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Sticker Shock at Beer Bars (Part Two)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by shebby, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. This thread is timely. For many years I have always kid my wife that her glass of wine is driving up the bill while I have the 'affordable' beer. Last few years we have noticed the gap decreasing, and now these days, even here in Portland the price of my beer exceeds her wine purchase. If it gets worse, I am going to have to leave her home.
    msondel likes this.
  2. beercanman

    beercanman Savant (485) Ohio Dec 17, 2012

    I just paid 8 for a bottle of narwhal. I was pissed.
  3. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    $6-$8 depending on the bar/location. You wouldn't find it for less than $6. Like someone said earlier, it's a pleasant surprise if you can get a good beer and tip the bartender for less than $10
  4. gatornation

    gatornation Poobah (1,275) Minnesota Apr 18, 2007 Beer Trader

    Caveat emptor
    Omer4176 and BrettHead like this.
  5. erichall

    erichall Aficionado (215) Kentucky Nov 13, 2008

    Remember you are not simply buying a drink/beer at a bar/restaurant/pub/ ballgame, you are buying the opportunity to consume that beverage in that establishment.

    And a 300% markup is standard for on premise pricing. Check out the wine menu at a wine bar if you want sticker shock. Or order a bottle of grey goose at a nightclub or strip club.
  6. Sixam2

    Sixam2 Aficionado (110) Washington Feb 19, 2013

    Reno Airport, 16 oz Sierra Nevada IPA, $16... Whoa, you did pay more / ounce...
    Omaha has a great deal at Granite Brewery for Growler refills.. Something ridiculous on Tuesdays.. $9 for a refill to go
  7. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Yes plus the experience & knowledge of doing it right without spoiling a batch, or two, or three. We must assume he's talking about all grain and not extract. And in my experience MOST of the homebrewing process is really just cleaning, and I never found cleaning to be enjoyable. Plus few adults with a craft beer hobby are on minimum wage. So either one's time is really worth (almost) nothing or someone enjoys a bunch of cleaning. ;)
  8. xanok

    xanok Advocate (500) Connecticut Aug 13, 2009 Beer Trader

    A bar in Boston was charging $15 per pint of MBC Peeper Pale Ale. Meanwhile in Bristol, CT back in November, I was getting 10oz pours of BCBS for $9.
  9. GoGators

    GoGators Champion (865) New Jersey Aug 5, 2010 Beer Trader

    I heard this from many people and actually brewed my 1st beer (a DIPA) recently and couldn't disagree more (and other home brewers have acknowledged this). Forgetting about the equipment involved, i spent approx. $100 on ingredients and bottles for a 5 gallon batch which yielded just under 2 cases. I could have bought 2 cases of Sucks (or many other quality DIPA's) for less and my beer of course wasn't nearly as good. Sure if you compare home brewing to bar pricing you will come out ahead, but not the case when comparing to liquor store retail prices.
  10. BeastLU

    BeastLU Advocate (570) Virginia Dec 20, 2012

    There's a bar in this area that charges over 50 dollars for more than a few varieties of growlers. As in just the beer that goes inside a growler you already own.
  11. pwoody11

    pwoody11 Advocate (560) Delaware Nov 23, 2009 Beer Trader

    $9 for an 8oz pour of Rodenbach Grand Cru. Thought that was ridiculous.

    Edit: 750's at a nearby store go for $9.99

    EditEdit: At that same store a 20L keg goes for ~$215, so if my math is right, they are making about $500 on the keg at the bar charging $9.
    dar482 likes this.
  12. CoachC

    CoachC Aficionado (165) Florida Nov 25, 2012

    Hopslam bottle, with tip, $11 at World of Beer South Miami
  13. jtdolla911

    jtdolla911 Savant (420) Massachusetts Nov 18, 2011 Beer Trader

    To me, it seems like the bigger craft beer gets, and the more widespread the distribution, the more outliers you see. At Pizzeria Regina in Boston you can get a bottle of Duvel, which they pour, with head taking up more than half the glass and a huge pourover, for $12!!! No prices on the menu.

    Some markups just dont make sense. Go to Harpoon beer hall. Get an IPA for 5.75. Or go to a particular bar in Allston and get it for 5.50. Don't get it.
  14. $11 for a bottle of Duvel. Was poured very aggressively with a ton of head and was probably only about 8 oz of beer at the end.

