Variety packs are an interesting offering. A lot of the big- and mid-sized craft breweries shuffle them out — mostly IPA multipacks — but I’ve always been attracted to the format. The jury is still out on the success of variety packs, but the pandemic re-excited our idea about 12-packs in general. Stock up! During our COVID economy, 12-unit boxes made a surge and the format continues to gain packaging share among can formats.
The variety 12-pack comes with plenty of pros for the consumer — a chance to try new beers, multipack money savings and easy transport to the party. There’s also plenty of upside for the manufacturing brewery — rotational and classic beer placements, billboard packaging effect, input savings via a larger format/more volume and the idea that one SKU can showcase several varieties on the shelf.
There are also plenty of catches. A brewery needs high-volume brands to have success in 12-packs. For variety packs, breweries need multiple high-production brews that work well in a box together. Even then, it can be challenging to add a variety pack to coolers if you’re already pushing a bunch of other SKUs with similar products on shelves. Then, there’s the extra logistics and marketing involved in a variety box. At first, people will probably need to be paid to hand pack those variety packs, because while there are machines that package variety packs like this Climax unit in the video below, that’s a pretty big investment that requires a lot of volume.
A variety pack also means a variety of messages on the box. As this excellent CODO Design article points out, a variety pack is a great opportunity to move rotational or seasonal beers, but they also present a packaging challenge — how do you explain that rotating beer on the carton without making a million different 12-pack boxes? From the CODO article:
Stickers? Check boxes? A window in the packaging to let the seasonal beer peek through? Or, should you simply call it a “surprise seasonal” so you don’t have to mess with this issue at all? Yep, these all work. I can’t tell you which works best because your project context, brand and budget should drive that decision. But if you want to include a seasonal in your variety pack, you will need to figure this out. So, think about it now.
After all this, breweries may also need a little extra bait to succeed. A craft brewery will need those high-volume beers + a fantastic variety pack exclusive or, better yet, exclusives. Here’s a great example: Greater Cleveland’s Fat Head’s Brewing Co. includes an exceptional exclusive with its One Big Hoppy Family variety pack. It’s the only way to buy Fresh Hop Freddy, which is maybe Fat Head’s best IPA, in stores. The only other place to get Fresh Hop Freddy in cans is at the brewery in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, but I have three in my fridge right now via this IPA variety pack, which is the first of our “10 craft beer variety packs that have us excited to try new beer.”
This pack includes:
Sunshine Daydream Session IPA: One of the best session IPAs in America (if 5% constitutes a session beer) with big hop aromas and flavors of citrus, peach, orange and tropical fruit with a nice light malt backbone. This is my go-to backyard beer. ABV: 4.9%. IBU: 50.
Head Hunter IPA: Head Hunter is an award-winning, aggressively dry-hopped, West Coast-style IPA with a huge hop display of pine, grapefruit, citrus and pineapple. It’s one of the brewery’s flagship brands, and while this beer has tons of flavor, it is also a super clean drink. ABV: 7.5%. IBU: 80.
Groovy Juice Hazy IPA: Light in color, with a luscious, soft body, Groovy Juice Hazy IPA exudes tropical notes of passion fruit, melon and mango from Mosaic, Citra and Azzacca hops. This beer is dangerously crushable. ABV: 7.1%. IBU: 50.
Fresh Hop Freddy IPA: This variety pack exclusive has big, juicy tropical notes of guava, passionfruit, pineapple and melon, blended with bright citrus notes of lime and grapefruit. This brand uses fresh frozen hops to create its harvest-fresh flavor. ABV: 6%. IBU: 65.
Since I and perhaps you have been crushing on variety packs of late, I thought I’d pull together some of my favorites hitting the market this year. One thing about these variety packs that really stands out is there’s a lot of IPA variety packs, because IPAs still sell well, but let’s start off with some Maibock riffs.
