specify the height of the mugs and provide a shipping address and we’ll see what we can do.

  13. Scotty says:

    Go in a new direction entirely…order a mason jar design!

  14. Jeff Hildebrand says:

    Wait. Tall and skinny doesn’t sound like it would fit a big hand in the handle.

  15. Greg says:

    Wolf, make an executive decision! That said, perhaps a few different mugs with a few different sayings! Consumers, and Wolf’s customers, like a choice! You could have a set of six with six different blurbs!

  16. Mike says:

    Original Please!

  17. COWG says:

    I like the beer mug…

    A large oversized rocks glass for those who prefer at different times a, shall we say, a more “refined” spirit would also be nice…

    Another alternative would be a “Tervis” tumbler type of gift… I love those things… Fantastic for around the pool, on boats, etc…

    Every time I gifted a Tervis product, people were very grateful…

    • Douglas James says:

      Agree. The stainless paint adorned, insulated Tervis full of filtered water next to me is my pride and joy. Customized my open Jaguar xk8 cup holder to fit it no less! If Gates and the evil schwaubster get the car, tough that…my hill is the cup.

  18. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    The beloved original was perfect for a 12 oz beer and 1 0z of your choice liquor dropped into the mug (depth charge/boilermaker). Would the new design survive a depth charge?

  19. AGXIIK says:

    OH NOOOOO! MUGFLATION. Like consumer goods shrinkflation, the mug got smaller. I guess I’ll have to drive to San Francisco and get mugged on the street. If you designed Wolf shot glasses I’m all in

  20. cobo says:

    I was lucky. I got the original mug back when I still had money. It is a work of functional art, perfect in design and use, and I’ve put it through the rigors. With the question at hand, I’d say get an original Wolf Street mug in whatever mug profile is available. Just having it is proof enough that you have the street smarts.

  21. Marbles says:

    The new mug looks fine to me, but I can’t remember if I asked for one with my last check. I gave my original two to my sons. With a taller mug I’d still be top dog with them.

    Great job Wolf. Worth every bit, and I get more from each article with each read.

  22. Sigmund Fraud says:

    Order both and search for a better replacement if manufacture of the old mug cannot be resumed. Meanwhile start a secondary repurchase/resale market for the original mugs which are now rapidly escalating in value, act as market maker with a generous spread, and pocket the spread! Advertise the resale store with a page for photos of mugs and their proud owners, entitled Mug Shots….. If the original mugs keep rising in value, you may decide to not resume production, and the originals will instantly become museum pieces and sell at auction at Sotheby’s. Then market NFP’s of the precious originals. All part of the galactic growth plan…. :-)

    • SimpleBanker says:

      I’ll buy one no matter what. I appreciate everything you do to keep us informed and updated! You are a pro’s pro! Thanks!

  23. Chris says:

    I want a mug, but only if you can prove how these supply chain issues are Jerome Powell’s fault.
    Otherwise, I’m of sound opinion that the original iconic mug is still capable of being produced, and it’s merely corporate greed that refuses to provide the cup for the same price I’ve come to expect, year after year.

  24. Faithful_Reader says:

    Good afternoon,

    Please keep to your original size and Ms. Lopez’s original artwork.

    Barring that, perhaps a custom stein with her “howlin’ Wolf” embossed and a hinged pewter lid?

    Sincerely,

  25. jeff a says:

    Original size is better.

  26. Pete says:

    Don’t care. Like ’em both. I think I’m holding a mug receivable from a contribution I know I made, but not sure. Would be appreciative of either model.

  27. Martok says:

    The House of Martok will wait for the original I ordered, and totally understand the chaos you are going thru, – don’t worry.

    Cheers

  28. Alex says:

    3 comments

    1) Wait for the original
    2) Convert to metric
    3) Consider international shipping

    Love your work, keep it up

    Alex

  29. Paul Chaffee says:

    Go with the new one

  30. Colonialman says:

    As a former developer being commercial retail is waning grab what I can get it may be all I have…SARC thx

  31. RMB says:

    I am on the list for 2 mugs and good with the available size.

    If the original size becomes available, will just donate more $ for it.

  32. Clete says:

    I dunno, Lawrence Yun says it’s a great time to buy a mug.

