Six Pack Pressure

Picking a mixed six pack is stressful!

Have you ever given another craft beer loving friend a mixed six pack of stuff they have never tried? I have this week, and oh boy am I feeling the pressure?
 
It seems like a pretty easy task from the outset…
 
“Hey mate, why don’t we send each other a mixed six pack of beers from your local breweries”
 
But once I started to think about it a little more, I got a bit anxious about it all. I mean this is next level anxiety, the type of anxiety I used to get when I crafted awesome mix tapes for my girlfriends.
 
14f4c062-ad24-448c-8ef9-2ed7cad61e30Side note: For those of you under 30, mixtapes were an expression of your love of music, an art form, if you will. 
 
You needed serious skills to sit down with a double tape deck and create a master piece. I can only explain it as requiring a great understanding of “the vibe”. Knowing when to throw in a slow jam, or when to fire the listener up with what Top 40 Radio now refers to as a “banger”…the vibe.
 
Mix tapes were an analogue art form. The days constructing an ultimate mix, like clay on a pottery wheel, are gone. (Having said that, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has sparked my sons interest in cassettes and he recently pulled out my entire collection to have a play with!)
 
Today’s youth will never know the pleasure of searching a stack of cassettes for the perfect song to add to the mix. No way that kids of today would sit there in real time and listen to the song as it played from one tape to the other!
 
Well that was until the awesomeness of high speed dubbing came along, but that story is for another day.
 
But I digress with my walk down memory lane, back to the mixed six pack…
 
So here I am questioning how to pull this ultimate six pack together. Do I include:
  • the best beers;
  • the most unique beers;
  • the most popular beers;
  • hardest to find;
  • popular brands; or
  • the quirkiest y styles?
 Aaaarrrggghh!
 
All this deep thinking gave me an idea! I am sure many of you had faced similar situations, so why don’t I write an article about it. Open up the conversation with everyone and share experiences. So here goes!

What’s the budget? How many do I send?

Let’s be honest, craft beer is expensive. If you are talking limited releases, high ABV’s or barrel aged brews, you may not have change from $100 for a six pack!

Beer Healer says…

Easy, doofus. Set a budget with your swap-mate. $50 seems like a sweet spot for mine? Is that fair? I would spend $50 on coffee a week, so I can spend it on beer for a mate!

Whatever beer you pick, give your mate one of these and you will have won!

Are breweries in their market better than mine?

Much like a quick side-ward glance at a urinal to size up the competition, this can be nerve wracking. Around the world, the craft beer revolution has progressed at different rates. At one end of the scale you have “nude as the day you were born” start-up breweries. At the other end, the “I now grow more hair out of my ears than my head“ experienced and well established breweries.
 
Comparing a new brewer, who is still experimenting and learning, with a wily old veteran isn’t fair.
 
What if you are sending beers to another country, then the gap can widens even more! Oh geez, don’t get me started on that one!
Don't send this dude an entry level pale ale!

Don’t send this dude an entry level pale ale!


Beer Healer says…

Don’t worry about the state of the market in your area, swapping six packs is all about experiencing new beers.
 
New vs established doesn’t always work in the favour of the veteran. I can think of a few newer breweries across that have smashed it out the park in their formative years. One I can think of rhymes with “Hire-It Knife”, and they are the the pace setters for all to chase!
 
Side note: I don’t know for sure, but I am tipping that the new breweries who hit the ground running were were not “lucky”. Rather, the product of excellent planning, strict quality control and solid market analysis.
 
Those guys might have borrowed a few tips form the more wily old veterans…smart play I say!

If my opinion differs from public opinion on a beer, should I include it?

This is a tough one. You know how pop culture works. As soon as something becomes mainstream cool, the early adopters have moved on to the next best thing. I mean, my son has recently discovered the Beastie Boys and Skateboarding. I loved them when I was 13 years old, but do I embrace his new-found love, or poke fun at him being behind the times?
 
I embrace it by the way…I recently built him a quarter pipe and have been teaching him to drop in!
 

@willlukianenko learning to drop in. #skate #skater #skateboarding #skateboard #dropin #dads

A post shared by The Beer Healer (Chris Luki) (@beerhealer) on

So, should I worry if someone is ahead of me on the craft beer train and finds my latest beer crush to be boring?

Beer Healer says…

Like every good marketer, know your target market! Don’t get nervous about it , ask a few questions and understand where they are at. You don’t want to be sending a six pack of newbie craft to a near-cicerone beer aficionado!
 
You could actually use this as a learning experience for both parties. Your conversations might lead to you learning more about beer styles. You might challenge your perceptions on beers you thought were out of your league? A recent chat with a beer-loving mate of mine opened up my world to the wonderful flavours on offer in sour beers. In fact, at my recent GABS festival trip (see videos below), sour beers were pretty much all I tried!

Will they judge me based on my choices?

For someone who puts themselves out there in the big wide world of the internet, I worry about how people judge me. Yeah I know, all those silly videos, opinions and articles, and I worry?

Does it matter if they judge me on my choices?

Beer Healer says…

Decisions, decisions!

Decisions, decisions!Beer Healer says…

No matter what you do, your mixed six pack will not be perfect. Much like many of the mix tapes I made for now ex-girlfriends back in the day, you might get it wrong! But don’t worry, get back on that horse and ride again! Learn from your mistakes, teach others about the world of craft beer and enjoy it!
 
I am sure there are so many other things to consider when selecting the ultimate six pack. Leave me a comment, or shoot me an email, I would love to keep the conversation going.
 
One of my mates was in the bottle-o when I was searching for the ultimate sixer I mentioned at the start. As I perused label after label, he slapped me upside my head in frustration. He told me to stop being a beer wanker…“It’s just beer mate, get over yourself”, he said.
 
What did he know, he drinks mega-swill draught! I ignored him completely and went on self-obsessing over the beers I had picked up.
 
Some people just don’t get it!
 

Cheers to Great Beers!

 

 
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