Portland Beer Price Index Configuration

The Portland Beer Price Index is an effort to track changes in the price of good Oregon beer at Portland pubs and retail establishments.  It is not an effort to compare prices between establishments or breweries, nor is it a complaint about any particular price or prices in general.  It is intended to function a little like a stock market index -- it is an average of a fixed number of data points, chosen for their quality and their ability to represent the broader market. In the case of the PBPI, the components are also chosen based on how convenient it is for me to gather the information.  So it's heavily weighted to Southeast Portland, and the retail survey is made up of Oregon beers from around the state that are popular enough to be found at every store in the index.

A stock market index sometimes changes its components to drop fading companies or to add rising stars.  Similarly, the components of the PBPI will change from time to time, usually to reflect availability of various brands, or to make it more representative of the Portland scene.  The current configuration is:

Retail stores

  • Belmont Station
  • Fred Meyers (Hawthorne)
  • QFC (Burnside)
  • Pearl Specialty Market (from Summer 2011)
  • Safeway (Hawthorne) (from Autumn 2013)

Retail six packs
  • Bridgeport IPA
  • Caldera Pale Ale
  • Deschutes Black Butte Porter
  • Full Sail Amber
  • Terminal Gravity IPA
  • Widmer Hefeweizen
  • Ninkasi Total Domination (from Summer 2011)

Retail bombers
  • Base Camp In-Tents IPL (from Autumn 2014)
  • Hopworks IPA (or similar HUB bottle)
  • Lompoc C-Note
  • Ninkasi Total Domination
  • Pelican IPA
  • Rogue Shakespeare Stout (or similar Rogue bottle)

Pubs
  • Bailey's Taproom
  • Barley Mill
  • Belmont Station
  • Bridgeport
  • Deschutes
  • Green Dragon
  • Hopworks
  • Horse Brass
  • Lucky Labrador
  • Vincente's Pizza

Retail prices are recorded as both the nominal regular price, as well as the current sale price on the day of the survey.  If a beer isn't on sale, its sale price is the same as the regular price.  The pub price is the most common or average price of a "pint" (don't get me started) of good beer at the pub, normalized to 16 fluid ounces.  It is necessary to normalize to 16 ounces because of the varying glassware sizes at the different places.  If the pub has a happy hour, a cheap pint day, or a daily special, the best such price is recorded as the happy hour price for that pub; otherwise the happy hour price is the same as the regular price.