    (Also: I’m not on the list, but the tall one “looks” like it holds more beer, so it must be better.)

  33. Brady Boyd says:

    I would get whatever is available “now”. With the pending depression headed our way, there’s no guarantee the company selling the current mug will be around a year from now.

  34. Anthony A. says:

    Wolf, first of all, thanks for all the good work you do providing timely and unbiased financial information so your wide audience can make sound decisions. You have been very helpful to me and my other retired friends.

    With respect to the mug, I’ll be glad to accept one of the new style mugs and that will mean my older style will become much rarer and collectible in the future! (I’ll store it with my gold and silver hoard)

    Anthony A.
    The Woodlands, Texas

  35. w says:

    Original design
    Worth the weight

  36. rich manewal says:

    Go with the new one

  37. Mugzibaby says:

    Any mug you can get would be the best choice. How do I get on the mug hit list ?

  38. Beardawg says:

    WOLF

    I have your original, NIB with your etched signature on the bottom. I will let it go for $100K invested into my new SPAC which is fixin’ to purchase a majority share in Oxy-Z, proprietary ingestible tablets which purify expelled air for re-consumption as pure oxygen when the zombie apocalypse creates an inescapable viral atmosphere for mankind. It is gonna be B I G !

    OR

    $100K USD “Buy it Now.”

  39. RockHard says:

    Maybe issue the new mug with the jpow image, tearing his hair out cause he can’t get the wolfstreet mug. Pair it with an NFT of the old design. So Much 2022.

  40. Kenneth M Luskin says:

    >>>”Grab the mug I CAN get and run with it.”<<<
    As long as it has Wolf street on it… It will be a classic for me.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Kenneth M Luskin,

      It will have the same art, just a little smaller. And you’re the first on the Mug List. You’ve been waiting since the day I ran out in November. Thank you for you patience.

  41. notdeadyet says:

    They look great, but I just had the “Battle of the Mugs” with my wife who had no less than 24 “frosted mugs” in our freezer, leaving no room for things like food. I finally convinced her we have not thrown a keg party since the 1970’s and perhaps a mug or two would serve our purposes.
    However, those Wolf Mugs do look good and maintaining something like “Wolf Street” does require our support… if we are over-mugged like me, there are other ways to help support Wolf’s valiant efforts.

  42. PinotNoir says:

    I have a NIB original Wolf Street mug that I offered another poster here a while back when he was offering $250 and trying to establish a market.

    The mug is posted on ebay and I will donate 50% of the net proceeds (sales price minus shipping and ebay fees) to Wolf Street.

    This does not solve the supply chain issue for everyone, but one more person who really wants an original mug can finally get one (without having to divest of 100K into a zombie SPAC).

    This should also work for international folks if you live somewhere connected through the ebay global shipping program.

  43. My main issue is the downsizing. Going from 15 to 12 ounces seems a bridge too far. Tall and skinny also is not a great shape. If you do this, maybe consider a new theme and design!

  44. Crazy Chester says:

    You realize, of course, voting for the new Mug just makes our old Mugs more valuable, right? What happened to that guy who was attempting to make a Mug market? He needs an insider head’s up.

    But you might consider holding off a bit as we test your ‘non-straight line’ theory over the next 18 – 20 months. If nothing else this time may clarify the difference between Heck and Hell.

    Personally, rather than a downsized legacy Mug which reminds of ‘fuller’ times, I would prefer some variation on your recent “WTF!” theme. Perhaps, “WTF! I Can’t See the Bottom!”. Yeah, and with a taller Mug, well, we’ve all got a lot more distance to fall between sips.

  45. Rob says:

    Can we get a small child’s plastic cup? Would be a better fit for us these days and certainly get more use.

  46. Michael Wied says:

    I made a huge mistake not taking the original mug after making my first donation. When making my second donation I smartened up and asked for a mug . I like the original mug, short and fat, but as in all things Covid related the choices suck.
    IMHO set a cut off date and do what you think is best.

  47. drifterprof says:

    Alas, I live overseas, and on a recent rare visit to the U.S., the original mug was not available and looked headed toward extinction.

