Just like many of you, I saw the Colbert Report episode where Stephen discussed the new private label beer that the Walgreens company just released named “Big Flats 1901″ which is priced at $2.99 for a 6 pack.
That’s an incredible value at just $0.50 per 12 ounce can of beer. I couldn’t resist picking up a six pack of Big Flats to sample the budget brew while purchasing a few other types of beer for a Super Bowl party.
The beer options at the Super Bowl party included Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Coors Light, Michelob Ultra, Big Flats 1901 and Bud Light. Surprisingly, the six pack of Big Flats 1901 was consumed by the thirsty football fans in a matter of minutes.
I’m sure that sheer curiosity helped eliminate this beer from the fridge. I heard no complaints, and some comments of disbelief at the low price.
Poured into a chilled glass, the Big Flats 1901 looks similar to any other light lager beer with a golden hue, a rich foamy head, and effervescent bubbles. I’m not a beer snob or connoisseur, so to my unrefined palette it tastes similar to other popular beers that you would commonly find being consumed out of kegs or at bars such as Bud Light, Coors Light, Michelob Light, Milwaukee’s Best, Busch Natural Light, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The alcohol content of Big Flats 1901 is also very similar to other competing beers at 4.5%.
For just $2.99 per six pack or $11.49 for a 24 pack, I can see this beer becoming a best seller item for the Walgreens company especially for store locations near college or university campuses. It’s brewed by “Brewmaster’s Choice” in Rochester, NY which is responsible for several other store brand beers and liquors.
This may also be a great beer for those discerning beer drinkers to keep on hand for their friends that don’t appreciate the latest micro brew that cost you $10 for a six pack. Just pour the Big Flats 1901 into a chilled mug and they’ll hardly even notice.
I’d love to see other retailers get into the generic or store brand beer game. As a loyal Costco member, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a case of “Kirkland” brand beer from Costco if they offered it based on the quality of their other store brand products. Perhaps an Up & Up or Archer Farms Beer from Target, or Equate Beer from Wal-Mart would quickly follow Walgreen’s lead in the near future.