A dozen reasons why every craft beer brewery should consider 12-packs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Todd, Dec 10, 2020.

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  1. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Savant (1,063) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    Yes. Here in Texas at least.
  2. keithmurray

    keithmurray Pooh-Bah (2,721) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Come Oktoberfest season, i've got no problem buying 12 packs of HP/Paulaner beers. Also will buy 12 packs of tried and true beers ie. SNPA, Guinness Extra Stout or Jack's abby house lager. Gotta be economical in this craft beer world, or at least some of the time.
  3. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Love the 12/15 pack. The place I shop a lot always has great deals in the $12-16 range. Mostly mix packs but also single brand beer. I last grabbed a 12 of Oskar Blues IPA pack. Really nice and under $15

  4. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Grand High Pooh-Bah (7,210) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    Another machine for a small brewery to buy, maintain, and find room on the floor for. Also creates a need for more warehouse space, both before and after packaging.

    If a brewery has a large enough building, or a separate production facility, sure, why not? Most breweries don't have that luxury.
  5. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Von Trapp makes a great mixed 12 pack. Not seen it around recently.

  6. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I don't think that we're supposed to give all those reasons equal weight; having a dozen just made for a more eye catching headline :wink:.
  7. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    My local Retail Beer Distributor (Kunda) has four cases (eight 12-packs) if you are interested:

    “Von Trapp Variety 12oz Can 24 Pack 12 Oz. Cans 37.5 4”


  8. defunksta

    defunksta Pooh-Bah (2,488) Jan 18, 2019 North Dakota
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    As some others have said, I do not support the proposition for a 12-pack. The only possible benefit I see from the original post would be #4 by adding variety to sampler pack. However, as many others have said, sampler packs are picked by the brewery and often don't contain what you want.
    It's not any more economical in a 12-pack as long as they are packaged in cans.

    Overall, I see a hard time with the craft industry transitioning toward a larger volume (from 6 to 12 pack) sale. There are more and more beers out there and the FOMO and palate fatigue is real. That's why the the haziest of beers come in only 4 packs.

    Reason's to avoid higher volume packaging (12 packs and up):

    1) Less variety (excluding brewery packaged variety packs)
    2) Higher Sales Price
    3) Palate fatigue
    4) NEIPAs less likely to sell (for all of the reasons listed above)
    5) Greater competition to sell beer
    6) Less compare and contrast

    Sure a 12-pack might make sense for some special beers (such as Celebration). Hell, a 30-pack case might make sense for a party. However, as more and more beers hit the market, beers become more expensive, palate fatigue is real I don't see 12-packs integrating into the future. The true craft beer connoisseur should go for smaller packaging IMO.

    My biggest reason for lower volume packs is primarily variety. Most of my purchases are sampler 6-packs because I like to try new beers and compare and contrast. Personally, I wish most beer sales would go to singles/samplers, but I don't see that happening. Often I want to try a beer once and not pursue an entire 6-pack even. The 6-pack sampler and mix/match trend is growing and hope it continues. I do NOT see 12-packs as a way forward for craft beer as in the original post.
  9. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Not equal weight, but when you read the below you realize that these were the best of 20. :wink:
  10. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Thanks Jack,

    I just looked at their site. I like that they post price and availability.

  11. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Hah! Fair enough.

    Essentially what this is about is creating and/or taking advantage of crossover appeal. One subset of customers likes to keep things simple and relatively budget conscious; the other likes variety as much as quality. To appeal to both groups on the level where the concept works can certainly happen, but it's easier said than done.

    The first steps would seem to be to assess if you even have the right product(s) to begin with.
  12. socon67

    socon67 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,479) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I haven't bought a 12 pack in ages. Often you get stuck with options that you really don't want (looking at you Sam Adams). The price point while better, is still a high price point since you are buying 12 bottles. And it takes up more room in the fridge! I'm sorry; you want to sell 12 packs of craft beer to your customers.... make the product desirable to create demand.
  13. AWA

    AWA Savant (1,171) Jul 22, 2014 California

    Probably half of what I consume comes from 12 packs. Sure, they tend to be the best value in craft beer. But the real draw is not having 20 different beers to choose from in the fridge. I'm not a ticker, and after lunch when I reach for mt first beer, the last thing I need to have a to make another complica decision about what to drink.
  14. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Pooh-Bah (2,538) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I like such a variety of beers I almost never buy a 12 pack. Might would a 12 variety pack though. I prefer 16 oz cans because they are the right amount for me. So I buy 4 packs of 16's frequently. But it's definitely more expensive to buy that way.
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  15. turfy

    turfy Maven (1,276) Mar 17, 2010 Texas

    Variety 12 packs have too many negatives, at least in my market. Too old, too many unwanted beers in the mix, etc. But 12 packs of solid brews that most true beer connoisseurs recognize....SNPA, Torpedo, Two Hearted, Centennial, Art Car....bring it on! The price break makes it even more worthwhile.
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  16. AWA

