Why do all "Make your own six pack" Selections Suck?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by sportscrazed2, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. sportscrazed2

    sportscrazed2 Aspirant (221) Mar 29, 2010 Indiana

    I want to try more beer but, don't have too much money. I have $20 in my wallet and that's my budget for the week. I want to try more but it's better to buy good beer (Zombie Dust is a 10 minute drive from me and only costs $10 tax free) than to pick 6 off a shelf when there might only be 5 good ones. Is it just the store selling returned crap?
  2. madtrixter787

    madtrixter787 Zealot (505) Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    It's just whatever breaks in the back or from 6 packs that other people have already taken one beer out of. It's just a way for the grocery store to not lose as much $$ on breakage/theft.
  3. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Aspirant (282) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    plus the sales people throwing the last 2 6pks of 'xyz summer' in so they have somewhere to put 'xyz oktoberfest/pumpkin'
    CrimeDog, Jaycase, rypkr and 2 others like this.
  4. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (845) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    It's a crap shoot, pure and simple. Buy your tried and true favorites. Still, I have seen some great discount bins, but stick to age-worthy beers, with full fills.
  5. Tamarack

    Tamarack Initiate (50) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    You could just go to the Grand Rapids Craft Beer Cellar, where everything in the store is sold as singles :wink:
    Lahey, GuyFawkes, BeerPugz and 4 others like this.
  6. NeverMeant

    NeverMeant Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2016 Arizona

    A few stores have started doing that out here as well, at the same price it would've been as part of a 4/6-pack. Easier to manage than a limited BYO 6-pack, and they can fit twice as many different beers on the shelves single-file.
    LuskusDelph and Tamarack like this.
  7. AtillaTheHank

    AtillaTheHank Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2017 Connecticut

    Yeah generally its because of breakage or theft that beers will end up in a singles section. Actually managing a real make your own 6pk section can be a nightmare logistically depending on your inventory system and based on my experience is where good beers go to sit on the shelve and go out of code.
    FonyBones and rgordon like this.
  8. SpiderMilkshake

    SpiderMilkshake Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2017 Virginia

    In my experience "make your own six packs" out of even regular ol' Kroger's or Food Lions have been pretty nice (might have just been lucky and have stores who happen to put up a lot of decent beers for those, rather than just the really crusty old ones they're trying to get rid of). In my college town there was a larger Kroger's which had plenty of good choices (at least 20 good ones at any given time) to pick from at $6 per 6 pack. Needless to say, that was where all my beers for parties came from.

    It might have everything to do with your area. I think part of the reason mixed 6 packs here are so good is it's Virginia--major craft beer zone with a few affluent patches scattered in there.

    The fancier option of trying a purveyor with mixed six packs is probably worth it if all you're finding is junk. It's more expensive but I've been able to find several where I could get a four-pack of my choice for under $10, and a six pack of my choice for under $15. Plus most purveyors will sell singly, if you really want a good beer but only have $1.50-$3.50 or so to spare.
  9. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (2,553) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Premium Trader

    Eh, mix six racks get a bad rep. If the selection is bad, then the store is more or less attempting to stifle any money lose on broken packages, or old beer.

    Around here, there are a few stores where you can walk in with $10 and walk out with 6 decent or above beers. Depending on what night you go, you could even request they load the mix six shelf with x, y, and z - as long as the 6 packs that contain them are $10 or $11 or under.

    So patronize the shops with good mix six shelves, and avoid those that scramble to sell old beer. That's exactly what I do. Even if I can get five good beers and one okay beer, that's still a fine mix in the summer. It just means I have five beers to drink, and one to boil the brats in.
  10. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (845) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    This is the closest to the truth that I've read yet. To manage a real mix your own six pack option would be very labor intensive. Perhaps making the margins extra special could make it worth it at retail.
    dcotom and Harrison8 like this.
  11. cmiller4642

    cmiller4642 Aspirant (265) Aug 17, 2013 West Virginia

    There's a store in my town that does everything in a make your own 6

    You can do Backwoods Bastard, Ten Fidy, etc...
  12. teal

    teal Initiate (95) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    Same - they list the pack price and individual on all of them. Course they don't leave one single bottle in a carrier on the shelf - those get moved to a section to the cooler and the carriers thrown on a pile.
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  13. Alefflicted

