Great Brewers Variety Packs

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by LCB_Hostage, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I was in one of my regular shops Saturday and came across a stack of 12-beer cartons labeled "Great Brewers Variety Pack" promising a selection of "12 Great Craft Brews" with no indication what was inside. They were selling for $12.99 so I figured this was the definition of a low-risk, potentially high reward situation. Once outside, I didn't even wait til I got home, I opened it in the car, feeling like an 8-year-old ripping open a pack of Topps. There was no slab of pink bubblegum inside, but that was the only disappointment. For about a buck each, they gave me 1 each of the following: Six Point The Crisp; Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale; Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale; Sly Fox Oktoberfest Lager; Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA; Breckenridge Christmas Ale; Riverhorse Special ESB; Rogue Dead Guy; Fuller London Pride(???); Troeg's Java Head; Mission Dark Seas Russ. Imp Stout; and Boulder Never Summer Ale.

    Nothing remarkable, but nothing putrid, either. (Avg. BA rAvg of 3.80). Everything with a sell-by date was still within its shelf life (although a couple of the seasonals are getting close). These were obviously hand-packed, but the 4-color printed cartons make it clear this wasn't some spur-of-the-moment idea.I'll probably go back and grab another from deeper in the stack to see if they all have the same contents. Either way, it's a fun way to sample new beer at a very reasonable cost (at least five of these I've never tried before). I guess my only question is whether the brewers have been consulted about repackaging their beer blindly like this, or if once a distributor buys it, they can repackage however they please.

    So, is anyone else seeing these, or is it just a local NJ distributor clearing stock in a clever and fun way?
    Boca-X and kuhndog like this.
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,302) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

  3. mecummins

    mecummins Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois

    So it was like a beer grab bag?
  4. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    So, what's your guess? Is this meant more as a promotion of their portfolio, or more of a way to clear aging inventory? I guess it could be a bit of both. Some of these are pretty obscure, at least on the east coast, but I doubt a NJ distributor is having too much trouble moving Dogfish Head or Six Point products.
  5. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Yup. Priced to move, and pretty much blind -- I could see a Smuttynose neck tag through a cut-out, so I figured it wouldn't be a total loss. :slight_smile:
    ESeab and mecummins like this.
  6. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,800) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I saw a variety back this morning, 2 each of:
    Founders Imperial Stout
    Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
    I think it was $17.00
  7. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,360) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    My guess is these are made up from damaged cases - I got something similar of bomber via Hunterdon once for like $2 a bottle ($12 for a half case).
  8. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Well, if that's the case they really need to have a long talk with their warehouse manager, because just the one store I was in had something like 50 of these things on the floor. That's a LOT of damaged cases. Then again, if they're really that big, I suppose it's possible. I just wonder if they're placing these in other retailers as well. They went to the trouble of printing up cartons, so they obviously anticipate using a lot of them.
  9. alexipa

    alexipa Devotee (439) Oct 7, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I've never seen this, but would buy it without hesitation if I did...

    I love trying new beers and not having to painstakingly select them would be awesome. I bet you'd learn a lot about your palate as well.
  10. tweezer159

    tweezer159 Initiate (0) May 2, 2008 Alabama

    Man, I loved those mystery boxes when I lived in Jersey. At work, several of us would each buy a box, and then have a beer draft. Not everything was great, but I remember getting Chimay Blue, Weyerbacher Tiny, Java Head, Hoppin Frog Outta Kilter, Schlafly Bierre de Garde among others.
  11. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (501) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Was this at Yankee Spirits? I've purchased the mystery 24-packs at Yankee before with mixed results, but they're fun to bring to a party as there is a mix of styles. It's cheap and interesting, but you can also end up with a handful of Carib lagers, and that just sucks.
  12. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    No, this was Little Bros in Flemington. I think the box explicitly stated that there were 12 different beers inside, so I figured I'd at least my money's worth in halfway decent beer -- Well, that and the sneak peek at the Smuttynose neck tag (of course it was a Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale and I HATE pumpkin -- so I guess that's what I get for peeking).
  13. ESeab

    ESeab Initiate (0) Jan 3, 2013 New Jersey

    thats awesome
  14. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,360) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Well, that was definitely the case with the 6 bomber packs - from the contents of the one posted here, it sounds like ti might also be out-of-season seasonals and beers approaching being out of code.
  15. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,360) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Also, remember that a single broken bottle renders a whole case unsellable (so that would leave 23 beers to be put in the mix 12 packs).
  16. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    True enough. I suspect it's a combination of stuff that's nearing it's sell-by date and other leftovers lying around. Some of the dates were pretty far out, so those are probably the damaged cases you brought up. I just hope they keep stocking them at stores where I shop. They make for a cheap, easy way to fill a cooler with variety when people come over.
  17. jcb7472

    jcb7472 Zealot (503) Jul 13, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I got one of these, or something very similar, as a birthday gift from a friend last year. They sell them at Total Wine here in Florida. None of the beers in it were anything outstanding, but nothing was bad either. I did get to sample a few beers that probably wouldn't have otherwise tried or purchased.
  18. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Site Editor (6,360) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    I think those ones are different than the ones being discussed here (in those you can see all of the different bottles that are contained where these ones are mystery).
  19. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Savant (979) Sep 4, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    My store did something similar to that. We hated it but our regional thought it was a great idea. Most would be from 6-8 bucks depending what was inside but we made one for over $20 and put a bunch of bombers and such.
  20. Dools9

    Dools9 Zealot (518) Jul 5, 2011 Massachusetts

    I've seen these around. Actually cracked some open at work and most were made up of Flying Dog, Brooklyn, Cisco, and Boulder beers.
  21. maxcoinage

    maxcoinage Defender (611) Apr 6, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Never seen it random like that, kind of makes it interesting, but recently in Chicagoland a lot of liquor stores (and even a grocery store) started offering mix-a-6 pack for 9 or 10 bucks, which for the most part are made up of beers that go for 9.99 a six pack.

