Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Think I'll have myself a beer

Well, I made it through the first work "week", though not without getting on the wrong commuter rail on the way home and winding up quite a few miles away from anywhere familiar.  Did I mention I then got threatened by a 14 year old who seemed to think I was mildly out of line for being at the train stop when she wanted to smoke pot there with her friends?  Because I did.  Sigh*.

Given all that, this chart from the Economist seemed appropriate.
I like this graphic because it juxtaposes two interesting things....average wages and the price of alcohol.  I had no idea the Brits and Aussie's were paying so much for their booze, but it's interesting to see how well the developed world still comes out in this.

I did have to wonder whether this was average beer prices or lowest cost beer, and for what region.  I actually am allergic to beer, so I'm not sure if that $1.80 for 500 mL (17 oz or so) is accurate or common.  Seemed a bit low to me, but it's likely because it's part of a retail price for a six pack, not the bar prices I've seen.

Regardless, I was glad to see that if I needed to do some drinking, I'm apparently in the right country for it.

*In case you're curious how I fared in this encounter with the Roslindale hooligans, the answer is strangely.  I was pretty over the top upset about the train thing (it was unmarked with a broken PA system so I couldn't even correct my mistake quickly as they weren't announcing any stops).  In my tired still post-partum hormonal state, I really couldn't handle this child attempting to impress her friends, and ended up rolling my eyes at her and walking off with a "Fine, whatever".  I think she was genuinely surprised by that response, couldn't think of a comeback and then I was gone.  It occurred to me later that I had quite possibly just out teenagered a teenager.  

Ultimately, my very sweet husband came and found me, which was quite nice of him.


  1. It's the Big Mac Index, but for beer.

    I don't think that price is too far from retail that I pay; but I don't buy a lot of beer. Never the Bud/Miller/Coors/Molson types, usually it's beer produced by a smaller brewery. (Or home-brewed...)

  2. Prevailing wage is certainly a large factor, but taxes on beer may also be an important item. Also, the availability of other hooch, including uh, privately distilled beverages not subject to national regulation may have impact.

    The American mild lagers that dominate the market have enormous cost-efficiency because the margins are small, the competition fierce, and the market large.

    Related: I keep hoping I will find something really cheap that I like a lot. I took a flier on Genesee Cream Ale at $4 for 6x16oz this week - a nice retro appeal, and maybe it would have some actual flavor...

    No such luck. It was indistinguishable from the Budweiser or Miller products sold in quantity at Cumbies.

  3. 1) How can you be allergic to beer? Beer!
    2) Is America a great country, or what?
    3) AVI -- try Rolling Rock.

  4. Rolling Rock is a great substitute for water. Dangerous.

  5. Here in Seattle we are blessed with many microbrews (Pyramid, Redhook, Hale's Ales, and dozens more). Trader Joe's (if you have one) is also a good source for good, relatively cheap beer.

    And if all else fails, look for a high-end belgian, like Chimay. It's expensive, but worth it.