20 November 2011

Thank you, HEB

If you mosey over to HEB.com you will find a page asking us to buy Texas Beer at HEB. And their list of Texas beer? Shiner, Saint Arnold, Real Ale, Independence, and Southern Star. No mention of Jester King, Rahr & Sons. Ranger Creek, or Austin Beerworks. (I don't think any of the other new breweries are bottling yet.)

It's good to see HEB starting to advertize Texas Craft Beer.  They've been running ads telling us their produce, meat, seafood and other goods are from Texas.  I have been shouting back at the screen, "What about Texas beer?"

I suspect that HEB would not be allowed to say they have Texas made beers on TV.  AB-InBev (with a Houston brewery) and SABMillerCoors (with a Fort Worth brewery) would demand they show all the brands they make in Texas.

To be fair, though, my HEB does carry Jester King and Rahr & Sons. And they have just remodeled their beer section and increased the amount of craft beer they carry.  (Most of it from brewpubs in other states. Sigh.)

It's very difficult to get your product into an HEB store. You have to go to San Antonio and meet with the corporate bigwigs who will be interested in your product, but what some assurances you will be able to keep enough product on hand for them to be profitable. They make no money when your shelf space is empty. In a former life, I worked in a grocery store, and the manager's first rule was: You can sell a hole in a whorehouse, but you can't sell a hole in a grocery store.

So, my hat's off to HEB for attempting to promote local beer.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 08:13

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