Are Millennials Driving Down the Price of Beer in Bars?
A new report shows that prices have decreased over the past six months.
Basic economics say that price and demand are tied together. So, for instance, if demand goes down, price may go down with it. In the beer industry, most recent reports have stated that demand isn’t where it used to be: Overall beer sales were slightly down last year, and younger people appear to be gravitating away from beer in favor of options like spirits or simply not consuming as much alcohol as their boozier forefathers. Now, a new report may represent the other shoe: the price of beer in bars has also dropped.
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of beer and other malt beverages away from home (aka, in places like bars) dropped 0.5 percent over the past six months, Business Insider reports. Though this average does fluctuate on a month-to-month basis, this dip apparently marks the first time since the bureau started tracking this information back in 1997 that away from home beer prices are actually down over a six-month period.
That said, economics is far more complicated than a basic X and Y axis, and there’s no way of directly tying this new data to younger generations changing thirst for alcohol. Business Insider also points out that May’s 0.7 percent drop was apparently the largest month-over-month drop in decades. Though that’s clearly bad news in and of itself, it could also simply point to last month representing a major anomaly for some to-be-determined reason. Additionally, Bureau of Labor Statistics data also seems to show that malt beverage prices of all types are actually up over that same six-month period, potentially just pointing to more people drinking at home (as younger generations also are said to prefer), which is bad for bars but not as bad for beer overall.
But regardless, what the beer industry has been looking for recently is good news — and this news wouldn’t seem to fit that bill. Unless you’re a consumer, of course: In that case, enjoy the steady beer prices while you can.