Today is the fall equinox, and it marks the first anniversary of the Portland Beer Price Index. A few more quarters, and then we'll really have some data. Please remember, this is not a rant about how expensive beer is, it's just a project to watch how prices change over time. Click here for a full explanation of the PBPI.
Here are the figures for Autumn 2010:
- 6-packs: $8.73, unchanged
- 22-ounce bombers: $4.94, down 1 cent
- 6-packs (sale price): $8.13, down 12 cents
- 22-ounce bombers (sale price): $4.94, up 11 cents
- 16 oz. draft: $4.29, up 8 cents
- 16 oz. draft (happy hour): $3.52, up 1 cent
On the retail side, the "normal" prices are about the same as the Summer 2010 figures. The "sale" prices look like they're wildly swinging, but if you look back over the last couple of surveys, you could interpret it that they're just returning to prices they were at in earlier surveys. In the past two PBPIs, bomber sale prices had fallen 12 cents; now they're up 11. Mainly this continues the trend of very few bomber prices being marked down. The six-pack sale price simply undoes the 12-cent rise from last time, when surprisingly few sixers were on sale.
On the pub side, prices are creeping up. I think the happy hour price would have been up more, except Hopworks' happy hour is at a 75-cent discount, while last time I had it at at 50 cents. It was probably my error, since it was 75 cents the time before.
There is one problem I have to fix. Pelican IPA has now gone two quarters without being available at Fred's or QFC. A beer and wine guy at Fred's told me it is because they now self-distribute. This quarter I just used the historical price for those two stores, since its price hadn't changed at the other two stores, but I have to find a replacement. You guys helped me find QFC to replace the lame selection at Safeway: now help me find a replacement for Pelican. I would like it to be something outside of Portland, with wide availability, and something a little on the high end of the price range, like Pelican. I had been considering Oakshire and Heater Allen, but I think Oakshire is too reasonably priced (thanks!) and Heater Allen may not be available at all four retail places. Maybe Beer Valley Leafer Madness is a good replacement? Other ideas?
Look for the next index around Christmas.