Life is too short for cheap beer, but higher beer prices won’t make your life any longer, it just seems that way. The cost of malt and hops is going up, forcing brewers to raise their prices. The distributors pass the increased cost on to stores which then pass it on to you and me.
A worldwide hops shortage has driven the price of hops up as much as ten times, from 3-5 bucks a pound to between $30 and $40 per pound. It’s hard for brewers, particularly small ones, to absorb that kind of increase.
I personally haven’t noticed an increase prices but cost is one of the last things I consider when buying beer. To me a good beer is worth exponentially more than the difference in price for a cheap beer. I would rather drink one good beer that costs $1.50 for a bottle than 3 cheap beers that cost 50 cents a can. But that’s just me.
The Coloradoan points out that even if prices are going up, they still aren’t that bad. Beer may cost around $1.50 for 12 ozs, but how much did you pay for that White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks? Or that bottled water you bought in the office vending machine, for that matter?
If the prices are really getting you down, there is an alternative: brew your own. I got tired of paying 3 or 4 bucks for a latte so I got an espresso machine and now I make my own lattes. They taste better than most coffee house lattes because I make them exactly the way I like them. I’ve started brewing my own beer, too. There is a little bit of cost up front but once you make the investment, you can brew for years with the same equipment. If you brew with grains, instead of malt extract, the savings are substantial. You can buy the grain, hops, and yeast for a 5 gallon batch of beer for around $20-$25. You typically get about 50 12oz bottles out of a batch which means your cost is less than 50 cents per bottle! Now that’s a bargain!