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Wholesale Beer Prices

I am surprised at the divergence of canned and bottled beer. Now since most beer is sold in cans (my educated guess from what’s on Kroger’s shelves), it does though make sense that the overall index is close to that for canned beer. Note that the PPI is likely weighted by volume, and so is dominated by the pricing of AB InBev and Molson Miller Coors. It would be interesting to be able to track similar data for craft brewers.


  1. glancyj16 glancyj16

    One reason for the divergence may be the fact that large whole sale buyers of beer, professional sport stadiums, no longer sell or hold glass bottles. Not even the boxes or club levels hold glass bottles. Stadium owners do not allow glass in the stadium for safety reasons, and insurance costs. These stadiums, spanning the MLB, NHL, NFL, spend hundreds of millions of dollars on beer and make billions in profits. A large buyer no longer purchasing bottles and only aluminum cans may begin to explain the divergence.

  2. Joe Beninati Joe Beninati

    I have noticed a recent trend of craft breweries beginning to sell their products in cans too. I know that certain bottling techniques cause beer to spoil more quickly. I think that craft breweries, who emphasize locality and freshness, are now selling their products in cans in order to reduce the likelihood of spoiling.

  3. My guess is that “keg” sales at stadiums is small relative to restaurants and the like. Many fans surely balk at the price, but more to the point, many fans surely drink beer at sports bars in volumes far higher over the course of a year than they do at the odd game they attend in person.

    Now my hunch is that “draught” microbrews are a bigger share of overall draft/keg sales today than 10 years ago. If so, then what this really represents is a shift in the composition of kegs from Miller Lite to Devils Backbone and its peers.

  4. przybylag17 przybylag17

    If I am remembering information from the Devil’s Backbone tour correctly, it is cheaper for breweries to can rather than bottle their beer. However, brewers have to cater to their consumers. And while most surveys point to more consumers preferring cans over bottles (though many respondents are indifferent), managers of musical and sporting events dislike them, as noted above. So while we could keep looking, expecting cans to triumph over bottles or vice versa, I think we can actually expect to continue seeing both. This is nice for consumers, who end up with more options.

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