Here’s How Four Breweries Have Mixed Up the Mixed 12-Pack
The mixed 12-pack has played a prominent role in craft beer since its earliest days. Whereas even a six-pack can be a big commitment to a beer you might not like, plenty of breweries with a wide range of styles have opted to offer mixed 12-packs—typically including either four or six different varieties of said brewery's beer—allowing drinkers to sample different things or share with friends with different tastes. From a business standpoint, they’re also a great way to nudge drinkers towards styles they might not otherwise buy and show off a brewery’s versatility.
Now, the “craft brewery collective” known as CANarchy is tapping into all of these potential benefits but with an uncommon twist: Their inaugural CANarchy Mixed Pack, Vol. 1, will feature not just four different types of beer, but each of those beers will come from a different brewery under the company’s umbrella.
The two biggest names in the CANarchy repertoire are Oskar Blues—the Colorado-based craft brewery best known for leading the charge in making the can cool again—and Cigar City—the renowned Florida-based brewery that Oskar Blues essentially bought in 2016 in a move that solidified CANarchy as a major player in the beer world. So unsurprisingly, this initial 12-pack features the two signature beers from these two brands: Oskar Blues iconic red-white-and-blue canned Dale’s Pale Ale and Cigar City’s juicy Jai Alai IPA.
From there, the pack points buyers towards a couple flagship beers from two of the company’s lesser-known brands: Black Ale, an easy drinking dark beer from Michigan’s Perrin Brewing and Hop Rising, a 9-percent ABV double IPA from Utah’s Squatters Craft Beers. (For the record, CANarchy is also home to Three Weavers, Deep Ellum, and Wasatch who will ostensibly find their way into future “volumes.”)
CANarchy says these mixed 12-packs will first be available in North Carolina and Florida, two states where the company operates major breweries, starting on September 1 with “wider distribution expected soon.”
From a consumer standpoint, these 12-packs offer plenty of positives: a nice variety of beers from solid breweries sold in one convenient package—and if you aren’t familiar with any of these beers, you might as well be.
But in a larger sense, this collection of multiple breweries (albeit under one ownership group) in a single package also further illuminates the level of competitiveness that’s continuing in the upper ranks of the craft beer world. CANarchy bills itself as “a disruptive collective of like-minded brewers dedicated to bringing quality and innovative flavors to beer drinkers in the name of independent craft beer,” but in this 12-pack, these four “independent” breweries are literally huddled together in their search for more strength.