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Apparently, it's one thing both craft and big beer fans can agree on.

Mike Pomranz
October 09, 2018

Who in their right mind would want to pay more for beer, you might ask? Turns out a lot of environmentally-conscious drinkers would be happy to pay significantly more for their brews according to a new study, assuming those beers are produced in a more sustainable manner.

Recently published research from the Indiana University surveyed 1,095 beer drinkers around the country and found that 59 percent of them said they’d be willing to pay more for sustainably produced beer—to the tune, on average, of an extra 22 cents per 12-ounce bottle or $1.30 per six-pack. “The takeaway for the brewing industry is that it is financially feasible to introduce energy-saving practices into the brewing process,” the authors wrote according to Beverage Daily.

Sustainability has become a big issue in the beer world—with breweries looking for ways to use less energy and waste less water. For example, Anheuser-Busch InBev has been working on producing beer at lower temperatures and MillerCoors has promised to cut its water use by 17 percent. But even smaller breweries have committed to solutions like adding solar panels or looking for ways to reclaim wastewater.

Of course, the researchers also point out that sustainably alone isn’t the only reason people purchase a beer, so a brew still has to check other boxes. “Even if people are willing to pay a premium for sustainable attributes, these consumers still consider and balance other attributes of the commodity, such as price quality, and brand image, among others,” the study states. “It is important, therefore, that sustainability practices not compromise the quality or consistency of the product, or introduce functional risks, which previous studies have found to diminish interest in sustainable products.”

Interestingly enough, the study also found that the kind of beer people preferred had little impact on their willingness to pay for sustainability. “Consumers of traditional American lagers—think Budweiser and Coors—were as likely to be willing to pay more as those who prefer craft beers,” researchers wrote. Turns out being environmentally-friendly might be one thing beer drinkers can agree on.

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