Is all "bomber" packaging a rip off?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by jeffgott, Mar 15, 2015.

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  1. TheBeerdedCharmer

    TheBeerdedCharmer (0) Oct 24, 2013 Pennsylvania

    In general, many are certainly overpriced. However, a lot of Lagunitas' offerings are reasonably priced. I can get a bomber of their 9.9% Imperial Stout for just under $6. And that's on the other side of the country AND a gas station price. They're doing it right.
    woemad likes this.
  2. PatrickCT

    PatrickCT (0) Feb 18, 2015 Connecticut

    Yes. Flat out.
    Beer_Line likes this.
  3. HopBackGorilla

    HopBackGorilla (0) Feb 13, 2015 New York

    I was once a noob in this craft scene. Still a noob here :wink: Lesson learned.

    My local bottle shops will split up 4/6 packs. Try one and if I like, I buy a sixer. Sometimes they will just crack one open and let me sample. Good people, running good shops have good practices.

    I love Lagunita's Bombers and of course my favorite Lagunita's is a Quart bottle. When reasonably priced like so, I'm a buyer. Lagunita's does it right.
    #43 HopBackGorilla, Mar 15, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  4. pat61

    pat61 (0) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    I normally buy bombers. When I hit the beer store I'm usually in the mood for a variety of different things and bombers allow me to indulge myself. I'm a big guy with a big thirst and a bomber is just about the right size to slake my thirst. Sure I pay more but I also pay more for shoes, pants and shirts.
  5. BurgeoningBrewhead

    BurgeoningBrewhead (0) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Except for Lagunitas, usually yeah. The $/oz is ridiculous compared to 12oz
    Beer_Line likes this.
  6. boudeysbigbrew

    boudeysbigbrew (0) Mar 29, 2014 California

    Not trying to rip on you or anything, but this exact topic comes up on these forums every couple weeks. Shouldn't be hard to find some threads that deal with this exact topic.
  7. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken (1,015) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    BA's don't love bombers :grimacing:... Poll results...

    But, that said, "rip-off" aside, I still love a good bomber... Stone is one of the few breweries out there that make some good value bombers - Double Trouble comes to mind, and more recently, their Extra Hoppy Old Guardian barleywine...:sunglasses:
    Both are like $7.99 bombers of 10%+ abv high quality ales (thank you, Stone...)
    woemad, gopens44, DeepBrew and 4 others like this.
  8. trdtercel92

    trdtercel92 (70) Jul 22, 2014 Ohio

    I won't buy a bomber of something that is available in a 4/6 pack. And yes the price per oz is way out of whack. But this isn't a hobby for those who care too much about healthy budgeting lol
  9. lambpasty

    lambpasty (0) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire

    Like others have said it depends on the beer and what you're willing to pay for it, as well as it's "rarity."

    Sometimes limited release beers get put into bombers because either the brewery can't make enough to sustain 12oz 6-er's or the beer is so big that they'd have to charge $5-$6 a bottle for said 6-er, and very few people would have an easy time buying a $30+ 6 pack even after doing the math. That's when I tend to find that bombers make sense, since if a beer is going to cost $0.50 an ounce for example I'd rather by a smaller amount of it at first for a variety of reasons.

    When it comes to bombers that are also released in 6-packs, I don't think I've ever seen a bomber be a better value even with sale prices. For example, around me a 22 of Victory at Sea is $10, and a six pack is $15. Do the math and you realize pretty quickly that the extra 30% you spend nets you 60%+ more beer, so it's clearly a better value even if you don't want 72oz of beer all at once. In those cases, I avoid bombers every time.

    All that said though there are definitely some that are priced well; Lagunitas, Stone and Sierra Nevada (the Harvest IPA series for example) come to mind as bombers right around or less than the $8 mark, as well as Berkshire Brewing who routinely prices some great beers in 22's for $4-$5.