    AWA Savant (1,171) Jul 22, 2014 California

    Thinking about it, the last 2 4 packs I bought, I got 3 each of. So apparently I'm buying 12 packs even when the brewery doesn't want me to.
  17. PA-Michigander

    PA-Michigander Grand Pooh-Bah (3,248) Nov 10, 2013 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I just bought one of these Monday. Great package.
    officerbill, ChicagoJ and TongoRad like this.
  18. celtsfan33

    celtsfan33 Aspirant (251) Nov 12, 2019 Massachusetts

    I buy 12 packs quite frequently as my fridge beer to intermingle with my 4 pack purchases. For those times when I just want to grab a quick beer or late in the evening when I want one more. There are good affordable options to be had with Jacks Abby, SN( Celebration is a fixture in my fridge this time of year), Troegs, Bells, Night Shift, Great North Aleworks, and Jai Alai when fresh, among others. In my area I wish Wormtown would do twelver's of Be Hoppy.
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  19. nomisugitai

    nomisugitai Zealot (554) Mar 11, 2006 New Jersey

    The question is do you get charged for 4 six-packs, or do you get a case discount?
    officerbill and ChicagoJ like this.
  20. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Grand Pooh-Bah (3,520) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    There's a crazy thing that happens when you realize that a beer can't be THAT good if you get sick of drinking it, especially if you're sick of it before you even drank 12. I enjoy beers that I wouldn't want 12 of from time to time, but I have a lot more respect for the beers.that 12 is never enough of
  21. meanmutt

    meanmutt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,327) Feb 6, 2012 Ohio
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    I buy 12 packs fairly often. MadTree Psychopathy and Rhinegeist Truth. Both have easily legible package dates on the outside of the carton and I can always buy them fresh.

    I appreciate the price too at $17-$18 a 12 pack.
  22. readyski

    readyski Maven (1,399) Jun 4, 2005 California

    Duh, it's the sale of 12 beers
    Seriously I'm in the 'all the same beer' camp (vs the mixed pack school). Rarely do buy 12ers, last one was likely Celebration.
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  23. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Grand Pooh-Bah (3,881) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois
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    @zid , The article stated breweries should consider adding a flagship / variety 12 pack to expanding a brewery's current base, not selecting or abandoning the 16 oz format to chase the latest trend. Revolution and Half Acre offers both styles and different price points. Obviously not every brewery can take advantage of offering multiple canning formats, but you don't have to be a Top 50 national craft brewer / top brewer in the state to consider offering a 12 pack of your top brand.

    If everything stayed constant, we would still be buying BA imperial stouts in the bomber format, whereas now I have seen 8 oz stubby cans to meet the market demand for a smaller reasonably sized offering. Since the market has shifted drastically to off-premise sales, the article is simply stating it is prudent for mid/larger sized craft brewers to consider adding a 12 pack to their current distribution mix.

    In terms of my personal purchases, outside of buying for a gathering, historically I didn't buy any local 12 packs, but buy Oberon as a 12 pack, and typically Mosaic Promise and one or two more Founders 15 packs each year.

    This year for the first time I bought a local 12 pack, the most recent Revolution variety League of Heroes pack, primarily because I can't get these same offerings at the brewpub/brewery due to the closures. After buying their variety 12 pack, I really like that they switch it up, switch it up, and have different ones (3 of the 4 cans always different) each season. As a result, I'll likely buy these more in the future because I typically like or love Revolution's offerings.
  24. Stl705

    Stl705 Initiate (0) Jun 14, 2014 Illinois

    I’m not interested at all in 12 pack formats. I like too much variety in beer and unless I really loved the beer, would much prefer to get 2x 6 packs or 2x 4 packs at a little price premium. I guess the variety packs could solve that a bit, but variety also means different brewers to me.

    Then again, I used to dislike the 4 pack x 16 oz configuration but now I don’t mind it at all.
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Yesterday I was at my 'local' Total Wine & More (Claymont, DE) to purchase some wines for holiday drinking and I strolled through the beer section. I picked up a couple of single cans of beers of brands that I wanted to try one of. I had no intention of purchasing more beer but I saw a 12-pack of Bell's Two Hearted Ale and it 'spoke' to me.

