This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Costly 12-Packs and Long Lines Don't Help Craft Beer

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Limited-release beer is the crown jewel of craft beer, but it's weighing heavily on smaller brewers in recent months.

This year, Chico, Calif.-based Sierra Nevada assembled its Beer Camp Across America mixed pack by going around the country and collaborating with a dozen different brewers to create 12-pack of beers to celebrate the opening of their new brewery in Mills River, N.C., in August. Sierra Nevada is on a seven-city tour to promote both the brewery and the 12-pack, which got some help from Colorado/North Carolina-based Oskar Blues, Pennsylvania's Victory, Wisconsin's New Glarus, Oregon's Ninkasi, Maine's Allagash, Michigan's Bell's, Indiana's 3 Floyds, Florida's Cigar City and California's Russian River, Ballast Point and Firestone Walker. The cost? About $25 to $30, according to both Sierra Nevada and our own experience at local bottle shops.

Considering that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 12 Packs and the brewery's 4 Way IPA Variety 12-Pack typically sell for between $13 and $14 a pop, Sierra Nevada's Band Camp Across America pack nearly doubles that price. Given the logistics of working with these various brewers, bottling and canning each beer separately, making enough to sell without diminishing overall production capacity and assembling a six pack that includes two cans from Cigar City and Oskar Blues (with spacers), there's a lot more work behind that price than the simple 12-pack box lets on.

Read More: What You're Really Paying For That Beer

It's something that beer geeks will jump at -- and something they'll spend $65 in admissions fees to get their hands on during Sierra Nevada-sponsored festivals in Philadelphia and Mills River this weekend -- but it's also a lot of overhead and effort aimed at a small audience during a time when Sierra Nevada is only getting bigger. The brewery produced 985,000 barrels last year and may top 1 million this year -- joining only Samuel Adams producer Boston Beer Company (at more than 3 million barrels) and Pottsville, Pa.-based D.G. Yuengling & Sons as the only U.S.-based brewers to cross that threshold.

While it's tough to argue with Sierra Nevada and craft beer's recent success, there's suddenly something counterintuitive about producing the high-priced, high-margin, limited-quantity special releases that once served as craft beer's best world-of-mouth advertising.

Read More: Glass Half Empty? The Great Craft Beer Selloff

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
BREW $13.65 0.00%
BUD $122.55 0.00%
SAM $268.14 0.00%
STZ $114.48 0.00%
TAP $73.26 0.00%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs