Packs of beer in Europe

Discussion in 'Rest of the World' started by HorseheadsHophead, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Sep 15, 2014 Colorado
    Society

    I've been looking up a lot of beer stores in European countries lately--as well as looking at "Post a picture of your latest beer haul" posts--and, with the exception of sometimes the U.K., it looks like most places in Europe sell beer bottles or cans individually rather than as a pack which in the norm in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Can anyone confirm or deny this from your own country? While I like being able to pick up individuals cans or bottles of beer, for convenience' sake I still prefer being able to purchase 4/6/12 packs.
     
  2. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    standard german purchase from the Getränkemarkt (bottle shop) is a 20-pack of half-liter bottles
     
  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Optional delivery, right?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Three women to carry a crate of beer!?! :astonished:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    @Shanex can probably respond to this better than I can, but that's all I've ever seen in France. I do a LOT of shopping in the wine/beer/liquor sections of various Monoprix stores, and that's all I've ever seen. Even those stores that offer American Budweiser, it's always been offered for sale in individual bottles.
     
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  6. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Not sure how prevalent this is, but years ago when I was stationed in Germany, the local brewery in Gersfeld (Will Bier) had a home delivery program. It was comparable to the old milkman delivery program. You put out the beer crate twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays as I recall), with however many empty bottles you wanted to exchange (empties for full bottles). Bottles were half liter and you could typically get up to a case at a time (though you could contact the brewery for a larger order if necessary).

    What fascinated me at the time, was that delivery was twice a week. The brewery really wanted to make sure you never ran out of their beer.
     
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  7. distantmantra

    distantmantra May 23, 2011 Washington
    Trader

    Most grocery stores I've been to in Europe (Portugal, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Hungary) allow you to break up any pack and purchase a single if you want, but you can also buy the whole thing as well. Craft beer seems like it's sold more on a single basis in dedicated bottle shops. This is pretty much also the same setup that I've seen in Japan.
     
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  8. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

    still prevalent around franconia. I used to order a crate from brauerei hönig to be delivered every friday. they picked up empties and carried the fresh beer down to the cellar for me. cost per case back then: about $8.(i always tipped them the equivalent of $2 to make it an even $10)
     
  9. JHDStein

    JHDStein Aug 16, 2013 Germany

    In Germany, at just about any Getränkmarkt, most beers can be bought as a case or a single (or however many you want). Some beers are sold in 6-packs, but even then sometimes you can break them apart (always best to ask beforehand...). Belgium and the Netherlands, in experience, are rather similar. Specialty craft beer stores (of which there are very, very few) also mainly sell singles.

    As to the European "Post your haul" thread, I imagine you are looking at beers ordered mainly online (or bought from specialty stores), where buying singles is the normal procedure. I pretty much only post my online hauls.
     
  10. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This was back in 1975 in my case, so some years ago. I was just stunned by the level of customer service. Yeah, the guys would come around the back of the house, pick up the empties and place the fresh beer in a safe, relatively secure spot (there wasn't a whole lot of crime in Gersfeld anyway back then). Bottles of Will Bier were only 25 cents anyway at the local Officers/NCO club, but I think the delivery cost in town was no more than 15 cents a bottle (including the delivery and pick up cost).

    The first time one of my friends told me about this arrangement in town, I thought for sure he was pulling my leg.
     
  11. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Society

    Welcome to true beer culture.

    I remember seeing stacks of those cases (empties and full) sitting in a store room off the break room. At the Porsche factory in Stuttgart!
     
  12. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Sep 15, 2014 Colorado
    Society

    That's true. I'm thinking largely of @JamFuel here. All of his hauls seem to be individual bottles, but it looks like most or all of them are from online orders.
     
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  13. LiamoMill

    LiamoMill May 11, 2017 Ireland
    Trader

    In Ireland beer is mostly sold in singles, you'll find larger packs of macro beer in supermarkets but for most craft beer it's single bottles/cans. There are some breweries that sell in packs but usually it makes little sense to buy that way as it's the same price as buying per individual can. Craft Central would be a good example of how ppl buy beer here - it's an independent physical shop that does a great online service https://craftcentral.ie/ Just to say there's obviously nothing stopping you buying 5, 10, 20 cans of the same beer but it just generally doesn't come packaged that way.

    Due to our weird licensing laws if you want to but direct from a brewery you generally have to buy by the case unless they have a connection with a bar/off-license so something like the White Hag https://www.thewhitehag.com/product-category/beer/ would be a typical setup of from a brewery unless they have the connection as I mentioned.
     
