In the last 7 months, macro beers at bars across New York City have seen a 9.4% price increase, according to the food and beverage research firm, Restaurant Sciences. Chuck Ellis, who headed up the research, said, “I believe the single biggest driver in sub-premium beer price increases is indeed specifically PBR. It has become quite fashionable.”
The firm tracked prices at 500 bars and restaurants across New York City and found that macro prices jumped at double the rate of craft beer. Why? Because PBR’s transition from cheap swill to a liquid fashion statement has allowed bar and restaurant owners to jack up the prices on other “sub-premium” beers – Bud, Miller, Coors, etc.
Basically, it’s like this: the people running restaurants and bars are seeing these mustached dudes with ridiculous fedoras who are willing to pay just about anything for a can of PBR, and they think, Well, if they’re willing to pay that for PBR, then they’ll probably pay that for [insert other cheap beer’s name] too.
Right now, it seems as though this trend is only really affecting macro brands, which will probably not bother a lot of you reading. But I’m a little bit worried it will eventually hit craft beer too. I mean, if PBR is making Bud look good, imagine what it’s doing for all the craft beer brands. I don’t mind paying a little bit more for a good beer out at the bar. I just won’t be happy if I see my favorite beers rising in cost as a result of a bunch of hipster dweebs drinking PBR.
So here’s my solution: the next time you see one of your friends drinking a PBR, calmly inform them of this appalling trend. Or just slap the can out of their hand, and tell them they’re a jerk. Then refer to the recent Public Policy Poll that showed only 16% of Americans having a favoriable opinion of hipsters.