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Custom six packs

For some reason I forgot to mention that my new “home” of Lubbock, Texas has become a wet city in the past 2 months or so. I would like to think that this happened becasue I moved into the area and they knew that I didn’t want to drive long distances for an adult beverage. So you are welcome Lubbock for not having to travel outside of city limits for a drink.

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Anyway, one of the guys at work alerted me to our local World Market. He said that they have beers from all over the world there and that the prices aren’t too shabby either. I went out yesterday for a few things and stopped by the World Market to see what he was talking about. And he was right on both counts; beers from everywhere and decent prices. Most of the world beers came in clear bottles and you can buy them singles only. Not a fan of that. But on the American side of things you could get six packs, cases, and mix and match six packs. Awesome.

There were roughly 30 different beers that you could choose from to put into your six pack. While I was deciding on which six beers to purchase (only 6 under strict instructions from SWMBO), I was thinking about why more places don’t do this. It is a great option for a place that specializes in craft beers. Most craft beer drinkers want to taste everything they can, and the store can charge a slightly higher price per bottle for the convenience of having a custom six pack. The other nice thing is that they had a flat price per bottle, so your choices were not limited by the cost either.

I picked up the following beers for $1.89 a bottle:

  • Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Stout
  • Victory Storm King Stout
  • Pyramid Snow Cap Ale
  • Full Sail Amber Ale
  • Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Some of those beer would of cost me more per bottle if I would of just gotten them as a six pack. Sweet. Anyone else have a local store that does mix and match and do they do it on a per bottle charge or a flat fee?

Big beer prices going up

MillerCoors and Busch announced that they are both going to be increasing prices this fall according to this article.. What I find interesting is the following quote from the article.

“The price increases are part of a strategy by the companies to protect profits rather than market share, said Harry Schuhmacher, editor of the trade publication Beer Business Daily. Consumers should expect to pay more because ‘retailers will not eat the price increases.'”

So the big boys are going to be giving up some market share in order to keep their profits the same. To me that sounds like a bad idea in that their sales have remained flat over the past several years. They are unlikely to gain that market share back once it is gone.There are so many micro or craft breweries out there today just waiting to get a bigger piece of the pie.

I’m not saying that the big beer prices are going to come up to a craft or micro level, but the closer that gap is, the better it is for the small breweries. I was talking to my buddy Pete the other day and we discussed the article and some of the implications. He told me about a business professor at some hoity-toity college that was predicting the downfall of one of the big companies. I don’t know if that would be a good or bad thing but the implications would be interesting.

Maybe the big companies are like the O’Doyle family who have a strong arm and can use it, but are heading for a major downfall. I you don’t get that reference watch the video below.

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Of the big companies I see Busch as the biggest innovator. They have put several new beers out to the market that attempt to emulate craft beers, but for a larger share of the market. What have Miller and Coors done recently? I could be totally wrong as I don’t look at any of those breweries much, but that’s how I see it. What do you think of the beer price increases and/or the survivability of the big boys.