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Growler Economics
  • okfuskee July 11, 2013 - 10:39 am #79567 Reply

    Why are growlers of beer so expensive? I feel like the price used to work out cheaper than a six pack price (per ounce) and it kinda made sense – the brewer doesn’t have to pay for bottles, bottling runs, or freight on bottles. Now it seems like growlers are almost a luxury item with costs invariably running more per ounce than a six pack. Last time I was at Whole Wallet, I got 64 oz for $14. That works out to about 21 cents per ounce and the same thing can go for 13 cents an ounce in 6 pack format- $10 for 72 oz.

    I guess it might be that it was some kind of rare keg that was hard to get or whatever, but you see the same thing (actually more so) at Dogfish Head in Rehoboth and they are only getting it from down the road.

    It is a simple case of charging what the market can bear? Is it  about the labor of having a growler individually poured by a human, vs 6 bottles done by a machine?



    novasteve July 11, 2013 - 10:40 am #79568 Reply

    Home brew. Problem solved. Just requires patience.

    Quoth the Raven July 11, 2013 - 10:45 am #79570 Reply

    I don’t get it either.  Growlers at Mad Fox are about 1,000 million dollars, I think,and that doesn’t include buying the growler itself.  I think it’s sort of a “thing” – people like growlers, they’re cool, and thus they’re willing to pay.  But I think you’re right – bottles are cheaper…

    John Fontain July 11, 2013 - 10:49 am #79574 Reply

    okfuskeee, yes it is a case of charging what the market will bear.  People feel cool bringing home growlers, so they pay without thinking it through like you.  The same thing is happening with “craft beer” in general these days.  People are paying exorbitant prices for “craft beer” when, because of the lack of expensive advertising costs, the “craft beer” could be sold at the same prices as your everyday Bud and Miller and still generate the same contribution margins.  But people are willing to pay up for it, so the manufacturers rightly charge as much as possible and laugh all the way to the bank.

    halj July 11, 2013 - 10:57 am #79580 Reply

    Growlers at Mad Fox are about 1,000 million dollars,

    Mad Fox is a weird place price wise anyway.  A great pint runs about $3 but a small pretzel is $6.

    okfuskee July 11, 2013 - 10:58 am #79581 Reply

    @ Fontain

    My days of doing “cool” things is long over. I don’t like growlers because they’re cool, I think there is a taste difference, and I guess I am also thinking a little about the bottles and the freight…but mostly it’s the flavor.

    Captain_Obvious July 11, 2013 - 11:00 am #79583 Reply

    QTR, are you on Mad Fox’s mailer ?  They do half-price growler fills on Tuesdays.

    GoodOmens July 11, 2013 - 11:00 am #79584 Reply

    I only get growlers of stuff I can’t get in bottles (which these days is getting fewer and far between).  Not to mention it’s tough to drink a 64oz growler in the day or two before it starts going bad.  At least with bottles you can get a nice 6 pack and don’t have to drink it right away.

    Besides most of the beer I drinks is bottled conditioned and is rarely available on tap.

    Captain_Obvious July 11, 2013 - 11:01 am #79585 Reply

    Yes, Keg beer taste > can/bottle beer taste.

    courthound July 11, 2013 - 11:09 am #79591 Reply

    I guess it depends on the location. I was in Winston-Salem a few weeks back and Foothills Brewing’s growler price is $9.00. High gravity beers are $17. And their flight is six 6-oz beers for $7.99. Helluva deal.

    I’m curious to see the pricing at the new place going in at Pershing and 50.

    CommentBot July 11, 2013 - 11:25 am #79602 Reply

    If you ask nicely, novasteve might give you a deal on refills from his home brewing emporium.

    courthound July 11, 2013 - 11:28 am #79605 Reply

    I homebrew and enjoy doing it. It’s always interesting to see how everything comes out in the end and how the taste changes over a few weeks. I only do mini-kegs. I’m too lazy to sanitize 50 12-oz or 25 22-oz bottles.

    novasteve July 11, 2013 - 12:17 pm #79633 Reply

    Yeah, but I can’t be seen buying expensive growlers in my leased BMW if I home brew.

    BPMBA July 11, 2013 - 12:19 pm #79634 Reply

    What’s going in at Pershing and 50?

    Dezlboy July 11, 2013 - 1:17 pm #79652 Reply

    @NS, BMW’s have manual transmissions?

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