    In any case, being tall and svelte myself, perhaps I’m prone to see some advantage of the new option. Now don’t get me wrong: I like the volume and clean-lines classic design shape of the more manly-man larger 15 oz. mug. In fact, it being hot thunder-stormy season here, I’ve been partaking of two or three Asahi Super Dry 16.9 ouncers (Japanese beer) to cool off after being out and about or doing physical work (unfortunately that seems to reduce the quality of my thread commenting).

    However, I do like my beer ice cold, so have been keeping half of the Asahi in the frig while I drink the first 8 ounces. So the new option would fit in to that procedure nicely.

  48. KDMaz says:

    Wolf – I think you should retire the old mug with the “nothing goes to heck in a straight line” phrase. You could then use the available mug and possibly Kitten could come up with a design that states that the mug is a result of our new era of shrinkflation. Plus you have some recently coined, very descriptive words that could be used.

    I’m thinking possibly a collector series over the coming years.

    Cheers!

  49. Kenny Logins says:

    I’m in the UK. I’d like a mug.

    But my 2p would be new artwork (edited) to suit the new taller glass.

    That way the new glass is a new thing, rather than a compromised thing.

    I can’t be sure, but how much is it to make a beer glass?
    Local blowers to me might charge £35 for something like this.
    If you ordered 100x they’d probably do it lots cheaper.

    Go really unique, support local jobs/industry, and stop feeding more money to China and their rubbish ways of doing these sorts of things.

    Ooor. How about a metal mug?

    Ales/beers used to be in tankards.

    You could add gold and silver to it… nothing goes to heck in a straight line, but if it does this tankard might be worth more than you paid for it.

    Lots of opportunity to move things on rather than make a compromise all around the original artwork fitment.

    • Kenny Loggins and I have the same idea. New mug, new design — by same artist, of course!

      • Wisoot says:

        Third that.
        Its a mugs world with an uncoupling establishment blacksun rolling with blackrock and black pope and black …
        Mugs talk from commentariat gave a chuckle. Wolfstreet approach under a tall mug lens debate insightful.

  50. Alain says:

    Prefer the original size mug since the wonderful artwork will be considerably diminished.

  51. Gary G. says:

    I’ve got an old one from times gone past. My money’s on deposit for another just like it!

  52. NoPrep says:

    This rarity, the original mug, looks set to be listed in the Kovels price guide for 4, maybe 5, figures within a year or two.

  53. TeacupDragon says:

    I like the no nonsense straightforward styling of the original.
    Talking about both mugs & WolfStreet here….

  54. Softtail Rider says:

    I like the old design as it is different and I already have one like the slimmer new design. Might add that this is similar to my first purchases of new Fords, the selling dealerships all went belly up. Bought one Dodge Challenger and the same happened. So I will settle for whatever you decide. Please don’t stop writing excellent advice along with all the comments from your audience. Everything is enjoyable reading.

  55. John says:

    I’d like to get on the mug list for whichever option has the shorter lead time.

  56. Dan says:

    … what about 3D-printing them in any size? Maybe up to an reasonably sized Bavarian 1 Liter Maßkrug in both original mug design and desired custom Wolfstreet mug size.

    Combined with a blockchain-protected, online available … 3D-pay-file for the 3D-printer you might already have for the beer next to your fridge – so what in heck could keep you from steamrolling the international mug markets in a whimp?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I love that idea: a 3-D printed mug, where the base material is broken and discarded bitcoin, with three-color art on it, where the inks are made of collapsed Ether, Tether, and Nether. As a free gift, I would throw in a traditional Bavarian beer felt made out of tangled-up and discarded blockchain.

      Working on it. $10 billion instant unicorn valuation: Recycling collapsed and discarded cryptos and blockchain, whereby we us a polybitethombutetherlator® to re-extract the electricity that was wasted in mining the coins.

      You need to read my whitepaper about this project.