    Alefflicted Initiate (72) Dec 2, 2017 Minnesota

    Here at my store I'm in charge of the make a six. I am constantly rotating and keeping everything fresh. You can buy basically anything we have as a single, and my customers love it. If your ever in Sartell MN, drop into the West Side Liquor, you will not be disappointed.
  14. sportscrazed2

    sportscrazed2 Aspirant (221) Mar 29, 2010 Indiana

  15. tzieser

    tzieser Savant (961) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I wouldn't say "all" mix-a-six'ers suck...one time I scored 6 fresh lagunitas sumpin' extras for $8.99, well below the typical sticker price.

    That being said though, the selection usually does kinda suck. It's more for people who just want to try a few different craft beers without getting a mixed 12 pack. I very rate venture to that corner of the beer aisle
    TriggerFingers likes this.
  16. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,126) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Trader

    That's not been my experience. In Fort Collins or even Casper. No returned "crap for sure. Tis a shame that's true for anyone...
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,640) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    That has been my experience at the stores I shop that do mix-a-six: that is where the old beers go.

  18. drunkenmess

    drunkenmess Zealot (595) Mar 27, 2015 Michigan

    Actually I know of a few stores that have a killer selection of singles that you can mix n match. Some are better than others. Some let you actually break apart a 4/6 pack to get a single. Some are more expensive than others but it is what it is.
    Great way to try new beers without committing to a full 4/6er of the same beer.
    Also many of the shops around here have pretty fresh bottles available, minus Meijer and little ma n pop stores.

    #18 drunkenmess, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  19. Scott17Taylor

    Scott17Taylor Meyvn (1,322) Oct 28, 2013 Iowa

    Most of the time the selection and freshness do suck, but I have one local that'll break up anything into singles. I just go there if I'm looking to try a bunch of new stuff.
  20. rgordon

    rgordon Champion (845) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    This is kinda why I always thought bombers served a good purpose- a bit more expensive ounce-wise, and often the only option for the offering. It's still just about two beers, and then you know.
    drunkenmess and Bitterbill like this.
  21. Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas

    Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas Disciple (310) Aug 24, 2015 Texas

    If $10 will get you a sixer of ZD - I'd stick with that and not even concern myself with singles. :grin:
  22. kool-aid

    kool-aid Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2017 Vermont

    Here, it's legal to break up a sixer or four pack to buy individually. More often than not, the first pack of beer in the cooler is missing one (unless the beer is really really good, and then people buy the whole pack). Sometimes it's a cue that it's a beer to try before you fully buy.

    Because of this, all the mix-a-six options are a giant beer graveyard. All of the local chain supermarkets have one and they all suck horribly. But it is a great source to find a cheap individual cooking beer/cider, if you're into that sort of thing.
    FonyBones and bbtkd like this.
  23. guinness77

    guinness77 Champion (899) Jan 6, 2014 New York

    Most of the time, around here at least, they're trying to get rid if old inventory.
  24. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,596) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Returned beer? No. There's a lot of places that let you split beers, but the downside is you lose control of the product, if it's not bottle dated there's no,telling. I'd opt for the Zombie Dust personally.
  25. sportscrazed2

    sportscrazed2 Aspirant (221) Mar 29, 2010 Indiana

    But, then all I'd ever be drinking was zombie dust. I want to try new stuff without breaking the bank. I don't get why each can or bottle can't have a individual bar code on it and ring up as 1/6 or 1/4 the price of a 6/4 pack? Grocery stores that sell coca cola bottles in six packs also sell them for a few bucks at the checkout line to entice thirsty people. How hard could it be?
    nc41 likes this.
  26. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (1,979) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Premium Trader

    Guess I'm fortunate. One of my locals (arguably the best in the North East quadrant of our State) sells virtually all their craft beers (also best selection in the quadrant) as singles and our local family owned grocery store (who has the best prices) saves on labor by having the reps stock the pick a six shelves. In the second store turnover is so high the singles are just as fresh as regular aisles. So my only problem is how much I can carry.
  27. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,973) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    This. The only time I've ever seen ZD, it was $17.99/6. I paid that without so much as a second thought. At $10, I'd have filled up the trunk.
  28. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (648) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Just grabbed a mix 6 tonight. $11.99

