I am still on the road hoping to make one more beer stop at Grand River to cash in some growlers...and spend that cash on more great value beer. Cashing in growlers seems like free beer but really it is only realizing a past investment in beer futures. Beervestment.
You see, you can't get away from it. Beer and especially craft beer is a value transaction. And others see that too as in Joe Sixpack's column last Friday, entitled "That 'expensive beer' is REALLY, REALLY expensive". Go read what Joe wrote. He picks up on themes that were being discussed here just a wee while ago and doing something that is very good of him - he goes one step further and names names. Today, we don't need to focus on the question of overpricing but I would encourage you to follow up on Joe's idea of setting down what are the real bargains you come across in your beer shopping. Here is Joe's top value sixpack:
- Sly Fox Rt. 113 IPA (Royersford), $5 for 22 oz. (23 cents per ounce).
- Southampton Imperial Porter (Long Island), $5 for 22 oz. (23 cents per ounce).
- Rogue Chocolate Stout (Oregon), $5.50 for 22 oz. (25 cents per ounce).
- Ommegang Abbey Ale (New York), $8 for 750 ml (31 cents per ounce).
- Weyerbacher Heresy (Easton), $7 for 22 oz. (32 cents per ounce).
- Stone Vertical Epic (California), $8 for 22 oz. (36 cents per ounce).
Which beers would I add to that list as great value in beer? All of a sudden I would certainly add the entire range of Jolly Pumpkin - at the brewery you can buy a case of twelve 750 ml bottles for under 75 bucks. That is crazy value. Even at an excellent shop soon to be reviewed, Bella Vino in Ann Arbor, they were just $7.99 each. I would also add that in central NY gas station corner stores, you can get the basic Ommegang line for $5.99 or at least you could last time I looked. I would also say that Thomas Hardy ale at the LCBO for under five bucks is another bargoon - although it is in a smaller bottle of around 8 ounces, it is also over 13% and doesn't taste like a cross between marketing and science fair experiments. I would also add Weyerbachers' Insanity, my favorite in that brewer's oaked beer line.
One great way to deal with these pricing issues is to focus on those great beers we love and that challenge us without breaking the bank. Remember: you are also players in the market. So what are your best buys?