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Craft Beer Variety Packs

The craft beer variety pack is the world's biggest gamble. You could get introduced to your next favorite IPA. Or, you could get stuck with Old Fezziwig.

Woodstock Inn Brewery's Variety Pack of Craft Beer
Like gracious melodies, 12 cold beers

To be upfront, we are still waiting for the 12 individual beer variety pack to roll out. It's good to start off with that thought, since Woodstock's variety pack looked like that would be the case. Instead, it came with the standard 4 varieties per pack. However, it does look like they rotate their variety pack based on season, so that's something to be said.

The beers included were the Lost River Light, Pig's Ear Brown Ale, Red Rack Ale, and Exit 32, so named after the exit number that Loon Mountain, Lincoln, and the town of Woodstock share.

And you know, you could really taste the extra 100% More New Hampshire. Either that or cold beers just taste better after swimming in White Mountain-fed fresh lake water. Ahh, the Lakes Region.

Commercial Examples of Variety Packs

Dogfish Head (The Box That Goes BOOOOM!)

Dogfish gives us the Hazy-O!, Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA, Beer to Drink Music To!, and the SeaQuench Ale.

The latter beer is, "Objectively the most refreshing beer we’ve ever brewed, SeaQuench Ale is a session sour mash-up of a crisp Kölsch, a salty Gose and a tart Berliner Weiss brewed in sequence with black limes, sour lime juice and sea salt." according to Dogfish Head. Whereas the Slighty Mighty IPA is an excellent low calorie beer that still retains a pretty solid hop profile.

The Box That Goes Boooom Variety Pack from Dogfish Head Brewery
Dogfish always keeps it interesting.

Harpoon Brewery / UFO Splash Down

Harpoon wants to guide you through summer with a 12 pack of tasty, summer-y beers. If we dive into it a bit, perhaps a bit too summer-y. Let's check out the flavors. There's a pineapple, a raspberry, and a pink lemonade. It's reading a lot like a variety pack of Kool-Aid. That's not to say the beers were bad; they weren't.

But come on, Harpoon. It feels like you're stretching a little too far here.

Harpoon Brewery's Splash Down variety pack
Light-hearted is never a bad approach

Sam Adams

Sam Adams finalllllly put together a good variety pack here. After years of aggressively pushing Old Fezziwig, the Boston Beer Company drops a decent bass line to the summer season with the Porch Rocker/Sam Summer/Lawn Chair Lager/Beach Session IPA lineup. These beers are equally good for the beach, a backyard Wiffleball game, or as lawnmower beers.

The Peach was unobtrusive in the Beach Session IPA, which was great. The Lawn Chair Lager was unremarkable in a good way. A lemon radler is always welcome in our camp. And what can be said about the classic that is Sam Summer that hasn't already been said?

Beers of Summer Variety Pack from Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company)
Not a bad summer lineup

For those keeping score at home, the Porch Rocker is brewed with Hallertau Mittelfrueh Noble hops. Someone out there has to make a Craft Beer Variety Pack with each of the 4 beers being single-hopped by one of the Noble Hops. If not, they should.

Athletic Brewing Company

Athletic Brewing company didn't want high abv beers to have all of the fun, so they jumped on the variety pack train, too. If you don't know Athletic Brewing Company, they are a non-alcoholic brewery based out of Connecticut. They produce fantastic NA beers that closely mirror the real thing, only without the booze.