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Craft Beer Prices


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I was going to post this on the Port City thread, but did not to threadjack. I am really interested in the whole discussion of craft brew cost.

I am always floored when friends who have no problem pay $3-$6 for a low-end to mediocre beer at a bar balk at paying a $1.50 to $2.50 for a really good or even great beer at home? You will easily spend $15 at a bar on two great beers, so why not spend $11 for something you can really enjoy sipping when sitting on the deck this weekend?

Maybe the feeling is you don’t want to drop $12 only to realize it is not to your liking. That I understand, but I don’t know of a beer retailer that does not sell single bottles.

Maybe paying nothing for crap beer throughout college (our preferred option was the Busch suitcase at $8 per, but then again that was 198something) has conditioned males to overlook the value in a $10 4-pack of Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye or Brooklyn Chocolate Stout (that may be $12 and it may be a sixer, the prices are all kinda fuzzy at this point).

Don’t know the answers, but I am curious. I don’t think that there are many craft brewers laughing all the way to the bank. That said, I don’t love them all either.

Phil

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I heard a discussion on the radio about why people are sometimes irrationally sensitive to the price of gas. The theory was, that because you buy it all at once, you are floored by the sticker shock, even though you use it throughout the week.

Imagine if all those people who spend $4.65 for a Venti coffee had to purchase a weeks worth on Monday? The $26 bucks would sting, psychologically, more than the $5 and change each day. Habits would probably change.

I think the same applys to craft beer. You can buy singles of craft breer at Total Wine, though. But only go in there if you have to. B)

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I was going to post this on the Port City thread, but did not to threadjack. I am really interested in the whole discussion of craft brew cost.

I am always floored when friends who have no problem pay $3-$6 for a low-end to mediocre beer at a bar balk at paying a $1.50 to $2.50 for a really good or even great beer at home? You will easily spend $15 at a bar on two great beers, so why not spend $11 for something you can really enjoy sipping when sitting on the deck this weekend?

Maybe the feeling is you don’t want to drop $12 only to realize it is not to your liking. That I understand, but I don’t know of a beer retailer that does not sell single bottles.

Maybe paying nothing for crap beer throughout college (our preferred option was the Busch suitcase at $8 per, but then again that was 198something) has conditioned males to overlook the value in a $10 4-pack of Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye or Brooklyn Chocolate Stout (that may be $12 and it may be a sixer, the prices are all kinda fuzzy at this point).

Don’t know the answers, but I am curious. I don’t think that there are many craft brewers laughing all the way to the bank. That said, I don’t love them all either.

Phil

Your query appears to be rooted in a series of fallacious assumptions.

First, most important, you assume that people buying overpriced Bud at ballgames actually give a shit about their beer. In fact, most beer drinkers apparently just want to catch a buzz and through indifference, or severe moral failings, are just as happy to drink whatever is close or cheap.

Second, you assume that people exhibit the same economic behavior when forced into a monopoly pricing situation as when they are enjoying the benefits of the glorious free market system Ayn Rand hath bequeathed unto us. They pay $6.00 a beer (anyone else remember those $3.00 30s at the old Memorial Stadium back when a decent seat cost twelve bucks?) at the ballpark because its almost physically impossible to watch baseball and not drink beer, and all competition is removed (this is the same reason your cable bill is atrocious). Beer, in that situation, is a highly inelastic good.

Third, you assume that everyone has a similar utility curve to your own. That the incremental joy derived from a "better" beer is worth the additional incremental price. For some, the incremental joy ("marginal utility," but that sounds so "dismal science-y") derived from that extra $8 spent on a six-pack of something Belgium is not as large as that which be derived from spending that $8 on pizza or maybe some lime-cilantro tostitoes and dip.

In short, you're attempting to impose a value judgment on an economic transaction. That's not the American way, my friend.

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