Rogue Ales buries Dead Guy beers in Coffin Club pack
Dead Guy made the Maibock a classic craft beer with the help of its morbid mascot. Rogue Ales & Spirits holds a special place in my heart ever since I visited a million years ago. The company’s newest variety pack builds on the legacy of its most popular beer — Dead Guy Ale — matched with a spooky crew that includes the newly released Dead Guy IPA and two beers that are exclusive to the Coffin Club 12-pack — Dead Guy Pilsner and Dead Guy Pale Ale.
“We expanded the Dead Guy legend for those who connect with the spirit and image that Dead Guy represents but aren’t always looking to enjoy our riff on a Maibock,” said Hagen Moore, VP of marketing and creative, in the press release. “We wanted to make a product worthy of the Dead Guy name for everyone to enjoy — a Dead Guy for every moment. Our variety pack offers a taste of it all. The OG ale for our longtime fans, an IPA for the hopheads, a light crisp pilsner for day-to-night sipping and a well-balanced pale ale to round it out. There’s something for everyone and every mood.”
“We put a little twist on the old saying and like to say that variety is the spice of death. That’s why we packed four distinct and unique styles of Dead Guy into this macabre box of brews,” added Moore in the press release. “Dead Guy Ale, Dead Guy IPA, Dead Guy Pilsner and Dead Guy Pale Ale were buried in this box and are sure to bring life to your next party. You don’t have to be a Dead Guy to join the Coffin Club. Live now — rest later.”
Dead Guy Ale: In the style of a German Maibock, using Rogue’s proprietary Pacman yeast, Dead Guy is deep honey in color with a malty aroma and a rich, hearty flavor. Style: Maibock-Style Ale. ABV: 6.8%. IBU: 40.
Dead Guy IPA: Dead Guy IPA weaves Citra, Mosaic and Belma hops into a subtle malt body to create a bold, complex IPA worthy of the dead. Style: West Coast IPA. ABV: 7%. IBU: 69.
Dead Guy Pilsner: Dead Guy Pilsner reveals the lighter side of the dead with its pale golden color, subtle hop bitterness and crisp refreshing finish. Style: Pilsner. ABV: 5%. IBU: 34. Availability: Coffin Club exclusive.
Dead Guy Pale Ale: Dead Guy Pale Ale features El Dorado and Sabro hops to create a burst of tangerine and peach notes in a beer fit to raise the dead. Style: Pale Ale. ABV: 5.5%. IBU: 35. Availability: Coffin Club exclusive.
Founders Brewing’s gose Green Zebra variety pack is a fruity rainbow of flavors
A gose variety pack? Yes, please. Founders Brewing Co. has some very nice 12-packs in general, but its new Green Zebra gose-focused variety pack caught my attention for its fun packaging and interesting takes on sweet and salty. The variety pack will feature three new unique flavors brands and will be available just in time for spring.
The Green Zebra Variety Pack contains the original and fan favorite gose, Watermelon, and will include three new flavors — Peach, Mango and Pineapple. All four flavors come in at 4.6 percent ABV. Founders Brewing Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki said that Founders has always loved brewing with fruits and has found that the gose style of beer is a great backdrop for fun flavors.
“The original Green Zebra featured watermelon, and the slight sourness and saltiness of the base beer really made it refreshing and fun to drink,” Kosmicki said in the press release. “After experimenting with many other fruit flavors, we settled on pineapple, mango and peach as our favorite new additions to the Green Zebra family.”
The Green Zebra Variety Pack offers an array of delightfully tart and slightly sweet gose style ales. All four flavors are the highlight of this lightly-hopped treat, and give each a hint of satisfying juiciness to balance the tang and bite we love about the gose style. The soft mouthfeel and dry finish come courtesy of the addition of sea salt. These beers are sure to pair well with warm days and never-ending sunshine.
- Watermelon has a bold hit of refreshing watermelon juiciness.
- Pineapple has a delightfully tropical sweetness.
- Mango exudes the succulent sweetness of mango, which takes centerstage
- And Peach is a bold blast of peach sweetness.
