PDA

View Full Version : Expensive whiskey=cheep beer



ILLfarmboy
01-16-2007, 23:39
Is it just me or do bars mark-up liquor at a higher percentage than beer? I've long suspected high liquor prices subsidize cheep beer. A local tavern charges $3.25 for a shot of WT 101 but you can get a bottle of Bud for $1.50. Beer specials are run all the time. A dollar for domestic bottles, .75 for domestic drafts. As I drive a little further from home to more upscale places drink prices not only increase but the disparity between beer and liquor prices becomes even greater. I once payed $8.25 for a shot of KC.

Thoughts anyone?

Grain Brain
01-17-2007, 06:55
I wouldn't compare WT101 to Bud. The price point Ben E. Keith is able to sell Bud at makes it more comparable to Kentucky Deluxe than any top shelf bourbon. Try getting a good independent like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Anchor Steam for $1.50.

OscarV
01-17-2007, 13:42
The local beer distributor will give free cases to a bar to lower the price.
This practice is banned in most states, because it shows no sale and the state is out the tax, but it still happens, and the bar can have a "beer special".
This is hard to do with liquor because in most states the state is the liquor distributor.

barturtle
01-17-2007, 14:02
True and if you get into more exotic brews such as Belgians, Meads and Vintage Ales, you can get into prices that rival elite bottlings such as Distillers Masterpiece, Pappy 23 and many hard to find scotches. Bud is the equivalent of a low end blended whiskey...so low in fact, that many bars would either use it as a well or not carry it at all. I have spent $20 on a beer (and turned down some priced over $100), this is much the same to me as getting a pour of the finest bourbons or scotches. Quality costs...that's why Bud is cheap.

ILLfarmboy
01-17-2007, 15:16
...This is hard to do with liquor because in most states the state is the liquor distributor.

A state monopoly huh. Thats certainly makes a big difference. Also not being a beer drinker I wasn't aware that Budweiser, and I'm assuming other macro beers, were seriously held in such low esteem. It seems everyone around here drinks them. Thanx for the info.

OscarV
01-17-2007, 15:19
It does seem everyone drinks it.
Budweiser is the number one selling beer in the world.
But not in the USA, that would be Bud Light.

Solomon2
01-17-2007, 18:01
When Anheuser-Busch was trying to woo us engineering students they explained that most of the cost was bottling and transport. (Not advertising, like Coke and Pepsi?). So I wouldn't be surprised that in Illinois they might sell beer cheaply, especially if they are overstocked of one type or another.

At a guess, I would say such a situation is especially likely this season because the late cold weather has discouraged people from drinking the kind of beer they would, so until now they were still favoring warm-weather brews. Now the cold weather hits and they have to dump light stuff like Bud in a hurry, to make room for Michelob. The Michelob isn't on sale in Illinois, is it farm boy?

ILLfarmboy
01-17-2007, 20:02
When Anheuser-Busch was trying to woo us engineering students they explained that most of the cost was bottling and transport. (Not advertising, like Coke and Pepsi?). So I wouldn't be surprised that in Illinois they might sell beer cheaply, especially if they are overstocked of one type or another.

At a guess, I would say such a situation is especially likely this season because the late cold weather has discouraged people from drinking the kind of beer they would, so until now they were still favoring warm-weather brews. Now the cold weather hits and they have to dump light stuff like Bud in a hurry, to make room for Michelob. The Michelob isn't on sale in Illinois, is it farm boy?

Because the only beer I buy is when I buy someone els a drink at the bar I cant speak authoritatively about grocery store prices. I've already thrown out the weekly ads but the on-line ad for the local hy-vee lists Michelob, Michelob lite, and Michelob ultra amber at $6.97 a 12 pack (is this comparable to your area?) www.hy-vee.com/weeklyspecials/weeklyspecials_page.asp?pg=16 (http://www.hy-vee.com/weeklyspecials/weeklyspecials_page.asp?pg=16) I always thought Michelobe was more expensive than that. could that be a misprint? For comparison WT 101 is usually around 18.99, the ubiquitous JD black is usually a couple bucks cheaper and RB runs about 34 dollars and some change. The overpriced stuff with the red wax goes for 20 - 22 dollars.

I live in a rural area. In a typical small town bar in my area a JD and Coke (short one) will cost you on average three dollars. WT is a bit more expensive.

I'd be interested in hearing what everyone els pays in their area. both bar prices and retail liquor prices.

