Added by on 2014-04-16


It’s a clever marketing strategy.

It seems AB distributors in parts of Oregon and Washington (the reach of the campaign is uncertain) have issued updated price lists containing massive price drops on the Shock Top and Goose Island brands. Kegs that were previously selling to retailers for about $110 per half barrel will now be priced at $56. That’s not a misprint. No word on pricing for packaged versions of those beers.

That’s big news in some big craft beer markets.  Putting opinions on Shock Top aside for the moment, Goose Island is almost universally viewed as a quality craft brand, despite their status as a wholly owned “evil empire” company.

Look, the obvious goal of AB’s initiative is to gobble up as many tap handles in as many places as possible. It’s a rear guard action. These handles are apt to be in joints frequented by a lot of gateway drinkers. Hardcore craft bars aren’t good targets. Once they have the business, prices of Shock Top and Goose Island will gradually increase.

That’s the potential hazard.  The good news is that most “craft-forward” (is that a thing?) establishments will not be surrendering any additional taps to A-B products of any stripe, even if they can serve delicious beers like Goose Island at a huge discount.   Count me among those that is undisturbed by this news for that reason alone.

It also occurs to me that whenever I’ve been limited to a chain sports bar I would be anything but complaining if they had something like Bourbon County Stout (or almost any Goose Island beer) on the cheap.  Indeed, that’s exactly what I would be ordering early and often.

Leave a Reply