Big love for Mother Earth Brewing’s exclusive Peaches & Cream Cali combo pack
Just the words cream ale make me thirsty, which is why Mother Earth Brewing Co. is always on my radar when I want a beer. The California- and Idaho-based brand also does great variety packs — like its Love Pack — but it’s the latest iteration of its Cali Combo variety pack that has me thirsting. Let me direct your attention to Peaches & Cream, which is the third flavor variety stemming from the original flagship ale Cali Creamin’ and its orange Creamsicle counterpart Cali Creamin’ Creamsicle. Now, all three are in a variety pack.
“Customer input and R&D have always been the key to the success of these beers, and Peaches & Cream is no different,” said Daniel Love, president of Mother Earth Brew, in the press release. “After years of collecting feedback and an exhaustive pursuit of the right peach/vanilla/cream ratio, we finally landed on a product that is going to please old school fans of the original Cali but also bring in those looking for something fresh and exciting.”
Cali Creamin’ Peaches & Cream will launch with a compelling 12-pack variety case known as the Cali Combo Pack, which features the trio of Cali flavors in a convenient 12-oz. mixed pack. The exclusivity means customers will need to seek out the Combo Pack in order to get their hands on Peaches & Cream in cans. Well played, Mother Earth. To do this, Mother Earth urges customers to visit its Beer Finder to locate Cali Combo packs or Peaches & Cream on draft at findmotherearthbrewing.com.
Peaches & Cream — Peach Vanilla Cream Ale — Using its flagship cream ale as a base, Mother Earth put an even more nostalgic twist on its style-defining brew. Cali Creamin’ Peaches & Cream highlights hints of vanilla and a distinct yellow peach flavor that finishes slightly sweeter than its original Cali Creamin’ counterpart. ABV: 5.0%. IBU: 8. Exclusively available in the Cali Combo Pack
Cali Creamin’ — Vanilla Cream Ale — Mother Earth’s flagship offering is golden to pale in color with low bitterness, medium body and a white head. The Cream Ale has redefined the category and made a classic style cool again. The brewery uses a bit of Madagascar vanilla bean to give it that cream soda kick. This beer finishes dry despite a subtle perceived sweetness from the Vanilla. This product is Vegan. ABV: 5.0%. IBU: 18.
Cali Creamsicle — Orange Vanilla Cream Ale — Using Mother Earth’s flagship ale as a base, the brewery puts an even more nostalgic twist on its style-defining brew, simulating your favorite childhood classic. The only difference? You don’t have to chase down the ice cream man. Cali Creamsicle features hints of vanilla and a distinct citrus cream flavor that finishes slightly sweeter than its Cream Ale counterpart. ABV: 5.0%. IBU: 18.
Cape May Brewing launches its first variety pack focused on its flagship beers
New Jersey’s Cape May Brewing Co. recently announced its debut craft beer variety 12-pack, which includes four of its flagship brews and a range of styles — Cape May IPA, Always Ready Hazy Pale Ale, Cape May White and Longliner Lager. As a backgrounder: Cape May Brewing started in 2011, and today its tasting room is one of the largest in the state, and let’s not forget about its relaxing Brewtanical Garden. The brand also has over 32,000 square feet of space at the Cape May Airport and several hundred flagship, seasonal and small-batch brews under its umbrella, distributed throughout all of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. Now, it has a variety pack.
“We are thrilled about the release of the Cape May Variety Pack,” said Cape May Brewing Co. Marketing Director Alicia Grasso in the press release. “It will give fans the opportunity to enjoy their favorites in one convenient 12-pack, while also giving new consumers the opportunity to try a Taste of the Cape by sampling a few of our core products.”
With a focus on core in 2023, a variety pack featuring a selection of the company’s year-round offerings was a natural next step for the brewery.
“Over the last decade, we’ve continued to grow our core brands and we’ve curated a selection of brews that best reflects our portfolio,” said Cape May Brewing Co. Director of Sales Josh Havey in the press release. “We experienced success in 2022 with the rollout of 12-packs of Cape May IPA, and as we expand our offerings and venture into new markets in Pennsylvania, we believe a Cape May sampler pack is a great way to introduce our year-round beers that we hope will offer something for everyone.”