Grain Brain
01-17-2007, 22:15
Well, here, if you can actually find Michelob on tap, you'll probably pay the same as Bud, the only difference being that the bar may put Bud on sale where they won't do the same for Mich. Mich is an A-B product, just as Bud is, and it's only slightly better quality (I'm not talking personal taste here, I'm talking the expense of the ingredients and brewing process). As for grocery store prices, Mich. Ultra 12 pk for $7? That sounds pretty good, but then, it's been a long time since I bought any macros.

Now, comparing bar to store prices, and these are just rough, general guestimates for the Dallas area;

Bud on draft, $1.50 a bottle, at the store $4.50 a sixer. You do get a discount at the store because everything is just more expensive at a bar.

A shot of well bourbon like Old Crow or Early Times, $1.50 to $2 a shot, at the store, $12 a fifth.

A bottle of Sam Adams at the bar, $4.50, or $7.99 at the store for a sixer.

A shot of premium bourbon or sour mash, as in Beam Black or JD, $4 a shot, $18 a fifth at the store.

Seems to me you get a 'better deal' drinking the cheap stuff at a bar and splurging for the better stuff at the store, the percentage range between bar and store prices being smaller on the premium whiskeys.

barturtle
01-17-2007, 23:52
Find a bartender that pours you heavy and suddenly you're getting more for your money, something that is impossible with a bottle of beer.

Edward_call_me_Ed
01-18-2007, 08:07
Find a bartender that pours you heavy and suddenly you're getting more for your money, something that is impossible with a bottle of beer.

Excellent point!

jburlowski
01-18-2007, 18:29
Find a bartender that pours you heavy and suddenly you're getting more for your money, something that is impossible with a bottle of beer.

Often possible with an above-average tip on the first round (which will also get you quicker service on the refills). And, of course, treat the bartender as a hard-working friend and with respect. Also I've found it makes a difference if you get into a discussion about the finer points of bourbon (or whatever you may be drinking that night). If he / she knows you aren't an "amateur" or " blow hard" you're likely to get a more rigteous pour.

Grain Brain
01-21-2007, 00:31
I've found that the generous tip is oh so much more productive than the judicious tip.

But of course this is if we're talking independent joints here. No matter how cool and receptive a bartender may be, if you're at Chilis or Bennigans, you should probably tip the standard.

RoyalWater
02-02-2007, 22:06
I was pleasantly surprised to find all domestics (excluding Sam Adams) 12 oz. bottle or 16 oz. draught on sale for 1.00 at my choice for supper. I know several bars that run Pabst products at 1.00 a bottle (even though .65 would be over-paying for Old Milwaukee and I don't know if it comes in bottles). The cheapest I have seen well drinks (usually Old Crow, Kessler, or Mattingly & Moore) is 1.50. Many of the bars get about 20 shots out of a L. bottle and of course a case of beer is 12. To use even figures lets say well whiskey costs the bar 11.00, so 11/20 gives them a cost of .55 a shot. Suppose a case of beer is 8.00, so 8/12 gives them a cost of .66 a beer. With these figures the liquor mark-up is obviously much higher.

barturtle
02-02-2007, 22:17
I was pleasantly surprised to find all domestics (excluding Sam Adams) 12 oz. bottle or 16 oz. draught on sale for 1.00 at my choice for supper. I know several bars that run Pabst products at 1.00 a bottle (even though .65 would be over-paying for Old Milwaukee and I don't know if it comes in bottles). The cheapest I have seen well drinks (usually Old Crow, Kessler, or Mattingly & Moore) is 1.50. Many of the bars get about 20 shots out of a L. bottle and of course a case of beer is 12. To use even figures lets say well whiskey costs the bar 11.00, so 11/20 gives them a cost of .55 a shot. Suppose a case of beer is 8.00, so 8/12 gives them a cost of .66 a beer. With these figures the liquor mark-up is obviously much higher.

A case of beer is 24 so the mark up of beer is double that (assuming the same price)

Liquor mark up in restaurants is more highly variable than beer, I worked in one place that only tried to make about the same amount of money per bottle of liquor, so a more expensive liquor was actually a better deal by the shot, but the beer was a standard percentage per bottle. Other places were percentage across the board.

TBoner
02-02-2007, 22:31
Also, remember, beer mark-ups for non-macro brews are pretty high. If you're buying Bud, you can find dollar drafts. Not so w/most micro/craft brews (except, occasionally, for the bigger ones: Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, etc.). So, the markup comparison doesn't work for places that only (or mostly) serve craft beer.

RoyalWater
02-03-2007, 16:11
My numbers work because I gave the price for a 12-pack. Lets say a full case (24) costs 15.00. Then the cost goes down to .63 a beer; a slightly higher mark-up but not double. If micro-brews are to be examined, the comparison should be with reserve or high proof spirits. I'm not prepared to work up numbers on that.