Whole Foods, the popular organic/sustainable/kind/special grocery chain has been steadily taking over the world since the eighties. Despite fairly high prices, many of us have been guilty of walking into the colorful grocer and walking out in a delirium, clutching a box of dehydrated kale chips and kombucha and thinking, “My God, what happened?” Most recently, Whole Foods has (unintentionally, they claim) trolled people into buying asparagus water (see below). However, there is now another sector the seemingly inexhaustible organic world dominator has decided to break into: craft beer brewing.
Lots of grocery stores have stocked their “own lines” of craft beer, but not many have actually brewed it. What these stores do is called “white labeling.” They contract a brewery (or several) to make beer for them and then slap their label on the front. Now, there’s nothing morally wrong about this, but to be certain, Whole Foods is doing something differently. They’ve actually been opening brewpubs where they craft their own beer. At present, the brewpubs are only at select retailers in the U.S., but according to RetailingToday, the beers have been massively popular with shoppers. By September, every Whole Foods retailer in Texas will be selling the beers.
What’s the first brew on tap? The Post Oak Pale Ale. Whole Foods gives it a pretty standard description: “a deep golden beer that starts off with an orange marmalade sweetness and rolls directly into tangerine, grapefruit, and tropical tones.” Sounds good! Post Oak Pale Ale will be joined by thirty-eight more brother beers, all produced by Whole Foods Market Brewing Company.
It’ll be interesting, too, if Whole Foods tries to push their beers as craft products. Yet, since they’re owned by Whole Foods and not a larger brewing company, aren’t they? So far, if you peruse the Whole Foods Market Brewing Company website, it seems they’ve steered clear of the term, which could be pretty smart. This brewing company is currently quite limited in scope (as mentioned, the beers are not distributed at Whole Foods nationwide), and Whole Foods still distributes plenty of other craft beer brands. Still, we’re curious to see how these beers fare with Whole Foods shoppers. Will they eventually pose a significant threat to the other craft beers available? Moreover, will Whole Foods deign to sell these beers outside of Whole Foods?
Standby while we price scan your fresh chard.