Sunday is the spring equinox, so it's time once again for the Portland Beer Price Index. As a reminder, this survey is not a complaint about beer prices generally or at any particular place. It's just my attempt to watch price trends over time. For more details on which beers and establishments were surveyed, see the first PBPI.
Here is the Spring 2010 PBPI:
- 6-packs: $8.74, down 1 cent
- 22-ounce bombers: $4.94, down 9 cents
- 6-packs (sale price): $8.15, up 30 cents
- 22-ounce bombers (sale price): $4.88, down 9 cents
- 16 oz. draft: $4.20, unchanged
- 16 oz. draft (happy hour): $3.48, up 2 cents
The drop in bomber prices is almost wholly due to a $1 drop in the price of Pelican IPA at Belmont and New Seasons. Fred's is pocketing the savings on Pelican, and also seems to indicate that they're going to raise the price of Rogue Shakespeare Stout, though the sale price keeps it even for now. I noted fewer 6-pack sales this time, which resulted in the 30-cent jump in the 6-pack sale price. In particular, no one had a sale on Deschutes.
Is something going on with Deschutes' cash flow? They raised their pub pint price, and no six-packs are on sale. On the other hand, prices are still falling at Belmont Station -- including a 25-cent drop on the typical draft pint price -- which makes me think they're feeling the heat from Beermongers. Do the Deschutes and Belmont changes represent two opposing responses to the rough economy? I also noticed more variability in the prices at Horse Brass. A lot of classics are just $4.25 a pint, but some guest tap prices are creeping up. For now I kept a $4.50 typical price for Horse Brass.
In the next cycle, I'm likely to drop Safeway, since they only contribute four six-packs and no bombers. I tried to outflank them this time by checking out the fancier store at 39th and Powell, but it had exactly the same selection as on Hawthorne. Does Trader Joe's have the beers in my survey? QFC? I might consider Beaumont Market or 39th Street Mini-Mart as a replacement, but they are likely to have higher prices than Safeway and I'd have to figure out how to restate the prices. If you have any ideas for me, I'd love to hear them.
Look for the next PBPI around June 21.