The fellows over at Brewed for Thought and BetterBeerBlog, aided and abetted by one Mr. Stan Hieronymus, have raised the topic of beer price again, and so we dive merrily (drunkenly?) into the rabbit hole once again.
I’ve contributed all I want to contribute already over at Stan’s blog, but the issue, coupled with my enjoyment last night of The Spirit of Toronto whisky festival, made me think about the nature of enjoyment and the role played in it by that thing the trade rags call beverage alcohol. Because if you ask me, now more than ever, a good beer or whisky or glass of wine truly is one of life’s great affordable luxuries, and will remain so even as prices creep up and the phrase “affordable luxury” becomes battered and bruised from sometimes outrageous misuse. (A cruise as an affordable luxury? Give me a break!)
I look at it this way. The most I’m likely to pay for a beer is about $30 for a 750 ml bottle, perhaps a bit higher if I’m indulging myself in a bar or restaurant or visiting a Whole Foods in northern California when my curiosity gets the better of me. For that price, I will most likely get a minimum of an hour’s worth of enjoyment, less if I’m sharing and more if I’m kicking back at home and leisurely sipping at a few glasses of premium brew. Because I have the money and because I believe I work hard for it, I think that $30 is money well spent, whether it’s going towards the purchase of beer or wine or whisky or an outrageously good cocktail. If I had a lot more money, I’d probably be willing to spend more for that precious piece of enjoyment, just as if I didn’t have the cash, I wouldn’t buy the beer.
Compared to any number of things that cost me more and pleasure me less, that simple enjoyment comes as a true bargain indeed. End of story.