While drugstores are the place to go to get your cough drops and allergy tablets, they are also places to pick up another kind of medicine — the self-medicating kind found in alcoholic beverages.
We recently wrote about Duane Reade luring Brooklyn hipsters by offering high-end bottled beer and fresh beer on tap to go in Williamsburg. Now Walgreens is going in a completely different direction: offering its own private-label beer at the low end of the price scale.
Quietly introduced in mid-December, Walgreens now offers Big Flats 1901 lager in more than 4,600 of the chain’s 7,655 locations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“In just the first few weeks of sales consumer feedback has been very positive, as beer drinkers across the U.S. are thrilled to have such a quality brew at a value price,” Kathleen Burns, senior marketing manager at Novato, Calif.-based Winery Exchange (which produces private-label alcohol brands for retailers including Costco and Trader Joe's) said in a statement.
While we have to wonder at the name — “flat” isn’t a word that you want to associate with beer, although the name is meant to evoke flat boats that delivered goods to settlers in upstate New York — it’s obvious that the beer’s price is the real point here.
Big Flats 1901 may be labeled “premium brew,” but its price is anything but premium at about 50 cents a can, or $2.99 for a six-pack, though prices may vary by region.
In a new effort to become a “daily healthy and living solutions store,” Walgreens recently expanded its grocery selection. Chrissy Pate, co-founder of BeCentsAble.net, a forum for the U.S. grocery deals, told Good Morning America that Walgreens offers some of the best grocery deals around due to plenty of store incentives. Looks like Walgreens will now be the place to go for rock-bottom prices on beer, too.
Walgreens is surely betting that those who come in looking for cheap beer will probably leave with something else as well — and that those who come in for something else just might not be able to resist leaving with some cheap beer. That said, at least one YouTuber (below) reviewed the private-label beer and dubbed it "not bad."
And if beer's not your thing, fear not! Walgreens plans to launch Colby Red, its private-label wine brand, next month.