Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How Much Are You Paying For Beer These Days?

Ouch. The price of beer going up is starting to get noticeable. During my most recent trip to buy beer the sticker shock was surprising. I like to buy local Colorado craft beers. I'm a real fan of imperial porters and stouts. I occasionally buy special 22oz bomber bottles of a special beer. These beers are now costing me around $6.00 per 22oz bottle. Wow. Never thought I'd see that. Even a four pack of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout was going for $14.00 for 12oz cans. That's $3.50 a can. So while I bought two bomber bottles and one 4-pack, the tab was $26.00. Ouch. I realize that I could have gotten a case or more of the macro commercial beers, but I don't drink that stuff anymore as my tastes have expanded.

The hop and malt shortages are definitely hitting beer drinkers hard now. Here is a link to an article from the Colorado Springs Gazette that explains how others are feeling the affects of higher beer prices.

If a typical craft beer 6-pack is going to start costing $10 then I'm sure many beer drinkers are going to start looking for ways to get discounts. While those 4-packs that many local breweries are producing my seem cheaper to buy than a 6-pack or 12-pack, you can't help but notice the added expense. Many brewers are going to start growing their own hops to help offset the shortage, but even still, new hop plants take at least 2 years to mature. So while America's addiction to ethanol begins and corn crops continue to replace hops in our farmlands, hops will continue to be in low supply. The shortage will eventually drive up hop prices enough to perhaps make it more attractive again to grow, but in the meantime, corn is the main cash crop.

It's sad to think that our thirst for fuel is going to temper our thirst for beer a bit. How high will the price of beer go before we say enough is enough? Are we willing to pay stadium prices for the beer we drink at home? Sky high ingredient prices will make it hard for even homebrewers to make a cheap beer. The typical homebrewer can't buy in bulk like the big breweries can, so costs to brew it yourself are going to be somewhat prohibitive these next couple of years.

Perhaps this is a wake up call to us all. We need to lessen our demand for gasoline and ethanol. Otherwise, our beer drinking days are going to get more and more expensive. I'd hate to think we'll have to start outsourcing our brewing and importing the majority of it from other countries who can grow hops and malt cheaper than in North America.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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