bottle shop

Breaking up six-packs – right or wrong?

Last Thursday night threw up another instance of a real issue I have about buying beer – whether or not to break open a six-pack.

I was in Dan Murphys  looking to blow the $50 gift card I got for Christmas. Rather than buy beers I’ve had and liked before I opted for a range of beers that I’d been putting off buying for a while.

If only the Kostritzer at Dan Murphys came in easy-to-remove packaging like this and not a frigging box.

If only the Kostritzer at Dan Murphys came in easy-to-remove packaging like this and not a frigging box.

That essentially means beers from Europe because, while I will buy any beer from the US that I see on a Dan Murphy’s shelf because I think it will taste great, I don’t feel so sure when it comes to European beers. I think that’s got something to do with living in the United States for a few years when I was a teenager. And a little to do with being an idiot.

And so I don’t want to spend my own money on beers I’m unsure about so I’ll wait until I get a gift card because then it’s someone else’s money I’m spending (yes, I know that technically, it’s still my money, as it’s my present I’m spending. But you can just shut up with your logic, okay?).

Anyway, one of the beers I was aiming to try was the Kostritzer black lager. But there was a problem – that beer has a stupid form of packaging for its six-pack. It’s an enclosed box, which makes it difficult to break up the six-pack to get one beer.
Well, difficult for me anyway, because I have a bit of a problem with breaking up six-packs. Not in terms of lacking the strength to tear the cardboard apart, but in terms of leaving a ‘‘five-pack’’ in my wake.

I figure those ‘‘five-packs’’ must be a big pain in the butt for bottle shop owners, because it makes them so much harder to sell. I’m sure that no-one has ever walked into a bottle shop and thought ‘‘I’m thirsty, but six beers is one too many to satisfy. Oh why does no-one sell five-packs?’

But on the other hand, I want to try some new beers but I don’t want to have to buy a whole six-pack because it could be terrible.

If someone else has already turned a sixer into a fiver, then I have no dramas about taking a single. Way I figure it I’m doing the bottle shop a favour by reducing the number of singles they have to sell (because I presume that’s the ultimate destiny of broken six-packs).

But, curiously, my guilt about breaking open a six-pack rises the harder a beer is to extricate. So the Sierra Nevada style six-packs, where I can lift the beer straight out, don’t cause me much concern. The next step up, the six-packs that feature cardboard yokes around the neck, are a bit different because they require a bit of tearing on my part to get the beer out.

Then there’s the boxed-up six-packs like Kostritzer, where you really need a knife – or a key – to break through the cardboard before tearing it open. How do I know a key works? Well, because after looking around to ensure there were no witnesses, I ripped open that sucker.
Then I felt guilty about it for more than strictly necessary. And I’m really hoping I’m not the only person who feels like they’re doing something wrong if they break up a six-pack.

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5 replies »

  1. I think it’s fine, the bottleshop makes more profit on singles. At places like Dan’s and 1st Choice where you get mix’n’match discounts they expect you to do it, it’s part of their marketing. The only person to feel sorry for is the next customer if it was the last sixer and they now have to buy a sixer of something else, but it’s time for them to experiment so everybody wins.

  2. I’m guilty of breaking up a few happy six-packs myself…but there is nothing worse than picking up the last six-pack of a beer you’ve been hunting for, only to find that the sixth space is empty 😦

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