Apr 25 2012
Variety 12-packs seem to be becoming increasingly popular nowadays and I regularly wonder how breweries decide what to include. My favorite variety packs come from Ipswich, Victory, and Brooklyn. These are all great breweries, but it is the specific kinds of ale included that draw me to these packages.
I have a tendency to believe that the inclusion of a Hefe or Hefe beer in a variety pack is the kiss of death. I think that not to be negative about Hefe beer, but in observation of the fact that most of us who imbibe pale ales or India Pale Ales do not tend towards the Hefe world. Is it the sharp contrast of styles that makes a package less captivating?
Troegs makes excellent stuff all around and we move thru the 6-packs with regularity. Their variety pack includes favorites like Hop Back Amber and a pale ale that makes for a tasty session beer, so it should be flying off the shelf. I think the discrepancy between heavy hops and wheat leaves many people not wanting to buy the mix, even though the 12-packs are cheaper than two 6-packs.
I mentioned Victory as one of my favorites. That pack incorporates Pilsner, Hop Devil, and Golden Monkey Tripel. That’s definitely a variety of flavors. I’m just charmed by all of their ales, as many are, so flavor contrast is less of a regret in this situation.
Ipswich and Brooklyn, however, have really hit the mark with their variety packs. I think that what makes these two great is the four brew combo representing different brews, but none of which truly contrast with the others. I recognize that Brooklyn includes their lager, which is a completely different brew from ale, but Brooklyn Lager is a strong illustration of the style with almost as much body as a pale ale.
Try out any of the many variety packs available next time you need a few different flavors at a favorable cost.
Tim Bush found his way to Colonial Spirits of Acton in 2002. It was beer that brought Tim to Colonial Spirits and beer that allowed him make an important contribution to the store. At this point ale is only a small part of what Tim does at the store, however he enjoys ale now more and more. Tim’s latest venture is Colonial Spirits Delivers, an online beer store that supplies wine, champagne, spirits, and beer delivery to Eastern Massachusetts.