  14. Crusader

    Crusader Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    [​IMG]
    In Sweden the alcohol monopoly stores look something like this, open loose cases of bottles and cans of the biggest sellers in the middle with smaller brands, macro and craft, in single bottles on the surrounding shelves. A few brands have over the years introduced six pack holders of bottles inside the cases, but around 2019 the monopoly banned those since they had decided it encouraged increased sales. Walking out with a full case, or cases, is still possible of course.

    [​IMG]
    In the grocery store channel where beer up to 3.5% abv is sold six packs of 50cl cans are standard, along with some other package sizes, and so the shelves look a bit different. Though the craft brands will be sold as singles and I have yet to see multi packs of those.
     
  15. JamFuel

    JamFuel Mar 26, 2009 Sweden
    Moderator Society

    I buy about 50/50 from online stores and the government monopoly stores in Sweden, and I tend to buy singles, just because I enjoy ticking. However, the monopoly stores, called Systembolaget, are not legally allowed to sell packs, unless it’s like a tasting pack of different beers. Every thing else is divided into singles. You can of course buy as many as you want, but they cannot be sold as packs or cases. They are also not allowed to advertise or push products, so you have no buy 4, pay for 3 offers, sales or even priority placement. One of the reasons for not selling refrigerated beer is that they would have to chill EVERYTHING, otherwise it would be an unfair advantage to whatever was put in the fridges. Sweden has quite a list of weird and quote Unique laws when it comes to alcohol.
     
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  16. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Sep 15, 2014 Colorado
    Society

    Wow, that's strange and inconvenient to me. Suddenly I find myself thankful of the U.S.'s comparatively loose alcohol laws. What would you do to make a big haul at a store, then? Bring a box?
     
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  17. Snowcrash000

    Snowcrash000 Oct 4, 2017 Germany
    Moderator Society Trader

    While most traditional breweries in Germany do package their beer in crates containing twenty 0,5l bottles, you are not required to purchase an entire crate, but can take as many bottles from them as you like, which is very common. I never purchased an entire crate of beer in my life.

    There are also six packs of 0,33l bottles available, but mainly from the biggest, most commercial breweries and for imports.

    When it comes to craft beer though, packs are pretty much unheard of in Germany, everything is sold as singles with very, very few exceptions.
     
  18. JamFuel

    JamFuel Mar 26, 2009 Sweden
    Moderator Society

    You can take a case and buy it if there are cases on display, they just can't make you buy a set amount, and most of the interesting stuff is put on shelves as singles. For big hauls, bring plenty of bags!
     
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  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Which varies from state to state. Not too long ago if you went to a typical beer retailer in PA (referred to as a Beer Distributor) you had to purchase beer by the case (e.g., 24 bottles/cans). The good news is that the beers were typically priced well but if you wanted to purchase a six-pack you were screwed. The good news is that you can know purchase by the six-pack (and individual bottle/can) but that is a relatively recent thing.

    The Utah beer scene:

    “What’s Up with the Beer?

    Yes, you can buy beer in Utah that’s over 3.2% alcohol by volume (ABV). In fact, starting in November 2019, a new bill replaced the 86-year-old law stating that 3.2% beer was the alcohol limit for brewing. It allows beers with 4% alcohol by weight or 5% ABV to be sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and on draft at bars and restaurants. You can also get higher ABV brews at state liquor stores. (Read: Welcome to the 5%: New Liquor Laws Support Utah's Vibrant Craft Brew Scene.)”

    https://www.visitutah.com/articles/utah-liquor-laws-visitor-guide

    I am sure that other BAs could provide examples of ‘weird’ laws in other states.

    Cheers!

    P.S. And then there is the example of Ontario and their government stores (LCBO).
     
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  20. Crusader

    Crusader Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    You do some weight lifting before going to the store.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. beer_beer

    beer_beer Feb 13, 2018 Finland
    Society

    I'd say you get everything in singles, but there are packs too of some of the beer.
     
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  22. John_M

    John_M Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Not just at State Liquor stores now Jack. Restaurants and brewery tasting rooms as well. The wife and I went to the "no draft" Epic brewing tasting room in SLC last Spring, and pretty much all their high octane bottles were open for sample pours and glass pours. Their ba pumpkin porter was my wife's favorite.
     
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  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I suppose that visitutah needs to update their site?

    Cheers!
     
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  24. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Looking at the relative size of both butts in that pic, I suppose this was a situation where he figured chivalry be damned and said to her, "You carry your own damned beer!" :grin:
     
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    So, you think the man is only going to drink the six-pack while the woman will be drinking the crate?

    Hmm, maybe your 'butt test' is correct here!!

    Cheers!

    P.S. Please, no comments along the lines of the lasted PBR marketing campaign. :stuck_out_tongue:
     
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  26. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    in CZ it's mainly singles. You can get packs of the big breweries (like PU, Budvar, etc), you can also buy these in crates, but still it is mainly singles. Craft/Microbrewery options usually range from single cans, to 750ml glass bottles (bomber style), or 1.5L plastic PET bottles.
     
