You read that correctly – commissaries will begin selling beer and wine this summer.
The exact date hasn’t been announced, but it is official. A memo written by Robert Wilkie, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, stated that commissaries will begin selling both beer and wine. This should happen by the end of July.
I was excited when I found out commissaries would be selling both beer and wine.
OK, I wasn’t nearly as excited about the beer as I was about the wine. I’m more of a wine person. I shop at the commissary weekly and this will be so much more convenient to buy both groceries and wine in one place rather than driving to the other end of town just for wine. It looks better when you buy a full cart of groceries with a bottle of wine than buying only wine. I tell myself that anyway.
The Dahlgren commissary, the closest one to me, is tiny. It has six aisles and usually just one cashier. I love it though. Somehow I manage to buy most of my week’s worth of groceries in that little place.
I can’t help but think, where are they going to fit the wine and beer? What products will lose placement? Will they sell the type of wine I like or am I getting excited over this for no reason?
Selling beer and wine in larger commissaries means more of a selection of both. Luckily in the D.C. area, where I live, there are a number of commissaries.
I was lucky enough to be at the grand opening of the new commissary at Fort Belvoir last year. It is massive. I will be going back to see what their beer and wine selection looks like once it’s on the shelves. I’m sure it will be much larger than the one available at Dahlgren.
It will be interesting to see how the prices compare as well.
The commissaries have run a few tests of selling beer and wine previously, but this will be the first time they will be sold at all commissaries as a standard.
There are a few specifics that were released. Commissaries will purchase beer and wine from the exchanges and resell it to commissary patrons. This is to hopefully reduce the impact beer and wine sales at commissaries will have on sales of the same items at exchanges. Profits from sales at military exchanges fund on-base MWR programs and officials don’t want to take away from that.
Prices therefore are supposed to be comparable to those at exchanges.
Item pricing at commissaries moved to variable pricing last year. That means that all commissaries don’t sell products at the same price now. Prices vary based on the market. Wine and beer prices will therefore also be different from place to place. According to Robert Wilkie, prices should be comparable to those at local grocery stores.
One thing that local grocery stores don’t have that commissaries might have is hard liquor.
The Subcommittee on Military Personnel recently tasked the Secretary of Defense with having a study conducted on adding the sale of distilled spirits to commissaries. In this study, they will look at local and state laws as well as provide estimated revenue from sales. The secretary will brief the Committee on Armed Services by September.
Your favorite alcoholic beverage might be on the shelf of your local commissary before long if things work out.
When will your commissary have beer and wine?
Unfortunately, I can’t give you a set date as those dates haven’t been made public yet. Check with your local commissary for an announcement. Wine and beer are set to make their debut by the end of July.