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Growler prices Portland

Discussion in 'US - Northwest' started by damjadi, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. damjadi

    damjadi Savant (250) Oregon Sep 17, 2003

    Aloha,

    Just moved to Portland and trying to find where to fill a growler.

    Went to Blitz and paid $18 for a 64 oz, which was more than the price of four pints of the same beer.

    There has to be better beer and better prices....
  2. 1st lesson, don't go to Blitz
  3. I paid 12 at Laurelwood for a growler of Workhorse. I brought my own glass. 18 is too much anywhere.
  4. damjadi

    damjadi Savant (250) Oregon Sep 17, 2003

    Admittedly, Blitz was just down the street and my spouse wanted a growler of the Tangerine beer they had there.... There was a little duress involved....
  5. In my experience $18 is actually cheap to keep the wife happy! I have always found Bailey's growler prices reasonable. I don't remember exactly what they charge but it's hard to beat the selection. Also good to know is that both Laurelwood and Hopworks have growler club cards that get you a free fill after 10 purchased, and their prices are even with everyone else to start off.
  6. Dubbercody

    Dubbercody Savant (295) Washington Apr 24, 2006

  7. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Savant (475) Oregon Aug 28, 2009

    Occidental in St John's does $8 growler fills on Wednesday's. I think it's $10 all other days. Either way, their Hefeweizen and seasonal Dunkelweizen are great values at either price if you're a fan of the style. Easily the best use of hefe yeast I know of in the area. The Cloudy Summer Kolsch is also a well done representation of an underdone style.
    msubulldog25 and Dubbercody like this.
  8. black13

    black13 Savant (395) Oregon Apr 11, 2010

    $15 growler fills of the usual suspects at HOTD (Adam, Fred) is a great deal.
    bosco123 and maximep like this.
  9. I thought $10 for a growler fill at Gigantic was a good price.
    CapeCodBeer and ramnuts like this.
  10. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Savant (340) Oregon Jun 3, 2005

    The price of growler fills in Portland are generally more expensive than I have experienced almost anywhere else in the country. This has never made sense to me since the price of pints are so cheap.
  11. eatabagofbooger

    eatabagofbooger Savant (295) Oregon Mar 27, 2009

    Not to mention $10 growler fills of their "Little Dog" beers, which are a wonderful Summer treat! They'll also do growlettes for $5.
  12. I was surprised how much I liked Little Dog as I generally like "big" beers.
  13. LoPo87

    LoPo87 Aficionado (235) Oregon Mar 9, 2012

    Upright has growler fills for $12 and if you go with one of the BA beers it is $17.
  14. damjadi

    damjadi Savant (250) Oregon Sep 17, 2003

    Still makes no sense because the places don't have to bottle (and pay for bottles and caps) or wash glasses. Growlers should be $6 for regular and $10 for high gravity, in my humble opinion.
  15. jgrgas

    jgrgas Aficionado (205) Oregon Feb 10, 2006

    I'm curious how you came up with those figures. Please explain.
  16. kscaldef

    kscaldef Advocate (690) Oregon Jun 11, 2010

    I suspect he's doing something along the lines of: price of a 12oz bottle * 5 1/3 - some discount for lower packaging costs. (5 1/3 * 12oz = 64oz)

    There are two or three fairly obvious problems with this:

    1) Many beers are only available on draft, so using a non-existent bottle price makes no sense

    2) Many beers that are bottled are only bottled in large formats and for considerably more per-ounce than this calculation. For example, a $12 growler from Upright is a fantastic deal compared to the same beer at $10 / 750ml.

    3) The opportunity cost to the bar from filling a growler is roughly 4 times the pint price.
  17. When discussing opportunity cost, there is a relationship to scarcity. If there isn't scarcity, then there there isn't much of an opportunity cost to the establishment, just hook up another keg. Substitution comes into play also.

    How much should a growler cost? It depends. I think some establishments rely on the price insensitivity of drinkers that have had a few too many!
  18. jgrgas

    jgrgas Aficionado (205) Oregon Feb 10, 2006


    I think you're right and I'd like to break the perception that overhead is the same across various packaging formats. There's definitely some strange pricing models in the beer industry (read: egregious markups for 1/6bbls over 1/2bbls), but the cost some breweries charge for growlers are basically a marketing expense. I'm still uncertain if this is a successful idea, since my basic, no data gathered impression is that most people only go to these establishments for the cheap growler fills days. I might be wrong on this front.

    To explain packaging overhead: cost of glass is one of the largest expenses in bottling beer. Packaging in smaller formats cost more than larger formats (12oz vs. 22oz) because it's more glass. Cost of labor for smaller formats is higher too since it takes more time to package the same amount of beer. On top of all of this, the anticipated margin is lower for smaller formats because there is a tighter accepted retail price, i.e. 8.99 for 6 packs versus, say, 4.99 for 22oz. If you do the math, you'll see the revenue per ounce is almost double for a bomber than it is for a 6 pack of beer. It's near impossible for small breweries to make money on smaller formats in this pricing model.

    Reading this I'm learning that I have strong feelings on the bulk discount associated with growlers and the price comparisons people make based on cost of bottled beer. Yes, it's moving more product in a shorter amount of time, but it's also a pretty steep discount in some cases that I'm not sure the retailer finds in return.
    maximep likes this.
  19. damjadi

    damjadi Savant (250) Oregon Sep 17, 2003

    Admittedly, the growler is the only way to get any number of beers from small breweries. But, as mentioned by a previous poster, the Growler fill (when the growler is pre-owned) does away with bottle and packaging costs.

    Maybe $7-8 for some and up to $12 for others....

    Another way to look at it is the cost of growlers compared to the cost of the keg of the same beer.
    There are 31 growler fills per 1/2 barrel. What beers wholesale for more than $200 per 1/2 barrel (or $310 for high gravity beers)?

    Retail at Belmont Station for the Lost Coast Tangerine beer is $195 ($185 cash discount). I can bet that Blitz pays much less than that!

    And BTW, when I got the growler filled, it was happy hour, so a pint of the Lost Coast was $3.50 (meaning $14 for 4 pints (the growler equivalent)
  20. Midge

    Midge Initiate (10) Oregon Mar 28, 2014

    I have you all beat, Sat and Sunday all day, the Ram will fill a growler for half price, usually $5.50 with any of their beers on tap and even the seasonals. Blitz sucks and so does their service.
  21. Yeah but then you are drinking beer from Ram.
    switzer likes this.
  22. bosco123

    bosco123 Aficionado (130) Oregon May 26, 2008

    Loads of growler fill stations popping up everywhere. Growlers Hawthorne,and Growler Guy's to name a few. Belmont always has a good selection. 18 bucks seems high unless it's a high ABV or rare pour. Filled loads of Brown Shugga this year for 9.99.
  23. bosco123

    bosco123 Aficionado (130) Oregon May 26, 2008

    Well, I did just see that Breakside's Elder Statesman is going for 32 bucks for a fill at GH. Also,check out the previous thread on Growler fills. Good info.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014

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