The four fan-favorites in the variety pack include:
Cape May IPA: The American IPA named for America’s oldest seaside resort, Cape May IPA is loaded with floral and citrus notes, well-balanced with a zesty finish. A West Coast-style IPA brewed in the heart of the East Coast, it’s the beer that’s crafted on the Cape.
Always Ready Hazy Pale Ale: With the addition of wheat and oats for a medium body and with brilliant aromas of tropical fruits like pineapple, mango and citrus zest, this lush hop-bomb is Always Ready.
Cape May White: Brewed with orange and lemon peels, coriander, grains of paradise and Belgian Witbier yeast, this beer showcases fruity esters up front and an easy-drinking finish at the end. This is a traditional Belgian-Style wheat ale brewed in the heart of the East Coast.
Longliner Lager: Soft, crisp and balanced, Longliner Lager is a beer that will keep you going all year long. Whether you’re toiling away in the brewhouse, hitting land after a long two weeks at sea or kicking back on your day off, Longliner will be there for you.
Firestone Walker’s IPA Mixed Packs featuring Psychedelic Arcade and Hop Fighters
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. has been in the variety pack game for a while now, and it continues to get my attention with its limited-edition variety pack releases. Its IPA Mixed Packs are always a safe and satisfying buy, and I’m excited for two variants in the spring editions, which will include Psychedelic Arcade and Hop Fighters — two new treasure beers available exclusively in the brewery’s first IPA Mixed Packs of 2023.
The canned Firestone Walker IPA Mixed Pack featuring Psychedelic Arcade is rolling out now to all Firestone Walker markets and locations. This pack also includes Hopnosis, Mind Haze and Union Jack. Concurrently, a parallel bottled IPA Mixed Pack featuring Hop Fighters is rolling out to the California, Arizona and Nevada markets. This pack also includes Hopnosis and Union Jack. Let’s get into these brews…
Psychedelic Arcade: West Coast Golden Rye IPA | 6.3% ABV — a West Coast Golden Rye IPA that goes full tilt on flavor. First created at Firestone Walker’s Propagator R&D brewhouse in Venice, California, Psychedelic Arcade was leveled up for this special release. A base of 2-Row and Rye malt sets the tone with expansive textures, while a blend of Galaxy, Strata and Nectaron hops delivers mind-blowing flavors of tropical fruit, blueberry and grapefruit.
Hop Fighters: West Coast IPA | 6.4% ABV — Also now landing: Hop Fighters, a new age West Coast IPA that is destined to invade your senses. A clean malt base of 2-Row and Munich paves the way for a high-flying blend of Cashmere, Chinook and Idaho 7 hops, all from the great Pacific Northwest. The result is an out-of-this-world shootout of citrusy hop flavors with hints of tropical fruit.
The spring IPA Mixed Packs also include the following Firestone Walker classics:
Hopnosis: Cold IPA | 6.7% ABV — Hopnosis is the culmination of Firestone Walker’s 15-year quest to master the IPA style. Brewed with Mosaic Cryo Hops, Hopnosis is a seamless, aromatic and explosively tropical beer, employing Cold IPA brewing techniques to create an ultimate new-school expression of a West Coast IPA. The resulting beer delivers pure hop character with minimal bitterness, loaded with flavors of mango, passionfruit, white grape and lychee.
Mind Haze: Hazy IPA | 6.2% ABV — From the coast of California comes Mind Haze, a free-spirited beer made to elevate your perceptions — juicy, fresh and loaded with an imaginative array of tropical hop flavors. This is a hazy IPA done the Firestone way. Mind Haze is ultimately a beer that breaks the mold with explosive hop aromas.
Union Jack: West Coast IPA | 7% ABV — Union Jack is a West Coast IPA style, for those who like their beer loud and proud. Union Jack is the IPA that helped blaze the trail for the revolutionary West Coast style. Named for the British Lion who cofounded the brewery, Union Jack is intensely hoppy yet eminently drinkable from start to finish. A fad-proof IPA for any hop head.
