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04.2011

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnBeerReport

WALGREENS GETS INTO THE BEER BIZ

Walgreens is getting into the beer game. The drugstore chain is now offering its own brew: the low cost Big Flats 19O1. With a suggested retail price of $2.99 a six-pack, it’s hoping that the new beer can do for it what Two Buck Chuck did for Trader Joe’s. That might take awhile as reviewers have been less than kind. Even comedian Stephen Colbert spoofed Big Flats on his Comedy Central show saying: “Big as in the quantity you can buy with the change between your couch cushions. And flat for both the taste and the position it’ll put your body in. Who can resist a beer with the tag line ‘It’s the water that makes it’?” Still, it’s not all bad news. Craft beer enthusiasts consider it something of a novelty which means it’s getting plenty of blog time. “In a word, the taste is terrible, but at 5O cents a can, you can’t expect a whole lot,” wrote Gina Rakers at HoosierBeerGeek.blogspot.com. SIOUX CITY JOURNAL reviewer Tim Hynds wrote, “Overall, this beer is drinkable, especially at colder temperatures, and might even be decent after a lawn mowing session.” Dailybeerreview.com called it, “Not bad tasting, just bland.” On the site ratebeer.com, drinker descriptions ranged from “skunky” to “tastes better than Budweiser.” The beer is supplied by the Winery Exchange which, interestingly, brews other private label alcohol for chains such as Trader Joe’s and Costco. Walgreens is also coming out with a new table wine. Australian winemaker Daryl Groom created Colby Red, which is to be priced at $12.99. However, Walgreens doesn’t sell alcohol in Massachusetts so if you simply must try the new beer or wine, you’ll have to head north of the border.

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