Thursday, January 30, 2014

Complaint Week // Complaint #4 of 5: BEER PRICES.

The dreaded 8-oz goblet.


At some point in the otherwise brilliant Craft Beer Revolution, someone—a brewer? a pub owner?—decided to serve a brew in a goblet, while, at the same time, administering “price creep” to the tab. We’ll return to the Goblet Problem in a moment, but first, let’s review a few basic principles that would govern pricing in any marketplace. A brewer who brews a smaller quantity of beer than, say, Boodweiser, and perhaps operates with a smaller distribution network than does Boodweiser, will, in all likelihood, have to charge a bit more for beer than Boodweiser would charge for a Bood or a Bood Lite. I also understand that, in a Big City, the pub has to pay Big City rent, electricity, etc., and these expenses stack up higher than for a pub situated, say, in the Wilderness. Still, when the bartender brings me an 8-oz (eight ounce) goblet of beer, and asks for $8 (eight dollars), I’ve got to conclude that both parties—brewer and pub—have begun to charge me (the consumer) for the phrase “Craft Beer.” Even if I’m wrong about the Elite Pricing Strategy at the Craft Beer Taps, that doesn’t change the bottom line, namely that a helping of Craft Beer will effectively price the Little Guy out of the market. In the end, $8 isn’t just $8. Tax makes the tab closer to $9, and after I leave a buck for the bartender, I’ve spent $10 on a goblet of beer. Two goblets is $20, and so forth, until I cannot indulge in much pub-going each week. [Ed. Note: the same beer, in the retail environment, typically costs $2 or less per 12-oz bottle.] Now, let’s get back to that Goblet Problem. It might as well be called a Snifter of Beer, or a Snort of Beer, or a Pinch of Beer. No, a beer should not arrive in an 8-oz goblet, it should arrive in a 16-oz pint glass, filled to the rim with beer, and I’m sorry to say this, but Boodweiser does not get served in an 8-oz goblet, does it? “Oh, can I please have an 8-oz pour of the Bood Light? Thank you. Put it on my tab.” A snifter of Boodweiser: Yeah, right: I don’t prefer Bood to a good Craft Stout, but Boodweiser doesn’t arrive in pretentious glasses. The Craft Beer Revolution gives us great beer, brews that we always yearned for, that we couldn’t even conceive of, before we beheld a pint or a bottle. Everyday guys brew these beers—dudes with beards and overalls and dyspepsia—as opposed to Corporate Facilities. The Cost of Living soars, unless I remove several Craft Beers from my Basket of Goods. Beer Guys: Double-You, Tee, Eff? I don’t alight upon a barstool in order to drink a few goblets; I’m there to drink some pints. It’s not wine, it’s not brandy. It’s beer!

Complaint # 1: Doctors & Pre-illness.
Complaint # 2: Gravitational Pull.
Complaint # 3: Washington Metrorail.
Complaint #5: Industrial Decay.

2 comments:

tpw said...

A goblet? Do they still have them? Maybe you should go full medieval and demand a chalice or a flagon.

DAN / DANIEL GUTSTEIN said...

The flagon appeals to me, because it suggests great ounces. If that fails, maybe they have a hob-goblet. Speaking medievally, that is.

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