Tröegs introduces Seasonally Rotating Canthology variety packs
With its recently updated canning line, Tröegs Independent Brewing is embracing cans in a big way. The heritage brand recently announced the release of its seasonally rotating Canthology variety 12-pack in cans. This iteration of Canthology will replace the Hershey, Pennsylvania brewery’s long-running Anthology variety 12-packs of bottles.
At the core of each Canthology pack is the bold and citrusy Perpetual IPA, Pennsylvania’s best-selling IPA. The four rotating packs will also include three 12-oz cans each of other popular seasonal and year-round Tröegs beers. Canthology Volume 1, the first in the series, features the bright and crisp Sunshine Pilsner as well as two seasonal releases: Hop Horizon, a juicy IPA for spring; and cult-classic Nugget Nectar, an excessively dry-hopped imperial amber ale.
The rollout of Canthology coincides with the completion of a year-long construction project that started back in 2022. Last March, Tröegs broke ground on a 15,000-sq-ft addition to expand its packaging hall and add a state-of-the-art canning line.
“The new line will allow for separate bottling and canning,” said Tröegs Cofounding brother Chris Trogner. “It’ll increase the production speed, capacity and quality of our canned beer. And we’ll also be able to work in some new pack types.”
To help facilitate a smooth transition from bottles to cans in its variety packs, Tröegs commissioned a new piece of equipment at its warehouse and logistics center in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
“Our new variety case packer will allow us to build all of our variety packs in-house,” said Cofounding brother and Brewmaster John Trogner in the press release. “We’ve been under construction for 25 years. That’s what we love to do — continuously improve and expand. We’re always thinking about what we can do in the next year, the next five years, the next 20 years to make the brewery better as a whole.”
Canthology Volume 1 is now available everywhere Tröegs beer is sold. Beer drinkers can look for a new Canthology variety pack every three months in step with Tröegs’ seasonally rotating Hop Cycle IPAs.
Perpetual IPA is one of the best beers in America. Cycling through Tröegs’ HopBack vessel and its dry-hopping method, this bold imperial pale ale emerges rife with sticky citrus rind, pine balm and tropical fruit. ABV: 7%.
Sunshine Pilsner nails the complex balance of two-row barley, zesty Saaz hops and lager yeast. Secondary fermentation creates natural carbonation that delivers soft notes of fresh-cut straw and flowering herbs. In the end, this bright and refreshingly clean American craft pilsner is a go-to when the sun is shining. ABV: 4.5%.
Hop Horizon is your shortcut to where the sky meets the bines. A blend of pale malts, wheat and oats lays down a base of gentle grain. Then a combination of Citra, Mosaic and Sabro hops unleashes juicy waves of sweet citrus and bubblegum with a punch of tropical fruit. ABV: 6.5%.
Nuggest Nector blends super-fresh hops into an imperial amber ale. Excessively dry-hopped, Nugget Nectar is an explosion of pine, resin and mango. ABV: 7.5%.
Shiner Beer’s Desert’s Dozen variety pack is all Tex Hex IPAs
Shiner Beer has a storied history that dates back to 1909, and the brand’s classic brews are still made in Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. The Shiner Bock brand specifically is an integral part of Texas beer culture, but Shiner has diversified its product line over the years. For instance, Shiner Beer recently launched its Wicked Haze Double Hazy IPA — the fourth addition to its Tex Hex IPA trilogy — which all come in the awesome-looking Desert’s Dozen variety pack.
Let’s start with Shiner’s first double Hazy IPA — Wicked Haze (SPR: $11.99//9.5% ABV / 50 IBU) — which is a punchy, tropical brew with notes of pineapple, candied citrus and light pine. Brewed with cactus water and cytogenetically enhanced Idaho 7 hops, this bold beer brings a light, crisp body, juxtaposed by a bold bouquet of hops with a slight resinous finish.
