beer business

Dan’s makes new Connections

Some of the beers from the Dan Murphy's "Connections" range, with the octagonal symbol on display.

Some of the beers from the Dan Murphy’s “Connections” range, with the octagonal symbol on display.

Question: What do these brewers have in common – Brew Cult, Deschutes, Nomad, Birra del Borgo, Birra Baladin, TO–OL, Sixpoint, Clown Shoes and Brew Fist.

If you answered that question by saying ‘‘they’re all beers you can’t buy through Dan Murphy’s’’ then you’re wrong.

Because you can.

Now don’t go running to your local Dan’s outlet, because you won’t find them on the shelves. That’s because I said they’re available through Dan Murphy’s, not at Dan Murphy’s.

They’re available via an interesting new effort from Uncle Dan’s called ‘‘Connections’’. You go to the Dan’s website and scroll through their products and some will have an odd-looking octagonal symbol next to them.

That means you can’t buy the product from Dan’s but if you click the ‘‘buy’’ button, then Dan’s will take your money and pass it and the order onto the actual supplier.

Then the supplier packages your order and mails it to you.It’s good news from some brewers because it will likely mean the beers are fresher and haven’t been sitting on Dan’s shelves under lights all day every day.

It’d likely also be good news for beer buyers as it might expose them to beers they probably wouldn’t know existed. Especially for those in regional and rural areas.

But I reckon it won’t be good news for the independent bottle shops who already handle mail orders for these beers. A quick comparison of a few prices between the venerable Slowbeer and Dan’s Connections shows a bit of a disparity.

Dan’s price for Sixpoint’s Resin is $5.79 compared to Slowbeer’s $7.50. Brewcult Hopzone is cheaper too – $2.92 per 330ml bottle compared to $4.50. Same goes for and Birra del Borgo’s My Antoniou is $15 via Dan’s but $18 via Slowbeer.

In both cases, this is before postage – which may end up evening things up. Or it may not.

Now while I’m normally a fan of Dan’s I’m not entirely comfortable with this idea. I don’t exactly know why but it just doesn’t feel right for some reason. I do know if I’m ordering any beers by mail I’ll be using the independent bottle store.

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