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Friday, February 12, 2010

The Four-Pack

One other interesting thing about Widmer's Deadlift is how it's being sold: in a four-pack. They aren't pioneering that system--Boston Beer, North Coast, and others have been doing it for awhile--but they're the first Oregon brewery I know who's giving it a whirl. When I certified Widmer's honest pints last week, I spoke to Rob about it, and I think Widmer as interested as anyone to see if four-packs are a viable way to sell expensive-to-produce beer.

The idea is to sell a four-pack at a six-pack price. I saw Deadlift at Freddy's yesterday and it was selling for $8.50. To use Bill's excellent six-pack equivalent system, that puts the price at $12.75. Spendy for a sixer, but quite competitive when compared with 22s. The cheapest 22s retail for about four dollars, a six-pack equivalent of $13.09. Five-dollar 22s--also quite common--have a SPE of $16.36.

I personally like them because when I buy an 8+ percent beer, I don't want to have to commit to a 22 or find a partner. But my preferences aren't always (read: almost never) reflected in the larger public. Will consumers look at the hefty price, the short box, and instantly think 'rip off?' or will they appreciate the relative value and convenient scale of the four pack? Time will tell.


  1. I also like the idea because it doesn't require me to commit to a full 22 ounces. My wife doesn't drink beer and my 2 year old isn't much help, so if I want a bomber of a high ABV beer it is all up to me. And sometimes I only want a single. Plus, it allows the purchase of a trial 12 oz bottle from Belmont or any finer bottle shop.

  2. I like four packs. Oskar Blues sells some of their heftier beers - Ten Fidy and Gordon come to mind - in four packs (cans, in their case). It's a better deal than bombers, and I don't need six packs of beer that boozy. It'd be nice if Ninkasi got in on the trend.

  3. I agree with Jason across the board.

  4. I'm all for the 4 packs! Like Jeff, I don't want to sit down and drink one big 22 oz. 8-10% beer. I like to sample my way through multiple beers. I'd rather sample a variety than just getting loaded on one beer. I'd even like to split that 12 ozer! I'm not about gluttonous drinking for the sake of getting drunk and that's what those 22 oz big beers seem to condone.

    What ever happened to the little 8 oz nipper bottles that Rogue and few other breweries used to have?

    I know what comments I'll get on my next statement, but here it goes... I have a cellar full of big 22 oz bottles of high gravity beers that I won't drink unless I have 2-3 people to drink them with.

    All that said, I wouldn't spend a dime for Widmer's Deadpimper.

  5. Soggy Coaster:

    Ninkasi is installing a bottling line for 12oz beers, but as far as I know they plan on using it mainly for 6pks of Believer, Total Domination, and the lower abv seasonals like Spring Reign. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually started putting out 4pks of Tricerahops or Sleigh'r, but I haven't heard anything official in that regard.

    Doc Wort:

    Rogue must have heard all the people bitching about the ceramic bottles, because they're re-introducing the 7oz nip bottles for their XS series. The imperial stout is out now, and the rest of the line-up should be coming out over the nest couple of months, culminating in the release of Hop Scotch (imperial scotch ale) this summer.

  6. General agreement!

    I too often have no one to split the bombers with, and going through one by myself is a serious commitment.

    Rasputin is in heavy rotation in my fridge for this very reason.

    And I'll also be happier to pay higher per-ounce prices for 8 oz. bottles of great beer, especially high-ABV great beer.