The other Tex Hex varieties include Bruja’s Brew IPA, Desert Mirage Hazy IPA and Twin Dream Double IPA. These new products are available on select retailers and in stores at Kroger. (SPR: $19.99/12-pack). Let’s jump into a few of these:
Twin Dream (9.5% ABV / 80 IBU) — Shiner’s highest octane release yet, this double IPA balances immense hops and malt for a full-bodied flavor. Uniquely brewed using cactus water and a blend of American hops (Idaho 7 and citra hops), Twin Dream evokes bold flavors of citrus and pine.
Bruja’s Brew (7% ABV) is the first in a trio of IPAs from the brewers behind the iconic Shiner Bock brand. Bruja’s Brew is a mythical IPA brewed with cactus water that delivers a hops-forward aroma and flavor that is a mix of bright, citrusy, resinous and tropical, featuring a medley of tangerine, pineapple, citrus and stone fruit.
Desert Mirage IPA (ABV: 8%) is the second in Shiner’s newest IPA line. Tex Hex is a full-bodied hazy IPA with tropical flavors of pineapple and tangerine. Floral and resinous, this brew has a long, complex finish.
Redhook Brewery expands its iconic Big Ballard brand with a variety pack
The Big Ballard name pays homage to Redhook Brewery’s original location — the Ballard District of Seattle where the brewery was born in 1981. Redhook’s Big Ballard line of craft beers (like its Ballard Imperial IPA) are crafted as a take on the 1984 Redhook classic Ballard Bitter — an English-style Pale Ale with plenty of maltiness and upfront bitterness. In those early years, Ballard Bitter was branded with the catchphrase “Ya Sure Ya Betcha,” a nod to the area’s Scandinavian influence. Redhook first released Big Ballard Imperial IPA in 2010 as an ode to the bitter first-version, which was conceived at Redhook’s founding location, a converted transmission shop in the Ballard District of Seattle.
Since then, Redhook has released more Big Ballard brands, which are now conveniently packaged in a variety pack that include the original Big Ballard Imperial IPA, Hazy and Tropical. Let’s take a quick look at some of these beers.
Big Ballard Imperial IPA: The Redhook classic and fan favorite features a bold, assertive flavor, light amber hue and crisp finish with a lingering hop character. It’s a nod to the craft old-school.
- Aroma: Citrus, fresh cut grass, tropical fruit
- Flavor: Caramel notes, big bitterness
- Finish: Bitter, dry, lingering hop presence
- ABV: 8.6%
Hazy Big Ballard: The bold and juicy beer Redhook likes to call a “PNW-Style Hazy,” with tropical and citrus hop flavors and a full, hazy body. It’s a nod to the craft present.
- Aroma: Citrus and hops
- Flavor: Citrus and tropical hop flavors
- Finish: Lingering sweetness and bitterness
- ABV: 8.7%
Tropical Big Ballard: The latest release with delicious orange, pineapple, starfruit and coconut flavors to create a juicy IPA with a softer touch that suggests a tropical state of mind. It’s a nod to the craft future.
- Aroma: Tropical fruit
- Flavor: Brewed with orange, pineapple, starfruit and coconut flavors
- Finish: Lingering tropical sweetness
- ABV: 7.2%
Schlafly Beer’s Hazed for Days variety pack has three exclusives and a QR code giveaway
Schlafly Beer is the original independent craft brewery of St. Louis, and the brand recently announced the release of a new variety pack — Hazed for Days — a canned hazy beer variety pack with three exclusives — Mighty Haze Double IPA, Lightly Hazed Lager and Wavy Hazy Citrus Wheat — plus the year-round beer Just a Bit Hazy IPA. Not only are IPAs featured, but hazy lagers and wheat beers round out the selection for the ultimate pack made for hazy-loving consumers. Each pack will include a QR code that will link to the giveaway drawing of Schlafly’s limited-edition “Batches Be Crazy” swag.
“This new variety pack represents the work we collectively do at Schlafly — from our beer ideation process, to our pilot system trial brews, to pub-only batches, to being part of our full distribution portfolio,” said Schlafly Head Brewer Jared Williamson in the press release. “All four beers traveled through our internal process before making their way into the Hazed for Days pack. Each step of the process is important, and it’s exciting to see what started out as obscure little beer ideas now all grown up and getting shipped out to all our various markets.”
