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Variety pack beer is a celebration of the wide diversity of lagers, ales and everything else you love in the beer world. When you buy a variety pack, you can expect to find a selection of different beers catering to different preferences and vibes. If the variety pack is coming from a single brewery, you can expect them to put their best foot forward, attempting to lure you into loyalty with their finest selections. Variety pack beer is ideal for avoiding options paralysis — if you can’t choose one type of beer to fit the mood, try a variety pack to give yourself options. Next time, the choice may be a lot easier.
As a wise man once said, life is like a variety pack of beer: you never know what you’re gonna get. Variety pack beer will include a selection of different flavors and styles to suit different tastes. You may get a variety pack of different beers from a single brewery, in which case they’re likely to put forth all of their best moves. Or you may get a pack with different brands. Either way, your variety pack may stick to the same theme (all lagers, for instance) or may take you on a journey from one end of your taste buds to the other, featuring everything from IPAs to wheat beer and fruit beers to red ale.
Because it’s a variety pack, the alcohol by volume (ABV) level will vary among different beers. On average, beer has about 5% ABV. If your variety pack contained an India Pale Ale, that beer would have around 6% to 7% ABV — or even more if it’s a smaller craft beer. A stout might contain between 7% and 8% ABV. A good red ale will place you in the 4% to 6% range, and a wheat beer will likely be on the lower end with 2.5% to 5%. The good news is you’ll have a lot to choose from.
Variety pack beers open the door to a multitude of different food pairings. The options are almost endless, so let’s focus on some of the most common beers you might find in a variety pack. If you pull out a light lager, try pairing it with standard fares like salads, burgers and spicy food. Spicy food will also go well with wheat beers, as will fruity desserts. An India pale ale (IPA) is great for pairing with Mexican food and other meat-heavy dishes like barbeque and steak. If an amber ale makes an appearance, try fried food, pizza and/or smoked pork. Dark lagers go down well with stews, burgers and pizza. Brown ales are fantastic with fish and sushi, as well as with sausage.
If you’re looking for a catch-all glass, go for the American pint glass. Pretty much every beer in your variety pack will work well with it. If you’re drinking an India pale ale or brown ale, switch to the Imperial pint glass. A tulip glass goes well with Belgian strong and dark ales. A Pilsner glass goes well with Pilsners (oh, the shock!) and Vienna lagers. Dubbel, stouts and Belgian IPA likes to live in a goblet or stout, while a stange is exceptional for Kolsch, lambics and bocks. If you’re looking at a sour beer, see if you’ve got a teku glass laying around. And of course, don’t drink an Oktoberfest beer without your trusty glass boot.
Variety pack beers come in all different shapes, sizes and calorie/carb counts, so it’s difficult to pin down exactly how much you’re going to consume. For the sake of simplicity, know that an average 12 oz. serving of beer contains about 150 calories and 13 grams of carbs. A stout might contains 125 calories and 10 grams of carbs; an India pale ale about 240 calories and 27 grams of carbs. Witbier hovers around 147 calories and 12 grams of carbs, while red ale contains about 143 calories and 8.5 grams of carbs.