BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Safeway's Seattle division here rounded up microbrew beers as part of a Western Days sales promotion.
Half a page of the weekly circular was devoted to a "Micro Brew Celebration!" of six-pack bottles. Eight brands were featured at prices ranging from $4.99 to $6.29 a six-pack.
Officials at Safeway's divisional offices here declined comment, but Tom Stockley, a syndicated wine and beer columnist for The Seattle Times, said Safeway strongly merchandises its microbrews in the stores and maintains one of the better microbrew departments in the Seattle area.
"In Safeway's displays, they always have the latest microbrews that are out. We have a lot of seasonal beers that are produced in this region. Safeway always displays the summer, winter and Christmastime special beers and makes a big deal out of them," he said.
"Safeway advertises microbrews every week and they frequently feature different wines and beers just because there is such an enormous interest here in those types of products," he added.
One Pacific Northwest microbrewer contacted by SN, who sells his products through Safeway, said the chain is "very in touch" with the local beer market.
"Seattle is very competitive with regard to the action in the micro set. Larry's has set the pace for selection. QFC has set the pace for general merchandising. Albertson's has set the pace for price and promotion and, in my opinion, Safeway is reacting across the board. In terms of total package, they are very strong," he told SN.
Stockley told SN that Safeway stocks an extensive selection of microbrews.
"Safeway's extensive microbrew assortment is probably spurred on by the fact that there is just an enormous interest in microbrews in this part of the country. We are sort of the capital of the microbrews industry in the U.S. New breweries are always opening up in this area and, as a result, the stores really have to stay on top of it," he said.
Items in the sale included Portland Ale in wheatberry, Oregon honey and seasonal varieties; and Full Sail Ale in golden ale, amber ale or seasonal varieties -- both brands at $5.69 a six-pack; and Pete's Wicked Ale in lager, red and honey wheat; and Spanish Peaks in Black Dog, wheat, pale and honey raspberry -- both brands at $4.99 a six-pack.
Thomas Kemper in Hefeweizen, Weizenberry and Helles Blueberry, and Pyramid Ale in Wheaten, Hefeweizen, pale, Best Brown and amber varieties were $5.99 a six-pack, while Red Hook ESB, Blackhook Porter, Ballard Bitter, Wheathook and Redhook Rye were $6.29 a six-pack. Imported Beck's in Bier, dark and Oktoberfest varieties rounded out the assortment at $5.49 a six-pack.