The Hazed For Days mixed 12-pack features three cans of each of the four beers, including:
Mighty Hazy Double IPA (ABV: 8.0%): Schlafly’s popular year-round IPA, with all its juicy hop flavor, gets turned up for a double IPA with tropical aromatics that come from new-school American hops: Strata and Idaho 7 and the classic Chinook. This creates an even bigger hop-and-haze experience for the drinker.
Lightly Hazed Lager (ABV: 4.5%): A classic Keller Pils style brew that features Michigan-grown Grunegiest hops, which were first bred at the Hop Research Center in Hüll, Germany.
Wavy Hazy Citrus Wheat (ABV: 4.1%): This wheat beer is fermented with lemon purée which really gives it a bright and tart kick.
Just A Bit Hazy IPA (ABV: 5.0%): This IPA continues to be a top seller year-round and features a blend of Citra, Mosaic, Sabro, Amarillo and Cascade. It’s all about the perfect blend of hops that gives this the right amount of haze, aroma and juicy hop flavor.
This 12-pack is available across Schlafly’s distribution for $17.99 as well as Schlafly’s four brewpubs: Schlafly Tap Room in downtown St. Louis, Schlafly Bottleworks in the Maplewood neighborhood of St. Louis, Schlafly Bankside in St. Charles, Missouri, and Schlafly Highland Square in Highland, Illinois.
Great Lakes Brewing’s Hop Madness IPA variety pack includes new Vibacious brand
We’ll end this post where we started — with awesome Cleveland breweries. Great Lakes Brewing Co. is the classic Cleveland heritage brand, and it still makes some of the best beer in Ohio and, basically, anywhere in the world. The company (now employee-owned!) is celebrating 35 years in business in 2023, and it currently serves 14 states and Washington, D.C., with its award-winning craft beer. We’ve already covered all the coolness that Great Lakes is up to in 2023, but one of my favorite releases came this March with the Hop Madness IPA variety pack — a 12-can variety pack comprising a mix of favorite, new and rotating IPAs from the Cleveland craft brewery.
Each pack includes the new Vibacious Double IPA, TropiCoastal Tropical IPA, Hazecraft IPA and a Small Batch Rotator IPA exclusive to the Hop Madness variety pack. The new highlight here for me is Vibacious, which is Great Lakes first year-round double IPA released to all markets.
Vibacious: This is a remarkably smooth 9 percent double IPA brewed with a blend of Apollo, Cashmere and Citra hops for bright and bold aroma and flavor. Its low bitterness and big, expressive flavor make it a unique hop-forward offering in GLBC’s year-round portfolio. ABV: 9%. IBU: 40.
TropiCoastal Tropical IPA: Make a splash landing into paradise and discover a golden oasis of tropical fruit notes with this GLBC IPA. This beer is a hoppy hideaway you’ll want to escape to again and again. ABV: 6%. IBU: 60.
Hazecraft IPA: This brand is a cloudy cosmos of Azacca, Lemondrop and Simcoe hops awaiting your exploration. ABV: 6.7%. IBU: 40.
Small Batch Rotator IPA: An exclusive to the Hop Madness variety pack! Nature unknown.
That’s not the only variety pack Great Lakes is doing in 2023. There will also be the 12-pack bottle variety pack, which contains all the classics — Dortmunder Gold Lager, Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Commodore Perry IPA and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. There will also be the Gimme Five! 15-Pack can variety pack, which features Dortmunder Gold Lager, TropiCoastal Tropical IPA, Hazecraft IPA and introducing a rotating selection — Jan-Apr: Burning River Pale Ale and Crushworthy Lo-Cal Citrus Wheat; May-Aug: Watermelon Crushworthy and Mexican Lager with Lime; Sept-Dec: Cranberry Orange Wheat and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.
So many great choices. Now, it’s time to choose wisely.
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