Monday, September 14, 2009

Dear CVS: You Have a Long Way To Go

If there is one thing we need more of in Albuquerque, it is big box pharmacy chains. Thankfully, CVS has stepped in and filled that void at Paseo and Tramway, San Mateo and Montgomery, and, as of Sunday, Eubank and Menaul. If shelves of ibuprofen aren't enough to get you in the doors (though on some morning afters, that sounds pretty good), the Eubank CVS sells beer.

But CVS has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with its biggest competitor, Walgreens. Though all the beers in stock are kept refrigerated, which is a plus, the beers are mostly of the Bud/Miller/Coors variety, with some Steel Reserve and Hurricane High Gravity malt liquors thrown in for variety. That is a far cry from Walgreens, where you can get Stone, Odell, Anchor, and Big Sky, to name a few, plus New Mexico varieties from Sierra Blanca and Santa Fe Brewing.

To be fair, CVS does stock beers leaning more towards the craft beer side. They have Sam Adams Boston Lager and Octoberfest, along with Shiner Bock, Blue Moon, Leinenkugel Wheat and New Belgium Fat Tire. Not enough to get you to cross the street yet? Neither will this: Fat Tire sells for $8.99 a six-pack at CVS! You can go a mile down the street to Kelly's on Wyoming and buy 12 Fat Tire beers for $11.99. And the high price trend doesn't stop there. $8.49 for Corona and Dos Equis sixers. $8.49 for Sam Adams. $7.99 for a 12-pack of Milwaukee's Best Ice...well, that's not half bad. But the beer is. I don't expect a convenience store to be world-class in the beer department, but if CVS wants to get a foot in the door that Walgreens already seems to have slammed shut in pharmacy competition, they could at least make an effort.

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