Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter
Some students, like Christopher Munday, have cut back on their beer consumption.
“I used to buy at least a six-pack on the weekend and one for the week,” said Munday, junior in justice studies. “I buy a case of beer once a month now, probably, and my buddies and I go through that in a few hours when we’re together.”
Beer prices have been going up, causing different responses from students and their beer-buying habits. According to USA Today, sales of domestic beer fell 2.3 percent over the third quarter this year. Miller Lite’s sales fell 7.5 percent. Coors light was up by 1 percent, a slower rate of growth than in previous quarters.
Rob Cicero, owner of Cicero Liquor, and Kyle Ozbun, manager of The Jungle bar, say price changes are expected to hit Pittsburg around the beginning of October.
“I will be raising the prices on Anheiser Busch and Coors, which are the two main beer distributors,” said Cicero. “Their prices will be going up for me to purchase, so I have to price it higher.”
Ozbun says part of the change in beer prices has to do with the liquor tax going up. He says he hasn’t heard about price changes in hard liquor.
“People tend to switch to whiskey in the winter, so I do see people switching to more liquor,” said Ozbun. “However, I can’t see beer prices affecting how they buy liquor drinks.”
Ozbun says he’s planning to run early-bird specials once the price of beer goes up at his bar. He says he will have to raise the beer prices on not only domestics, but imports. Both the British Beer and Pub Association and the Campaign for Real Ale have launched a campaign to fight a new tax placed on beers.
“Now that we have to raise the prices on premium beers like Sam Adams, I can see it scaring some people away,” Ozbun said. “They’ll probably be buying cheaper beer like Keystone and Natural Light.”
Cicero says he sells more Keystone and Natural Light beer than any others. He says imports like Corona won’t go up in his store.
“I think people might buy more imports. If a good quality import beer is the same as domestic, people might buy more of that,” Cicero said.
Jason Hall, senior in information systems, says although he prefers import and microbrewery beers over domestic, he will often buy the cheaper domestic.
“I’ll mix it up with the cheaper beer when I go to a bar so that my wallet isn’t hurting at the end of the night,” Hall said. “I would say I drink over a-third less beer in general, though, than I used to.”
However, other students say the rising prices aren’t going to keep them from drinking. For some, it does depend on where they’re going and what they will be doing as to what beer they choose.
“If I know I’m not going out anywhere and am just keeping it casual with friends I’ll pay a little extra for a Blue Moon or Dos Equis,” said Ian Perron, junior in biology. “However, if I’m going floating on the river or tailgating I’ll opt for cheaper beer.”
Falk Zimpel, senior in business, says he will continue to drink beer even as the prices go up. He also believes other beer drinkers will do the same.
“Beer consumers have a non-cynical behavior,” said Zimpel. “If the economy is decreasing, people will drink more in general, because they have nothing else to do.”