In Sainsburys

I shop at Sainsburys. Mainly because it's on my way home. And I'm quite partial to their beer range. Very partial, actually.

It's where I started buying bottled beer in the early nineties - Hobgoblin, Fiddler's Elbow. It's where my lager experimentation phases began - Czech, maybe German, definitely those Taste The Difference four-packs by Meantime (remember those)?

And it's where there are gems that find their way into my fridge today. I'm partial to beers by Fuller's and Adnams so am happy to pick up Bengal Lancer or Broadside. There's the smaller brewers who've won over shelf space thanks to the store's Great British Beer Hunt.

And then there was Brewdog. First listed thanks to the Beer Hunt in 2009 - when Chaos Theory was probably the best bottled beer to ever be sold in a British supermarket - they've gone on to promote Punk as a regular beer, albeit one that gets moved around the shelving. When bombers of Punk (well, 66cl bottles) came into stock, I had me a new fridge beer.

But no longer. And it's the price point that's done it for me. Prices have nudged up. When that 66cl bottle sold for £2.50, it felt competitive. When it was two bottles for £4, it was a steal. Now with that bottle at £2.99 and a 33cl bottle at £1.80 - and no multibuy offers - it feels like a raw deal.

Why? In part, because so many of the other beers appear on the 'three for a fiver' deal. And one of those beer is Goose Island IPA.

I like Goose Island IPA. And the three bottles I picked up tonight are fresh and hoppy and oily and zippy and prickly and, and, and... everything I'd expect a US import on a UK supermarket shelf not to be.

And it's three bottles for a fiver. And it tastes more exciting than Punk.

The bottom shelf of the fridge at Scoop Towers has a new resident beer.


  1. Would be my choice every time Scoop, knocks Punk into a very weather beaten cocked hat

  2. I've been stocking up on Goose Island IPA as well. Too good a deal to miss at this price!

  3. Worth taking a look at Sainsbury's own-brand American Pale Ale as well, if you haven't tried it yet. Brewed by Tap Room Brewing Co, it's one of those malt-led pale ale's that's delightfully quaffable. Only a 330ml bottle, but it is a 5.something percenter and it rotates into the 3-for-£5 deal quite regularly. As does Sam Adams Boston lager, (which I'm partial to as well).

  4. tbh I find the Tap Room APA and IPA insipid. If drinkers want a sweet-edged malt-heavy 'pale' there's plenty of English examples in stock. Shipping over a US beer and labelling it in the TTD range when it's sweet & mealy doesn't do anyone any favours.

  5. I actually bought some of that on this recommendation and you know what? yeh you're right. It's not bad.

  6. Never find the beer range in Sainsbury's that good - often problems with stocking advertised ranges etc. Tesco does a far better range of bottled beers

  7. Horses for courses, I suppose. I shop at a large branch of Sainsburys that's nearly always well stocked. As for range... Tesco has some interesting left-field selections. But my favourite supermarket for beer range has to be... the one I'll write about next month.