    Cheers to 12-packs of Two Hearted Ale!
  26. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Initiate (0) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Agreed. 12 packs of 12 oz cans/bottles have been my go to lately. Celebration, Bizzard of Hops, Mad Elf, Yuengling Hershey’s (really should just get a kegerator for this one), etc. I buy the occasional 4/6 pack too, but would love something like New Trail in 12 packs of 12 oz cans - actually they are doing this with a few other breweries as part of a collab. Maybe it will be a big hit and continue?
    #66 BeastOfTheNortheast, Dec 11, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
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  27. zid

    zid Grand Pooh-Bah (3,036) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    That Bell's mixed pack that I mentioned earlier was "Jingle Bell's" with Two Hearted, Light Hearted, Official, and Juicy Gossip (that last one's only in the pack) for $17 if I recall. @TongoRad - it's sometimes possible to have something wallet friendly that also has both variety and quality. :wink: Granted it's all varieties of pale ale. For everyone here stating that they don't want to drink too much of the same beer - in cases like this I have no idea how tedium could set in with just three of each beer... but that's just me. This pack disappeared fast once it got into my house. The date printed on the box was also the date of the oldest beer inside it - I give them extra credit for that.

    @PapaGoose03 - Is this Bell's first mixed pack?
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  28. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    I'm totally with you there.

    But just to illustrate the fine line between clever and stupid, that Jack's Abby pack I mentioned previously had an Orange Wheat instead of the Shipping Out of Boston and not only would I regularly pass on it, they tended to gather dust at the store.

    To me the whole package is either desirable or not, no in between, and that takes the right combination of beers.
  29. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    [QUOTE="zid, post: 7115288, member: 427912"USER]@PapaGoose03 - Is this Bell's first mixed pack?[/QUOTE]
    I'm pretty sure that it is. Damn! I was just over in the General Store and should have looked to see if they had Juicy Gossip as a single. I'm curious about it, but not curious enough to get the 12-pack.
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  30. TongoRad

    TongoRad Grand Pooh-Bah (3,826) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
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    If it's a beer I really enjoy, I actually tend to get kind of bummed when I'm down to only 2 or 3. :wink:
  31. mikeg67

    mikeg67 Pooh-Bah (1,949) Nov 12, 2010 New Jersey

    I rarely by 12 packs. I don't want to drink the same beer for a while.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  32. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,159) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    I think they put 12 stovepipes of TH into a case. Can we call that a 12-pack? That's even better! :grin:
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    “Available Packages

    6 pack 12 ounce bottles

    12 pack 12 ounce bottles

    6 pack 12 ounce cans

    12 pack 12 ounce cans

    4 pack 16 ounce cans

    19 oz. can



    A 12-pack of 19 ounce cans is not listed as being available on the Bell’s website.

    Maybe you could submit something to the suggestion box next time you visit the brewery?


    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  34. JHDStein

    JHDStein Zealot (533) Aug 16, 2013 Germany

    I buy by the case here quite often: 20 to a case. It surprises me how many people balk at anything more than a 6er. If a beer is great, it doesn't get old drinking it.

    I'm a bit of a ticker who wants to always try new stuff, but that is always the first or second beer only. After that, I'm always happy to have a quality standby to finish off the evening, or when I don't want to think about what I am drinking, I just want a great beer.

    Of course, it helps that I can get a case of Weihenstephaner/Rothaus/Andechser for $25 or so. :grin:
  35. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,670) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Variety pack, yes. Same beer, no. Even if it's cheaper than buying it in a 6pack. My palate demands variety.
  36. Mista_Carta

    Mista_Carta Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2015 California

    I have a very low desire for a 12 of one beer, exception being a party or larger get together which simply isn't happening right now. For myself I prefer variety and four is plenty of a single beer/batch, often I end up just drinking a couple and gifting a couple to friends. Of course I'll circle back to beers I love but never need more than a few from one batch.

    The #4 "Variety Pack" would definitely be up my alley though.
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  37. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    One of those beers when fresh is truly timeless. Must be a strange region here, tough to find cans fresh, bottles not so much, I can’t say I’ve seen 12 packs here, but if they are they did you stand out, one of my favorite on tap as well.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  38. Providence

    Providence Pooh-Bah (2,366) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island
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    Count me amongst that group. I will walk by ab $18 four pack of the best beer ever for a 12 pack of Sierra Nevada.
  39. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Pooh-Bah (2,538) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia
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    The big thing I have gathered from reading responses on this thread - I wouldn't want to be in charge of determining packaging for a craft beer brewery. Tough job! :slight_smile:
  40. meefmoff

    meefmoff Pooh-Bah (1,786) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
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    I'd really love to know how sales changed (or didn't) when they did the Orange/Shipping swap. Like you I considered the Orange Wheat to be the dud of the package, but they sell that one in stand alone 12 packs so it must have its fans.
    AlcahueteJ and TongoRad like this.
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