I love beer. I really didn’t as a child. My favorite relative, Uncle Jack once offered me a sip of his Rams Head Ale, which tasted bitter and nasty to me. Then I spent two years in college in Munich…and the rest is history;)

Since the late 90’s I’ve favored Fat Weasel Ale, sold by Trader Joes. I prefer its flavor to Bass, Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and other micro brews in general. (Don’t even get me started on this bogus Budweiser Ale.) Anyone that’s visited Holland or the U.K. knows that the Guinness, Amstel and Heineken sold here is a sorry substitute for the real deal. Fat Weasel posts its strength right on the bottle, 7.1 %. Plus, Fat originally sold for $3.99 a six-pack, which was a STEAL! In recent years, it’s inflated to $5.99, which I still consider a bargain.

A few years ago, Fat Weasel introduced a lighter, pale ale, which I decidedly did not like…but no worries, despite the fact that the dark often sold out. (Hmmm, maybe we should order more?) And then something very curious happened. They began selling the pale ale for $5.49…and my favored dark ale for $5.99 a six pack. What’s up with that? Is this a personal tax on Tucker’s libation of choice?

I put up with it for several months, then last autumn, I dug in my heels and decided to question this disparity. Each visit to TJ’s, I’d make a point of asking the manager, “Why the price difference?” They never had an answer but would always promise to look into it. I recently spent a month at Fresno State, teaching and performing with students. I repeated my inquiry at their local TJ’s…no one there had an answer, either but fortunately did stock my dark Fat Weasel.

This week, home again in Tarzana, I went to my local TJ’s, to stock up on Weasel for March Madness ….and guess what?

They are now selling both the pale and my favored dark ale for $5.49!
Don’t all thank me at once…but I am gonna take credit for it;)

Postscript: Well, it was nice while it lasted. TJ’s is now selling both for $5.99. So it goes;)

2 thoughts on “A CONSUMER TRIUMPH

  1. Appreciate your calling my attention to Fat Weasel -both versions – at TJs. Will give it a try. My wife and I frequent the local outlet and get off on their chocolate covered almonds and an occasional bottle of Two Buck Chuck when the spirit moves us.

    Net result on your lobbying effort seems to be a $.50 increase for a six pack of pale; for that you are to be thanked???

    Like you, my first brewed beverage experience, a sip of Schlitz at the age of 11/12, left me negatively impressed. Then something magical happened as I approached 18, the legal drinking age for beer in North Carolina – the forbidden fruit syndrome. Became a fan of PBR – Pabst Blue Ribbon – at a local drive-in that was not too picky about carding. Seems that it was a bit cheaper than the most major brands and decidedly better than Falstaff, the other popularly priced 16 oz. can – or tall boy, as we called them.

    You were rather blog-prolific in March and April, so I have some catching up to do. Hope all is well.