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WalMart Makes Good On Craft Beer Promise

This morning on my way into work I had to make a quick WalMart run.  My wife has been couponing to save our family $$ and she made a run to WalMart yesterday, and had a few things she forgot so sent me this morning on my way into work.  As I was making my way through the aisles and I heard the tinkling of glass bottles.  I realized they were restocking the beverage area when I remembered the post I did last week about WalMart carrying more craft beer items.  So I thought I would check out their beer selection.

Turns out the tinkling I heard was actually wine bottles being restocked, but I did manage to make my way back to the beer section and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a sixer of Jubelale and a case of craft beer!  That’s right WalMart did indeed have craft beer.  I picked up this sixer of Deschutes Jubelale which is the brewery’s winter seasonal.  It was priced right too at $7.59, that saved me a couple bucks from anywhere else I can find it.  Their selection, while limited was better than expected.  They had quite a few offerings from Deschutes including their Mirror Pond pale ale, Black Butte Porter, the Jubelale, and their Inversion IPA.  All solid offerings.  They carried Stone IPA, Alaskan Amber, and a lot of the New Belgian beers, including their mixed 12 pack.  The one that surprised me the most was the Boulevard What beer.  That was probably the most unexpected beer in the case, and one of the most exotic for these parts.

While this was a step in the right direction, they still have a long way to go to satisfy my inner beer geek.  First, they had no stouts available, unless you count Guinness, and everything they sold was by the sixer or 12 pack.  No singles and no bombers.  So while this is progress and a step in the right direction it is still baby steps at this point.  I’m going to check back, because I think they will find that this is a money maker for them, and I hope to see their selection grow.

When I bought the craft beer it made me feel like this:

-Don

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20 Comments on “WalMart Makes Good On Craft Beer Promise”

  1. October 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    well, i guess that i’ll have to swing by the local wally mart to check out what they have in their beer section…see if they have what yours does, or maybe something different…

    • Don
      October 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      It would stand to reason that different walmarts would have different craft beers, given the regional nature of craft beer. Check it out and let us know what you have in your area.

  2. Evan
    October 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I don’t think I’ve been in a Wal Mart in the last decade. I’d actually have to drive past several bottle shops and breweries to get to the nearest one about an hour away.

    • Don
      October 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

      I drive past 4 walmarts on my way to work, so it isn’t an issue for me! 🙂

  3. October 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    I am not sure even good beer could get me into a Wal-mart

    • Don
      October 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      😉

  4. John
    October 28, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    This is a quandry you leave me with Don. While I do enjoy your and Jim’s blog very I DETEST the other evil empire. I rank them right after the banks that crashed wallstreet. I may have to only read Jims blogs from now on. It won’t be big beer that kills craft brewing it may be WALMART!

    • Don
      October 28, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

      Well John, we all have decisions to make. I will tell you that BOTH bottle shop owners here in Boise said that they thought it would be a good thing, in two ways. First they will expose many more people to craft beer, and might get them to look around at other beer offerings, and two if they become major retailers in the craft beer movement it will strengthen production. So those are two positives that might outweigh some of the negatives they also bring to the table. Finally, one of the major grocery chains out here is jumping in with two feet, offering bombers and a fairly broad selection. Fred Meyer is the chain in Idaho and the Northwest, but they are owned by Kroger, the largest grocery conglomerate in the world. If it is ok for them, it should be ok for everyone. and ultimately isn’t that what we want? More craft beer for everyone?

      • John
        November 1, 2011 at 10:21 am #

        Just say no to walmart!

        • November 1, 2011 at 10:33 am #

          That’s what I do. They moved in a few years ago to these parts, and I went a few times, but felt shady every time I bought something, like I was killing the America of my youth. F that!

        • Don
          November 1, 2011 at 11:11 am #

          Jim, you can’t kill something that is already dead… 😦

  5. Zac
    October 29, 2011 at 8:29 am #

    I have no qualms with Walmart selling craft beer. Matter of fact, I have no problems with anyone selling craft beer. For those of us out there that only have a Walmart to shop from this is great news. Most of the beer sold right now around me is packaged in camouflage and blaze orange, so this is a welcome relief. And kudos to those breweries, all of which are excellent and have a great local scene. Thanks for posting this Don, I would have never looked back there in the beer section, but now I will.

    • Don
      October 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      You bring up a good point Zac, many WalMarts were originally built in very small towns, and might be many people’s only regular exposure to craft beer! Those rural folks need craft beer love too, and if WalMart can give it to them, so much the better!

  6. Bellefay1
    October 30, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I was walking the beer aisle at Wal-Mart and noticed they had some local offerings (I’m in Atlanta) like Sweetwater and Terrapin but I was truly shocked to find several Canadian Breakfast Stouts just chilling next to the Corona and Red Stripe.

    Obviously I’m kidding about the CBS being at Wal-Mart but they did appear to make a small effort to stock some stuff beyond regular crowd of domestics and Newcastle.

    Grocery stores down here did attempt to sell bombers for a bit but they never appeared to move so the idea was scrapped.

    I doubt Wal-Mart will ever be able to satisfy anyone’s inner beer geek. Small batches of stuff that takes copious amounts of time and money to develop doesn’t strike me as something Wal-Mart would devote shelf space as opposed to say a 24 pack of something that they can move in a day. No one is going to associate Wal-Mart as being some beer mecca and for being such an international company, I doubt they would focus resources on regional/local level niche products like a 9 dollar bottle of beer.

    That being said, I’ve read and enjoyed the site for a bit. Thought today would be the day I’d finally post something. Keep up the good work.

    • Don
      October 31, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Well, thanks for posting, and welcome! I actually did fall for the CBS line, because many WalMarts are giving store managers carte blanche to bring in any and all craft beer items they can swing a deal for. I for one would think it would be cool to find a secret stash of Bitches Brew or something exotic at Wally World. I would think they put it there just for me! 😉

  7. October 31, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Meh. I’ll still buy my beer at the employee-owned grocery chain here in town as well as the few beer shops around. That said, we were supposed to get Deschutes months ago and it still hasn’t arrived.

    • Don
      October 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

      It might be the place to find it! They had a ton of Deschutes stuff when I was there last week.

    • November 1, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      Amen brother! Its the same reason I get my meds at the local pharmacy rather than Walgreens. I’d also buy my hardware from a local outfit–but Home Depot and Lowes drove them all out of business. Its gettin’ so K-Mart is considered a “local” store.

      But each of has to make his/her own decisions. If Wally World works for you–go fer it!

  8. November 1, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Any retailer that brings good beer at a good price strikes me as a good thing. On would assume that WalMart did not threaten violence on a craft beer supplier to put good beer on the shelves. We often whine that Budweiser & Miller/Coors hog 95% of shelf space. So, we should not whine (maybe even applaud) when a big box store opens precious shelf space for tasty beer at a good price.

    Good beer. Good prices. Good enough.

    • Don
      November 2, 2011 at 10:51 am #

      Good thoughts. 😉

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