- Feb 17, 2009
- Reaction score
- Alexandria, VA, USA
If I hit a 7-11 it tends to be BMC, Corona and some choice of Dos Equis, Tecate, and Negra Modelo, Heineken and _maybe_ one of Beck's, Stella Artois, or Pilsner Urquell, and possibly a very small selection of other beers that (if it exists) most likely includes Guinness extra stout and/or Sam Adams. BMC get 2/3 of the cooler space. Malt liquors abound.At my local grocery all the big brands get the big display cooler. Rogue/Stone/etc. get a small unrefrigerated shelf stuck in the corner...some not even visible if standing at the refrigerated display cooler. I literally did not know they even carried the high-$ stuff until I searched around.
If I go into a couple of the local Giant/Safeways (regular grocery stores), there's a long beer aisle that's 60% major macros and 40% other stuff; the BMC gets the front end display but the selection is okay. Nothing from really small breweries, but there is a small emphasis on local options and you can get Sam Adams, Sierra, Anchor, Harpoon, Clipper City, Tupper's, Old Dominion, Paulaner, Dogfish Head, Widmer, Red Hook, Flying Dog, etc along with a wider selection of major imports than the 7-11 has (e.g. Bass, Harp, Boddington's, Guinness draught, Sapporo, Kirin, Asahi, etc). They'll typically carry at least one seasonal at a time from the big guys (Sam Winter, Sierra ESB, etc) along with the "major" brew, and often more. This is a somewhat upscale area; in poorer neighborhoods the selection skews more heavily toward the 7-11 style.
If I go into Harris Teeter (upscale grocery store) the BMC section is quite small (and the malt liquors are nowhere to be found) and the import/micro section is huge. Last time I was there I got a Westmalle Tripel, an Allagash Grand Cru, and a Weihenstephaner hefeweizen (they also carry lots of American stuff including more non-regional stuff than Giant; on top of the Giant selection you'll get a couple choices from 10-20 additional west coast breweries like Stone, Rogue, etc). Whereas 7-11 might have 5-10 non-BMC choices, Harris Teeter will have 5-10 Belgian strong ale choices.
If I go into Whole Foods (highfalutin organic grocery store), there's no BMC stuff at all (except maybe Stone Mill or something--if so, it's hidden) but I can get a wide assortment similar to HT's of smaller stuff (with maybe a few less imports and a few more West Coast options).
Wegman's (another upscale grocery store) is either like HT or Whole Foods, I can't remember whether they have the small BMC section or not.
Then if you go to a beer specialty store (e.g. Total Wine, Lost Dog) you'll get 500+ beers; those places compete based on selection.