The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the drug store chain Walgreens has rolled out their own private label beer in cans, called Big Flats 1901. Walgreens is carrying the new beers in 60% of its nearly 8,000 locations and the average price is about $2.99 per six-pack or 50 cents a can. Around 15 years ago, Walgreens stopped selling alcohol in all (most?) of its stores, but recently starting stocking it again in less than half of the locations.
It would appear that Genesee Brewing in New York, part of North American Breweries, is the contract brewer making the lager beer. The label refers to the it as “Premium Brew” and includes a generic “Genuine Brew” logo and the tagline “It’s the water that makes it.” Supposedly the name comes from the “flat boats that traveled the” rivers in upstate New York “delivering goods to early settlers.” Curiously, the trademark for the name “Big Flats 1901” is owned by the Winery Exchange, which styles itself as a “full-service, value-added, corporate brand beverage alcohol company that sources beer, wine and spirits from the finest regions worldwide.” They’re also located in the same small Marin County town where I live, Novato, California.