    In the end, I think "you can't gouge the willing" sums it up.
  10. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth (985) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    When Lagunitas bombers are considered a deal at $6-8 (which they are comparitively) the answer is easy.
  11. Tanktizzo

    Tanktizzo (0) May 19, 2014 Illinois

    My thought exactly!!!
  12. BrewmanCapote

    BrewmanCapote (0) Feb 3, 2013 Illinois

    Bought a bomber of gnarlywine this weekend for $4.99. So I'll answer your question with a" most, but not all."
  13. Hair

    Hair (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    When you buy a bomber you are buying 22oz of beer. When you buy a 6-pack you are buying 72oz of beer. In general, you pay less per ounce when you buy more ounces at once. This is true of almost every product. Buying in bulk saves you money. A 12-pack will cost less per ounce than a 6-pack. Does that make a 6-pack a "rip off"? Is anything less than a 15.5 gallon keg a "rip off"? Can't beat one of those when it comes to price/ounce.

    Bombers are a great way to try new beers. A 6-pack may be too much of an investment for a beer you might not like.

    Many bombers in my area are $5-6 dollars. Definitely not a "rip off".
    #53 Hair, Mar 16, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
  14. Hair

    Hair (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    Brewers don't decide how much their beer costs to buy.
    PorterPro125 likes this.
  15. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian (0) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    I'm not a big fan of them, but they serve their purpose for breweries who are getting started because a bomber filler or meheen takes up so much less space, and are a minor investment and are nearly pocket change in comparison to a regular packaging line and enable a market for beer that would not be able to exist in the smaller formats of 12 and 16's.
    meefmoff likes this.
  16. montman

    montman (330) Mar 10, 2009 Virginia

    Some are, but I seem to be ok with it, given the amount of them I purchase.
  17. MisSigsFan

    MisSigsFan (0) Mar 2, 2013 California

    Usually yeah. If the beer is available in 6 packs I'll take the 6er any day though. There are some beers that are too good to pass up in bomber, regardless of price for me.
    Gemini6 likes this.
  18. frognot

    frognot (0) May 20, 2009 Texas

    Sometime the choice is pay the bomber tax or do without.

    Vote with your money.
  19. Notacraftdrinker

    Notacraftdrinker (0) Apr 12, 2014 Florida

    One brewery inpurticular (ccb) changed their format from 750ml to 22oz bottles and actually charged more money for them. Smh
  20. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 (0) Jan 19, 2013 Canada (NB)

    Speaking from personal experience, I would much rather spend $5-$8 on a bomber and drink it all than pay $10 for a growler of said beer and not drink it all.

    When comparing bomber price to six-pack prices, a bomber is going to seem like a rip off because you would have to pay quite a bit more to get the same volume but I think bombers are a great idea. If I want to try a particular beer and they come in bomber format, I'd rather buy that than buy a sixer and end up not liking the beer. The same goes for a bomber vs. growler situation.
  21. Leebo

    Leebo (0) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Just look at price per ounce. I gladly pay $8.00 for some of the Jacks Abby barrel aged framminghammer porter. On of the best barrel aged ones out there. I also like the SN fresh hop and estate series at $6 per 24 ounces.
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa (735) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    While it is true that the retailer is the ultimate arbiter of beer pricing the brewery does indeed set the stage for how a beer is priced:

    · By using a 22 ounce format vs. the format of 12 ounce bottles in a 6-pack container

    · By establishing the price they charge the wholesale distributor

    OldManMetal, Jaycase and Ozzylizard like this.

    RBCORCORAN (0) May 18, 2009 Massachusetts

    if it's available in 12 0z side by side I'll go with 12 oz but so many beers are only in bomber format. Just paid 19.99 plus tax for a bomber of barrel aged big foot . Was worth every penny.
  24. Immortale25

    Immortale25 (0) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    This basically ends the thread.
    sludgegnome likes this.
  25. gcamparone

    gcamparone (0) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
    Society Trader

    A blanket "yes" to answer this question would be ignoring the fact that some beer takes a good amount of money, time and space to produce (lambics, aged stouts), so sometimes the price is justified. Most of the time it's not though, especially in the case of bombers of IPA priced at $8+ (which is why I rarely if ever purchase certain styles in bomber format).
  26. Donco

    Donco (0) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Many fantastic beers (like at least 50% of my favorites) come only in bombers. So it's either buy 'em or not. Too many good ones to complain about what size/price they come in.
  27. karamchandani

    karamchandani (0) Aug 22, 2013 South Carolina

    Lagunitas bombers are $3.99 at my local shop.
  28. ndepriest

    ndepriest (0) Feb 21, 2012 Georgia

    Not always.

  29. charlzm

    charlzm (0) Sep 3, 2007 California

    No, not all.