    Only ordered it since it was glass night and got to keep the Duvel tulip glass. Unfortunately it was the hideous art series Daan glass. Never use it since I don't care for overweight guys in wife beaters surrounding my beer glass.
  15. Jfriz25

    Jfriz25 Savant (340) Wisconsin Jun 8, 2012 Beer Trader

    I would gladly pay $28 for the Mikkeller Black Hole scotch if Mikkeller was there and I got to watch him drink the whole bottle.
    BKBassist and Neffbeer like this.
  16. Exactly. People forget they are paying for the ambiance, service (not gratuity), and overall experience, as well.
  17. HAH. Voodoo Donut for $40! WHAT???!!!
    El_Zilcho likes this.
  18. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    Couldn't agree more - which is why SERVICE and ambiance and those other things should matter a whole lot, especially in one's review. It's not just the beer selection.
  19. Hotmetal1

    Hotmetal1 Advocate (665) Mississippi Feb 28, 2012 Beer Trader

    SN Big Foot $5.99 for 4-pack
  20. Absolute truth. I know I can have a rarer or most likely better beer at home, but then there's no opportunity for random, genuine conversation, and no one to serve and clean up for me. Therefore, like you said, service and ambiance should be weighted more than the actual beer selection, and be reflected in a review.
  21. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poobah (1,245) Arizona Jun 18, 2002

    yes I've labeled the problem as "beer selection goggles" and far too many are afflicted. It's as if all other normal criteria are out the window and it doesn't matter that your glass is empty half the night, the food is lame, restrooms nasty, etc.
  22. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Savant (280) Illinois Dec 8, 2009

    Another reason I get my stand-bys at the bar if I can, and the harder to find stuff in my fridge. Do always ask price though.
  23. Shagator

    Shagator Savant (420) Kentucky Mar 17, 2012

    I dont know about the bars or anything where you all are, but there are two beer bars here in Lexington. Both of them are exclusively beer and they dont serve food, wine or any other alcohol. The mark up on their beer is their only income that they have. Their prices are usually higher but you are paying for the beer, their lease/rent/mortgage, electricity, profit, etc. Liquor stores, grocery stores and other package places, can tack on their margin to the other products that they are selling and therefore can sell the beer a much cheaper price. With a bar that exclusively sells beer or even some of the other craft beer restaurants, they can make up their income on the beer price. These places often have the limited releases or rare beers that the big boys dont carry. So yes, you are paying for the atmosphere of the bar, the camaraderie of friends or other beer lovers and the overhead of the bar. Most times it also provides for the opportunity for them to have a beer that you couldnt get elsewhere.

    With that being said, I was in Boca Raton and spent $8 for a Miller Lite. THAT HURT
  24. Creating a "nice" bar as a justification to rip off customers isn't a good excuse. I've been to bars all over the country, and with few exceptions, they all seem to price some things fairly, and price other things way too high. A price which is more than 200% of retail for something that is pretty widely available just strikes me as a ripoff, that's all. I think the point of this thread is that bar markup on beer is getting to be really high, and this is just another example of that. Hell, it pisses me off when I walk into a bar and see they want $15 for a Rochefort 10, which happens more frequently than you might think.
  25. Benny3000

    Benny3000 Savant (420) Michigan Apr 4, 2012 Beer Trader

    These are all reasons why I drink at home and order water at restaurants.
  26. hornsup

    hornsup Savant (405) Virginia Nov 29, 2012 Beer Trader

    agreed, a growler of FBS was $13 when I went in there yesterday. Went to the local bar and got a Dugges Idjit and it was $10 for a 8oz pour...bullshit
  27. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    Where are you finding 375s of Tilquin for under $7? I've purchased it for around $11, and a quick search found it around $12-$15 at liquor stores (NOTE: not bars). A 50% premium at a bar for a bottle is perfectly reasonable in Manhattan, IMO. Also, I'm not saying that a "nice" bar can "rip off" customers. I'm saying a "nice" bar in the highest rent borough of the highest rent city in the country can command a premium, and must command a premium to make money. I'm also saying the premium on this beer is minimal next to most nice establishments in major cities in the US.

