We all love craft beer. If we didn’t, we certainly wouldn’t be part of this large community. However, we also love our paychecks, so we have to wonder, will the rising price tags on our beloved bottles of suds start to push aficionados away over time? This is a serious concern in the industry, as we rely on our followers and without them, we may as well drain pour every bottle we produce.
To be honest, the rise in prices on the many craft brews we love has a lot to do with popularity and a slight case of “keeping up with the Jones family” behavior. With craft breweries like Funky Buddha able to command prices in excess of $25 per bottle, it does not surprise us that others started to follow the pricing trend, making their brews a bit harder to reach for those who truly love them. This trend cannot last forever, however, at this time it really does seem to be causing a stir among the craft beer loving community.
Besides the trend that is spreading, there are other causes for rising costs that hit a bit closer to home and are hitting many other areas of our lives as well. The cost of living has been rising across the country for quite some time. While it may still be reasonable in some regions, such as states like Illinois where you can still find a reasonably priced rental and your bills aren’t going to eat you alive, there are other regions that have been hit hard like the West Coast. And although some of these cost of living raises are natural due to the rising cost of supplies, others are market driven, meaning that the prices are rising to whatever the market will bear, much like healthcare.
For example, look at the cost of living in Nevada. The mining industry, with it’s higher wages, gave rise to a new kind of landlord, one that saw those paychecks and found shining dollar signs in their eyes. During the many recent mine layoffs, many out of work miners found that they could no longer afford those lofty rental costs and the landlords of the property have held out in hopes of someone else filling the space with mine wages. Yes, we’re saying that in some cases, the cost of living is simply rising due to unrealistic expectations of those providing the supply in a market where the consumers cannot meet the demand any longer.
Luckily the craft brewing industry is not like fly-by-night land lording. There are committees and commissions that can step in if prices become so burdensome that it begins to adversely affect the industry as a whole. However, at this time, with so many craft breweries available to supply the growing demand for craft beer, there is simply no real reason for them to step in. After all, if your local supermarket starts charging double for their beef, you can always drive to the next town and purchase it at a price closer to the standard. The same goes for craft beer.
We do hope to see a leveling out of prices over time, but for now, we’re quite content to find those breweries who provide top-notch craft brews at reasonable prices and enjoy each bottle as it comes. Do you know of any breweries that seem to be selling at really great rates? Let us know about them in the comments! In the meantime, from our pocketbooks to yours, happy tasting!
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