I don’t believe it’s this way in most the rest of the country, but supermarkets in New York allow you to break up six-packs. This is great because you only have to take a chance on 12 ounces of beer, never getting stuck with a potential 72 ounces of shit. Here are some Manhattan supermarket beer-buying tips:
Whole Foods is still the king of supermarket beer-buying in New York with an exquisite and plentiful selection. And at fair prices too. Aside from the Bowery location, all the other locales allow you to break up sixers and seem to have an unwritten rule of charging exactly $2.50 per beer single. That’s not a great price for a lot of one-offs, but for some big boys it is remarkable (see: Ayinger Celebrator).
D’Agostino is located right across the street from me and has a decent enough selection, with the full line of Stone bombers for as cheap as $3.99 per. They have the most rational single deal, selling looseys for exactly one-sixth of their six-pack price. Unfortunately, most of their cashiers can’t do the basic math formula:
(6-pack price) / 6 = what I ask the customer to pay me
Often you might find yourself standing in line for an extra fifteen minutes watching the abacus inside the register ringer’s head churn as several co-workers gather around to try and assist. This will lead to hipsters and surly old people behind you in line getting upset at your for being the guy who couldn’t just act normal and buy a straight six-pack but who instead bought six bottles of six different beers.
This is a prevailing theme at NYC stores, though, and D’Agostino is sadly nowhere close to being the worst offender.
Also, sometimes you can scam D’Ag when it comes to fancier craft breweries that sell their beers in four-packs. In this scenario instead of doing:
(4-pack price) / 4 = what I ask the customer to pay me
they still divide by six, cutting your price point down a bit. And I know your next question. Yes I’m a 29-year-old man that gets my jollies out of duping supermarkets out of a buck or two. Sue me.
Gristedes is far and away the biggest piece of shit store in the entire metro area. Filthy, messy, product strewn all about, terrible prices, chaos everywhere as if some looterious riot has just occurred, and painfully inattentive employees. However, they have a pretty darn good brew selection. Nevertheless, they don’t seem to allow you to break up sixers, though I’m not sure even the managers there know official store policy.
Several times I’ve gone to the register with a bottle or two and had the cashier woman nonchalantly say, “That’ll be $10.99.” “For a single beer?” “You get charged the entire six-pack price.” “So, I get charged $10.99 whether I buy one beer or six beers?” “Yes.” “You didn’t think it would be wise to tip me off to this before ringing me up?”
Let’s just say the workers at Gristedes don’t have a lot of horsepower between their ears. No wonder the store is going bankrupt.
Food Emporium has an adequate beer selection but no sixers remarkable enough to consider breaking apart. I rarely go there for beer, especially because most of it is not refrigerated.
Morton Williams has a damn fine beer selection but the aisles are incredibly narrow even for Manhattan standards and I simply don’t viscerally like entering the place. The name alone sounds like a paint store. Sherwin’s half-brother or something.
I picked up a grab bag of singles at D’Ag over the weekend. And yes, it took about 25 minutes for the women to figure out how much I owed, and even then she screwed up.
As I’ve mentioned before, when September and October roll around, I will pretty much purchase every single Oktoberfest and pumpkin ale I see on the shelves. Post Road Pumpkin Ale is Brooklyn Brewery’s offering, and quite frankly, I cannot recall ever trying it, though I’m certain I must have in the past.
Right off that bat I thought I was tasting a simple spiced beer as I was absolutely overwhelmed by nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice, I could barely detect any pumpkin flavors at all. And though I do like a lot of spiciness in my pumpkin ales, the big guy should still be front and center. Luckily, the pumpkiny tastes do come through eventually though not as much as I like. I want to be nailed in the face with a nice slab of pumpkin pie, and Brooklyn didn’t quite cut it.
Having said that, Post Road Pumpkin is a very drinkable and oddly refreshing pumpkin beer. However, I’m starting to realize after having finally tried the brilliant Pumking this season, that most others are just going to seem inferior, dwarfed in comparison. Wish I’d made Pumking my last pumpkin beer of the autumn instead of my first.