    EDIT: I noticed you said 200% of retail, not 200% more than retail after my statement. Either way, the rest of the statement stands.
  28. coreyfmcdonald

    coreyfmcdonald Advocate (625) Georgia Nov 13, 2008 Beer Trader

    You're also drinking a beer at Whole Foods. I'd rather drink one at home, and it'd be cheaper.
    dar482 likes this.
  29. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    To be fair even though I love Whole Foods with their no pint over $5 and even then a $1 off happy hour and no tipping, they are not relying on beer sales to stay afloat.

    Our Whole Foods has a pretty nice bar attached, and the food is good.
    dar482 likes this.
  30. chcfan

    chcfan Advocate (630) California Oct 29, 2008

    Happy Hour is extremely overrated, at least in the Philadelphia area. Some places are a $1 off all drinks, but most just select a few slow movers and make them $2 off, maybe half price - but that's only on beers like a random brown ale from Abita or some shit. A number of places don't offer any discount at all. If I do a HH, it's to drink with friends right after work, not for the discount because it's pretty much non-existent.
  31. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    So would you rather just get rid of it? Maybe even have higher draft prices instead?
  32. $9 for 12oz of Shipyard XXXX when I just saw a 4 pack in the store for $7. It's not even that good of a beer you've got to be kidding me.
  33. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (975) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    I kind of see where you are coming from, I mean a buck off draft doesn't get me to go to the bar when otherwise I wasn't going to...but if I happen to already be there or have plans to go I'll take any amount off I can get.
  34. chcfan

    chcfan Advocate (630) California Oct 29, 2008

    I would be mildly annoyed if it didn't exist, but I'm just pointing out that you're not missing much. Not sure why I would want higher prices (is that what people call a strawman?), but the fact of the matter is that there is no discount on the beer that I want to drink more often than not even when I am at a Happy Hour. If there is, it's a whopping dollar 90% of the time. I probably saved a less than a tank of gas's worth of money last year due to HH. It might be better for BMC drinkers, but I don't search out those deals. I would trade no happy hours for the case law any day of the week.
  35. Sure, it's sticker shock. But it's truly a suckers market when you see people forking over close to $30 to 50$ for a bomber of something the well tended packy sells for $10 - 15. At least with the BA pour. It's straight from the source, so you get that pour with all of the notes and characteristics and not too mention, quirks inherent in serving BA beer.
    And $9 dollars for a BA pour is pretty right on the money. Served on site; you're also paying for the time, atmosphere, and some of the operational costs that it took for that beer to become that BA and get properly served to you. I'm presuming the original beer which trucks along at a 9% abv and for everyone's safety because it is so big was also never served in a dimple or as a pint unless you're a dear regular or a mug club member. Cost wise, since it's a big one in a lot of ways. I'm hedging on its already priced in the 6$ - 7$ range a 10 oz maybe 12 oz pour for all of the above aforementioned reasons.
  36. chcfan

    chcfan Advocate (630) California Oct 29, 2008

    That's pretty much the long and short of it with me. If more places offered half or even $2 off all or most drafts, I would go much more often, but $1 or none off that's the overwhelming norm for HH doesn't exactly make me wish I hadn't worn sweatpants, if you know what I mean.
  37. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Advocate (745) Massachusetts Mar 17, 2009 Beer Trader

    Im just saying higher prices and no HH because that's what I have in Boston. I drink out much more than I buy beer for home. Actually I rarely go to a store to buy beer. Saving a buck on a beer or mixed drink at a bar would be nice.
    WoodburyMN likes this.
  38. smutty33

    smutty33 Advocate (705) Connecticut Jun 12, 2009

    Thats why I love Prime 16's happy hour........
    Half off ALL drafts between 3-7pm weekdays,2-4pm on saturdays........;)

    BUT,beer trading usually keeps me outta the beer bars.

    CTJman likes this.
  39. CTJman

    CTJman Poobah (1,050) Connecticut Jan 14, 2013 Beer Trader

    I just spent 20-30 each on a few cantillon bottles in Shanghai China (keiba beer bar-visit it if you travel here) Kriek was 30 for a 2008 go figure, Rose 2010 about 20 and what baffled me. 2002 Vigneronne was only 19. glad I had the opportunity to visit Shanghai.
  40. ESeab

    ESeab Advocate (515) New Jersey Jan 3, 2013

    WOW, I guess I should no longer go get a $12.50 10oz BCBS after work every Saturday. I guess that statement answered the OPs post