Apr 23 2012
Variety 12-packs seem to be becoming increasingly popular these days and I frequently wonder how breweries decide what to include. My favorite variety packs come from Ipswich, Victory, and Brooklyn. These are all great breweries, but it’s the specific kinds of ale included that draw me to these packages.
I tend to believe that the inclusion of a Hefe or Hefe ale in a variety pack is the kiss of death. I think that not to be negative about Weiss brew, but in observation of the fact that most folks who imbibe pale ales or India Pale Ales do not tend towards the Weiss world. Is it the contrast of styles that makes a package less tempting?
Troegs makes wonderful 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 great session beer, so it should be flying off of the shelf. I suspect the discrepancy between heavy hops and wheat leaves many folk not desiring to buy the mix, although the 12-packs are less expensive than two 6-packs.
I discussed Victory as one of my favourites. That package includes Pilsner, Hop Devil, and Golden Monkey Tripel. That is definitely a variety of flavours. I am just smitten with all of their ales, as many are, so flavour contrast is less of a regret in this situation.
Ipswich and Brooklyn, however, have truly hit the mark with their variety packs. I believe that what makes these two great is the four brew combo representing different brews, but none of which truly contrast with the others. I know that Brooklyn includes their lager, which is a completely different brew from ale, but Brooklyn Lager is a robust representation of the style with almost as much body as a pale ale.
Try out any of the many variety packs available the next time you want a few different flavours 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 ale that allowed him make an important contribution to the store. At this point beer is only a small part of what Tim does at the store, however he enjoys beer 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.