      • rick m says:

        I had to look up Bavarian felt, never heard Loden called that. makes sense though. It turns rain well as it’s tightly woven. It’s too hot and too foreign for around here. Good notion, and the white paper shall be read. The mug is glassware and the Kitty Lopez artwork and brag factor make it different and memorable. Go with what you can get. Liebhaberwert will kick in regardless of the glass shape. Deaccessioning householdries here, storm season and age. I don’t use 80% of whatever’s in my kitchen anyway. Don’t know what my family would gift me with if personalized coffee cups weren’t cheaply available. Given the supply issues, June is an appropriate time to order Christmas presents, hopefully for this Christmas.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          This is a beer felt, the WOLF STREET beer felt. BTW, what’s different about felt from cloth is that it’s NOT woven. Modern beer felts (the ones I have known) are more like thick absorbent paper than actual felt.

        • rick m says:

          Wolf, didn’t know any of this, appreciate the knowledge.

  57. JasNsf says:

    I like the smaller mug. I have the OG Wolf Street mug (love it) but it’s a bit too tall to stick on the shelf in my freezer. I like my beverages ice cold!!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Warning: the smaller mug is actually just a little taller. So if the original mug doesn’t fit on the the shelf, the new one won’t either.

  58. drifterprof says:

    Give Kitten some creative space to improvise the art design for the new mug, before some Trump-like person grabs her.

  59. SK01 says:

    I would like to be on the list for the original “1st edition” mug, if it can ever be ordered again. 1st editions are usually more collectible, and I like the larger size and style.

    But it’s not a big deal, and hopefully this mug problem is not causing too much aggravation for the staff at the Wolf Media Mogul Empire.

    Any chance of offering a Wolf Street coffee mug?

    (SK ====> SK01)

  60. Arizona Slim says:

    Over at “Breaking Points,” Krystal and Saagar are offering USA-made merchandise, and their line includes a coffee mug. Might be something to consider.

  61. BuySome says:

    Potentially time to plan “a round” ahead. It’s always possible that the Howling Fountain may come to rent out the spaces formerly occupied by Wolf’s Tavern. Those forced to sober up in a Credit Prohibition might later desire a handle-less soda glass with a logo stating, “Warning-Meltdowns are entirely unpredictable and follow an unknown course to the bottom of the glass!”. Of course, root beer deliveries might run a behind schedules a bit, “in keeping with the situation”.

  62. Ron says:

    I water bottle would be good.

  63. wadge22 says:

    I’m not presently on the list, but you can count me among the “available mug but with a new graphic design” camp.

  64. Scott says:

    I say go with the new one that is available.

  65. joe2 says:

    I still hold out for a liter mug ala Oktoberfest.

  66. Dr. Flywheel says:

    Wolf, it is time for all of us to keep up with the times namely, go Meta…

    Instead of breakable glass, switch over to a “mug shot”!

  67. Daniel Fremen says:

    I can wait for the original size.

  68. Auld Kodjer says:

    The optimist in me says the glass is half full.
    The pessimist in me says the glass is half empty.
    The realist in me says there is too much glass.

    But most of all, the Australian in me says just drink from the bloody can.

  69. Swamp Creature says:

    After seeing the new prototype Mug I’ve raised the price of my original Wolf Street Mug to $500.

  70. Rusty Trawler says:

    Type 2

  71. Douglas says:

    I’m glad I got one of the last “original” mugs. I still have a beer mug from college customized to one of the, uhhh, drinking organizations I belonged to, that was the same blank. So I have two of the same base mug with different artwork.

    Newer mug is ugly IMO but if you re-work the graphic (also a little ugly IMO lol sorry Kitten) so that it looks more natural on there then I think it’s as fine a substitute as any. Upside is that if you go with the new mug for a while and then the old mug becomes available again, you can a) satisfy current demand b) still have the option to go back c) if mug v2 customers are unhappy then they can re-donate for a mug v1, boosting revenues for the Wolf Street Media Empire and d) Mug v2 becomes extra collectible as an anomaly.

  72. MB says:

    I have the wide one . Will wait for a maytching one.

  73. Steve says:

    Any or no mug is fine. Kudos on my favorite article from a few years back – Bitcoin Ponzi scheme. I will toast you for spreading the truth on the crypto lie that just continued to grow out of control until enough people who could not afford to lose money bought in and took a bath as always.

  74. Andrew says:

    Hope I’m not too late for the party. Please sign me on for the Mug’s List, and I’m happy with the new, taller mug. It will fit my Canadian 330 ml beers, and I can drink to your health.

Comments are closed.