Bill Brady, manager of a small Key Food store in Forest Hills, N.Y., has 12-packs and 18-packs in the back part of the store. Single bottles are sold warm in one of the center aisles, with no special displays, ever, since there isn't room.
The 8-foot section contains many individual beers. Most are imports, like Sapporo, El Presidente, Corona, Rebel, Czech, Foster's, the Molson family and Labatt's from Canada, St. Pauli Girl, with and without alcohol; Harp, Bass, Beck's and the non-alcohol version, Haak Beck; Amstel Light and Heineken. Domestic beers include Bud, the Michelob varieties -- the low-carb Ultra is doing very well, Brady said -- Coor's and Miller, and two kinds of O'Doul's. There are occasional American microbrews, too, such as Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and Brooklyn Lager.
Brady said he does not know what percentage of his business comes from beer, but SN has noticed on visits that there is always a customer taking a beer from the shelf. Brady isn't planning to try the ice tub method, even if he had room. He'd prefer to put them in a cooler. Most of his customers walk to the store, so they may not want to carry much. There is delivery service.
His selection method is to "try [brands] and see what [customers] like," rather than using a scientific study. Prices on the single bottles range from 99 cents to $1.39. Brady prices them by dividing the cost of a six-pack and rounding it off to the nearest 9. He says single-serve is no more profitable than packs. "Beer prices just went up, too," he noted.