    Think of the space and time that barrel aging takes up, space and time that could have been used to make less labor-intensive, ingredient-intensive brews. Holding onto a beer for a year or more and sometimes post-aging blending makes a beer much more expensive per ounce than Heady. Also, smaller production runs add into higher per-ounce costs as well.

    Is a Corvette a rip-off when you can buy a Cruze?

    If you don't want to buy a bomber, then don't. But they're not "rip-offs", unless the same beer is also available in smaller packages and costs significantly less per ounce in the multi-pack. Even then, you're paying for it in a different way.

    Think about soda fountain soda vs. canned soda vs. 2 Liter sodas for the same product. Is it a rip-off if you want to buy it in a 20 ounce bottle versus a 2 liter bottle, which is often less? No, you're choosing the quantity that suits your desires.

    I buy almost all my beer in bombers and most of it is not available in any other format. Rip-off? No. It's just that I have decided to buy in that configuration. You may not decide it's worth the expense and in that case, do not buy it. Simple.
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  30. Oktoberfiesta

    Oktoberfiesta (0) Nov 16, 2013 New Mexico

    First hand experience notes that many smaller breweries with capacity issues cannot produce the same product they produce in bombers, in cans or bottles for true mass consumption. For them, they are doing us a favor, and thus letting us buy at least one 22oz bottle for thousands to enjoy vs. 4 or 6 packs that only half the people would enjoy.

    Sounds like they are blowing air up my butt. But what are you gonna do. Am I happy I can have a 22 oz. bomber of a local beer vs. NOTHING? Yes... Would I be happier if there was cans sold in 48-64 oz. total formats and I couldn't get them because less people could buy them, and I missed out? I'd probably be upset.

    But for the larger breweries with no true capacity or ingredient issues, this format SUCKS.
  31. smanson56

    smanson56 (0) Feb 15, 2014 New Hampshire

    I'll buy any beer that I like no matter what the packaging format is. Are some bombers over priced IMO they are but if they are a great beer than I'll just pay the price. I think the format that really gets me is the 16.9oz bottle which around here seems to sell at about the same price as the 22oz bomber. $8.00+ for a 16.9oz bottle of DIPA is out of line. Am I guilty of paying that price of course I am. Hey it was good beer. I guess it all comes down to the fact if it is a beer I want to drink then I'm going to pay the price no matter what the format.
    sludgegnome likes this.
  32. dennis3951

    dennis3951 (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    When they sell direct they do. They also set the price they sell to wholesalers at.
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  33. Hair

    Hair (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    Yep. Like I said. Brewers don't decide how much their beer costs to buy.

    Also note that I said "brewers" and not "breweries". The brewers themselves rarely decide what to charge the distributors and retailers, let alone what their mark up is. Yes, "breweries" (CEOs, CFOs, BODs etc...) play a part in it, but usually not "brewers".

    sludgegnome likes this.
  34. Hair

    Hair (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    You mean "breweries". I said "brewers".

    I'm not trying to be snide. I was responding to a post saying that the people that *brew* the beer decide how much you pay at the store.
  35. dennis3951

    dennis3951 (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    In my post that you quoted I was typing about Heady Topper. The brewer is the owner and controls everything including the price.
  36. DeepBrew

    DeepBrew (0) Mar 20, 2014 Texas

    My experience is different. Several bottle shops will sell you a single with the exact purpose to try the beer. It will come out somewhat higher than 1/6th of a six-pack, but not by much. It has given me the opportunity of trying much more beers this way, I will gladly take my business to those shops, and I will feel much less guilt trying something new in 12 oz, at a reasonable price.
    breadwinner likes this.
  37. Hair

    Hair (0) Oct 30, 2006 California

    I understand that he sets the price for direct sales; not at retailers. His situation is also very unusual. My point stands. Thanks for clarifying.
  38. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa (735) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Many (most?) of the US craft breweries are owned by what were the brewers when the company started; in many (most?) instances brewers = breweries in this regard.

    Jaycase likes this.
  39. Texwild

    Texwild (0) May 1, 2008 Washington

    Depends on the beer. Generally, craft beer is underpriced IMHO.
    draheim likes this.
  40. draheim

    draheim (925) Sep 18, 2010 Washington

    Sure, but you're from here. And you underprice your beer. *

    * But please don't stop
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