If I wanted water, I would have asked for water.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Price of a Sixer, Adjusted for Inflation

The Brewers Almanac is quite a lot of fun if you love arcane statistics.  (Excise taxes broken down by state and by beer strength?  Check.  Percentage of beer sold in cans in 1962?  Check.)  This one was especially interesting: the estimated price of a six-pack of beer using BLS consumer price index figures.  "Six pack" here means national brands (those selling for around $5 now).  They used actual prices, so I ran them through the BLS's inflation calculator and came up with the following figures, based on current 2013 dollars. 

1955: $7.73
1960: $7.39 (-.39)
1965: $7.17 (-.22)
1970: $6.54 (-.63)
1975: $6.23 (-.31)
1980: $5.57 (-.66)
1985: $5.43 (-.14)
1990: $5.22 (-.21)
1995: $5.28 (+.06)
2000: $5.11 (-.17)
2005: $5.09 (-.02)
2010: $5.21 (+.12)
2011: $5.12 (-.09) (last available year)

Except for short blips where the price was essentially flat, beer prices dropped an average of about 70 cents a decade between 1955 and 1990 and have been flat since then.  The big question is whether Bill's adjusting his Portland Beer Price Index for inflation.  

2 comments:

Stan Hieronymus said...

The decline in bitterness has been even steeper. According to Joe Owades, a pale lager would have had nearly 20 IBU in the mid-50s. Today, Budweiser is 10 IBU, and overall American adjunct lagers are even lower.

At the same time, hop efficiency went up, so overall hop usage fell even more than IBU.

Jimmy The Bruiser said...

Stealing ideas from Bill Knight now? This blog is getting desperate.

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