Craft Beer Budget

By Staff Blogger Ryan Hieronymus

As a beer enthusiast it’s fun, almost a mission, to try as many new breweries and beers as possible. With the number of breweries growing around the country it’s nearly impossible to try them all. Beer trades and tasting parties are a great way to sample a variety of offerings, but beyond location and availability another limiting factor is money.


Over the last week or so I made an attempt to hit up a few new places. Some of the spots were found due to excursions in the city to previously unexplored neighborhoods and others, purposeful trips outside the city.

I recently visited Empirical, Only Child, Mikerphone and 350. I also hit up a few regular/local spots like Half Acre. I was delighted at each new spot to try initial offerings from each and pick up some special releases, but as my brewery check-ins accumulated I become more hesitant to grab extras to-go. In part, not all the items for take away were new but also because I realized I had a ton of beer to drink and money that I needed to spend on other things.


I currently don’t have a set beer budget but try to control what I spend. While I love beer there are always bills to pay and a myriad of other outings and experiences I want to share with my family that are worth saving up for.


While I was in line at Mikerphone I overheard a guy behind me say he didn’t want to tell his girlfriend how much time he spent in line or how much money he’s spent on beer recently and he offered up to his friend that he spent over a grand during a previous beer splurging shopping spree.


Before I was married and with kids I definitely spent a greater share of my paycheck spending time at craft beer bars and breweries than I do now. As my family grows, priorities have shifted and our set expenses change as we plan for the future. We still enjoy checking out and supporting the local breweries, but spend less than we used to on craft beer.


Do you have a set beer budget? How do you prioritize which special release or beer events to attend? Do you look for deals on craft, or have a go to well-priced local brew and splurge only here and there? Do you supplement your craft stash with your favorite macro?


What is your budget strategy for enjoying your favorite beer and keeping money in your pocket? Looking forward to your comments!


Cheers!


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1 comment

  • This was definitely one of my favorite post. I too do not want my wife to know how much I’ve spent on beer. There is no set budget but I try not to go crazy either. I once spent $52 on a mixed six pack because the shop charged by the bottle and I was working a quite a bit of OT. At the time it was worth it but I couldn’t do that again.
    As far as buying macro, that’s only done for big parties. I’m a chubby fellow so I try not to drink like I did in college. A couple nights a week I’ll drink one beer after the rug-rats are settled in and I can enjoy it. If I were to have a bunch of Miller Lites in the garage, my consumption would be much higher.
    Since I try to be kind of grown up, the brewery trips are few and far between. But it is fun to watch people further back in line look confused when I don’t buy my full allotment.
    A budget, set or in the back of my head is a blessing and curse. It keeps me and my liver in check, and probably married. But I hate hoping a tasty looking brew will be there next time.

    • Brian CURRY