    This Binnys in Buffalo Grove, IL near me has 160 beers to choose from:
    choicegrinds and TooGood like this.
  22. mecummins

    mecummins Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2012 Illinois

    That's a lot more than the ones in Niles or Skokie offers. They probably have 1/2 that. I haven't seen any already made mixed boxes in Chicago yet.
  23. thecommish101831

    thecommish101831 Initiate (0) Jun 29, 2010 District of Columbia

    What are the dates on the Boulder and Sixpoint?

    If you're getting pumpkin beer in late February, sounds like almost half of your box is out of code or right about there.

    My store sent back 2 cases of Never Summer with a OOC date of mid January
  24. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    The Smuttynose Pumpkin was dated mid March (close, but not yet out of code). That was the first one I checked because, well it's pretty obvious why. I also took a quick look at the Christmas/winter seasonals and they were all still within their sell-by range. I don't honestly remember whether I checked the Crisp or not, but given that it's a fairly local, year-round beer, I doubt it was past it's sell-by. I'm sure a lot of these were included to move them off the floor while they still could, but at a buck a beer, I'm not going to complain if something is a month past its prime. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into when I committed the princely sum of $13.
  25. TheGoodTimesAreKillingMe

    TheGoodTimesAreKillingMe Initiate (128) Feb 26, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ridiculously envious of the idea that mystery variety packs are available where you folks are. In my neck of the woods, if you mix and match, you're paying a hefty sum!
  26. LCB_Hostage

    LCB_Hostage Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2013 Pennsylvania

    We have a few places around that offer the mixed-six option, but most of the choices are pretty pedestrian and normally they're all beers that cost less per six pack they they're pricing the mixed-sixes. I would LOVE to have the selection you're showing here -- and at $9.99/six? Sweet!
  27. jodybrutal

    jodybrutal Aspirant (283) Dec 18, 2013 New Jersey

    I just found out about these today. I was talking to the guy at the store and he told me that they're made up from damaged cases. They had 12 packs of 12oz bottles and cans for $13.00, and 6 packs of bigger bottles for $17.00, so I took a peek inside a few of them and was able to see a bottle of Chimay and Dogfish Head inside, so I figured for $17.00 I'm getting a pretty great deal, regardless of what else was inside. Once I payed, the clerk offered to open it up and take a look inside, and I was pretty damn happy. When I got it home I was able to add up the total value of what I got to over $70.00 (So, yea... pretty great deal). I don't know if you'll ever be able to find anything super rare in these packs, but I think it's a great way to try beer I would never try at full price, also it's a great way to stock my cellar with stuff I know I love. I don't know how long these will last but I'm definitely going to take full advantage of it and pick up one mystery box a week, at least. I'm in South Jersey by the way. Here's my haul... [​IMG]
  28. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,204) Mar 18, 2010 California

    That's a pretty solid mix for the price.
  29. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,204) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Yea, I bought the Fraoch by itself for $20, so that is a great deal.
  30. jodybrutal

    jodybrutal Aspirant (283) Dec 18, 2013 New Jersey

    Damn, 20 bucks? I thought it was 15 when I was able to pull the tag out of the box and look it up. I'll have to open it up soon to see if I like it since I spotted more than a couple of these inside the cases.
  31. HeavyDandtheGirls

    HeavyDandtheGirls Aspirant (262) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I love the idea of a grab bag 12er. I would want 2 of each though, rater than 12 different beers.

    Wegmans in MA does a mix 6er for $10.99 which I don't think is too bad. They have a good selection.
  32. Brownj1288

    Brownj1288 Initiate (0) Oct 3, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    The price seems right for these. It seems like a pretty good value if you are either
    1.) A new ticker
    2.) Willing to drink just about anything you get.

    I would have been all over these in college when I just wanted to try as many beers as possible.

    I do think there is another system here, if they put like 5 whales distributed among all the boxes it would be a Golden Ticket situation. I can already picture some guys on here with factories full of people opening the boxes for them searching for the whales.
    APBT91 and rather like this.
  33. jodybrutal

    jodybrutal Aspirant (283) Dec 18, 2013 New Jersey

    For any 6 beers? Plenty of places will sell single bottles ranging from around 2-5 dollars, and if you buy six they'll sometimes give you 10% off the whole total, but I've never seen a set price for a make your own sixer.
  34. Valleyview06

    Valleyview06 Disciple (307) Oct 13, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    There is a distributor (I'm in Pa) local to me who breaks up cases and makes their own mix case. 2x 12 different brews. It not legal but they do it. They do this with IPA's and porters/stouts.
  35. HeavyDandtheGirls

    HeavyDandtheGirls Aspirant (262) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Yeah, it was kind of like the picture in maxcoinage's post. It wasn't any beer in the store but it had a large selection, Lagunitas, Founders, Jack's Abbey, Victory, etc...

    I like not being married to a 6er if you don't like something.
  36. BreweryRun

    BreweryRun Zealot (508) Feb 22, 2013 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    My local bottle shop has a mystery bag but I haven't built up the courage to buy one yet, I think it's a pretty good deal but I'm worried it'll all be crap.

    On another note and at the risk of looking like a total idiot how the hell do you start a new thread on this freaking website!?
  37. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    go to the forum you wish to post in. In the upper right corner of the page look for Post new thread.
  38. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    the chimay and fraoch fit in that box?
  39. BreweryRun

    BreweryRun Zealot (508) Feb 22, 2013 California
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Wow. I do feel dumb, but happy! Thank you.
    markdrinksbeer likes this.
  40. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,413) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    check the dates on those brews
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