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  27. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    As I understand it in Germany many consumers purchase beer by the crate (20 big bottles). This is not the situation in the Czech Republic?

    Cheers!
     
  28. TigerDriver91

    TigerDriver91 Jan 17, 2017 Czech Republic

    I don't see a lot of people walking out of places with crates, at least not in Prague, but buying a crate of beer is definitely an option if one wishes to do so.
     
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  29. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Maybe purchasing from the crate is more of a non-Prague thing?

    I am pretty sure my beer purchasing habits are quite different from people who live in New York City.

    Cheers!
     
  30. Jack_14

    Jack_14 Nov 2, 2019 Italy
    Trader

    I confirm.
    Here in Italy, strictly single products are sold in beer shops.
    Obviously there are discounts on packs of 12 or 24 cans / bottles of 33 cl or boxes of 6 bottles of 75 cl.
    The only exception that comes to mind is the Birrificio agricolo Crak (Agricultural Brewery) which on its website has 33 cl beers bought in packs of 4
     
  31. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    I can confirm Belgium has a mix of packs and singles on the shelves, but you can *always* break open the packs. (I mean, like, tearing the cardboard and such.) My mind still boggles at the privildge.
     
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I suppose if the retailer has robust singles sale they simply use the bottles (or cans) from the opened packs as part of their singles sales.

    Can you provide further input on how pricing goes between purchasing a single vs. a pack?

    At my local Wegmans supermarket I can purchase a single 12 ounce bottle/can for about $4. But that beer would sell for about $10+ as a six-pack. But they do let you construct a mix-a-six for $12. When there are beers I prefer to purchase as singles I do so as a mix-a-six since I think paying $2 for a bottle/can is reasonable. I think that $4 for a single is too expensive.

    Cheers!
     
  33. Sigmund

    Sigmund Mar 26, 2002 Norway
    Society

    In Norway, all beers are sold as singles - which means that you are allowed to break open the sixpacks that are used (mostly for bog standard pilseners). In France, most beers are also sold as singles, but supermarkets will not allow you to break open the multiple-packs used for cheaper beers.
     
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  34. Shanex

    Shanex Dec 10, 2015 France
    Society Trader

    Sorry for being quite late to reply but several members have rightly replied that, for what we’d consider as « craft beers » (define craft beer :slight_frown: Nah not this shyte again) are sold as single hence the Belgian greatest, the Americans, British, Germans etc.

    They’re also being sold now in sixer too, even some like Lagunitas, or Brooklyn last I checked.

    All around it depend of the supermarket and the beer you’re looking for.

    Not quite sure you can break a sixer and pack, pull and grab a Duvel from its pack though.

    What applies in France might not apply to different euro countries and possibly even to a different supermarket.
     
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  35. cinho

    cinho Jun 11, 2018 Wales
    Trader

    UK is pretty much the same as Ireland minus the draconian alcohol laws.

    Supermarkets usually carry cases & 4/6packs of macro lager (330ml bottles/440ml cans) and also often single bombers of lager 660/750ml. British ales are almost always sold as single bottles but there are some canned multipacks. Craft beers are generally sold as singles but there are some 4packs (usually 330ml cans).

    If you're buying direct from a brewery, the vast majority allow sales of single bottles/cans. Some restrict you to cases or mixed cases of their products but that's their prerogative.

    Most US craft breweries I've come across sell 4/6/12packs as you mentioned and I think it's partly due to price. Alcohol duty in the UK is quite significantly higher than the US and is not only linked to the volume of beer sold but also the ABV. So a 4 pack of a Double IPA from Trillium or any number of craft breweries is way cheaper than from say Cloudwater (generally a DIPA here is minimum £6 a can for example).

     
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  36. ManforallSaisons

    ManforallSaisons Mar 20, 2008 Belgium

    Belated reply: I should've said, for starters, many if not a majority of the brands in the shops are singles. Usually only the bigger brands will have packs, typically 4 in a cardboard thing affixed to caps or necks. Rarely 6 and never in an American style sixer where you can slide bottles out. Cans are still mainly for your mass-market brews, and would come in a shrink-wrapped pack.

    For price, in one example I noted, a single St Bernardus 12 is €1.91 (sorry, but eat your heart out) and 4x is €7.59 ... a 5-cent savings, ha!
     
  37. barrybeerdog

    barrybeerdog Aug 17, 2012 South Dakota

    1.91 Euro = 12? Yeah, that's a tough pill to swallow! Given our current state of financial affairs, (inflation) even our craft beer isn't safe from the recent price hikes, yikes:flushed:!!! Enjoy!!
     
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