    3 expedition stouts
    2 Java stouts......forgot it's not made anymore, October 2016 date but still drinking ok
    1 coffee oatmeal stout 16oz can from a local

    This place has some good bottles now and then

    They had BBA ten fidy at $12.99 too. I passed on that

  29. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,973) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    If I could get PseudoSue for $10 for a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles, I'd probably drink it all the time. I think it's great that you can get ZD in this format.
  30. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,596) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Well you could cheat a bit. Places like total wine you can mix and match, you can take beers from fresh sixers to do this as long as they're not encased. Down side is you pay a premium on the mix and match, they lose QC and dating, you pay for the variety. It's not really cost effective if your blowing your budget on a 6er, like $12 worth.
  31. sportscrazed2

    sportscrazed2 Aspirant (221) Mar 29, 2010 Indiana

    I live down the street. Honestly surprised they haven't raised their prices at the pub. So many inferior beers try and sell for $11-12. I honestly should just get a pickup truck and drive to beer events where they don't distribute and trade for other good stuff. Or sell it for enough to cover the cost of gas
    dcotom likes this.
  32. SMH_NWI

    SMH_NWI Disciple (363) Jan 8, 2015 Texas

    Yeah! Buy single beer bottles that have been sitting in the light for weeks and months.
  33. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Meyvn (1,440) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    This is major source of frustration for me, too, because I like trying new beers all the time, and I just want to buy one bottle/can of a given beer. Make your own six packs are a godsend, but only if the selection isn't terrible. The problem is that they usually are terrible.
    From what I've been told, it's partly because distributors control what gets put on the racks, so they end up choosing malt beverage bullcrap like Twisted Tea, Smirnoff, Mike's Hard Lemonade, or hard cider. The other problem is that most of the beer is outdated stuff. People in the know aren't going to buy these year-old IPAs, so they all sit on the shelf and cause clutter. It's just so frustrating to me because I would prefer to buy singles of most beers, unless it's a tried-and-true favorite. :rage:
    Junior likes this.
  34. Junior

    Junior Disciple (316) May 23, 2015 Michigan

    I am lucky too, in that the store I go to the most allows you to break up anything into singles without an up charge.

    The problems I find are 1) places that do mixed six packs for $10 or whatever are just trying to get rid of old or slow moving stock and 2) places that sell singles sell them at a significant premium.
  35. surfcaster

    surfcaster Crusader (735) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Premium Trader

    Not cool--that "cheating" hoses someone else who didn't have the time to see if all 6 the same. I rarely go to a TW but man that would be a bummer for someone else.

    OP, if ZD is available readily for 10$ a six, you're not missing out! If you must, find another BA to split something else and share that!
    jmdrpi likes this.
  36. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (494) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    Depends on the store. We have a few that are pretty lame for selection. Kind of a dribs and drabs, and you really have to watch the dates because it is a mix of new and old product. Single sku for the 6 pack. Others are like making a dream team of what's currently around, and the sku's on each bottle are scanned.
  37. seth27

    seth27 Initiate (80) Mar 16, 2015 Pennsylvania

    The giant eagle by my house occasionally has some pretty good stuff in the mix six. I usually pop in once a week and if I can find 3 worth getting I'll fill the rest of it out with old standbys or a couple malt-ternatives for the wife.
    I've gotten stuff like Old Stock, FIS, Plead the 5th, and plenty of Weyerbacher's high ABV stuff from there so it's worth the $12.99 every once in a while.
  38. Lucular

    Lucular Poo-Bah (1,773) Jun 20, 2014 Maryland

    $2/beer for six beers...sounds like you'll be drinking a lot of AALs this week to get your average cost under $1/beer!
  39. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Meyvn (1,317) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Premium Trader

    I would say if you watch what you buy it can be a good deal. Avoid the old ones and you can usually get 6 decent beers. Depending on the store also you may get some decent stuff. It all depends on who is stocking and if they are wise to what they are doing. Some stores have people who just move old product and those I avoid, but other stores put out some good items.
    drtth and Squire like this.
  40. Giantspace

    Giantspace Defender (648) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Correct. I do treat myself every once in a bit. I was buying food and looked at the mix section and when I saw the expeditions I had to do it.

    zid, TonyLema1 and Lucular like this.