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Beer The Almighty Buck Idle

Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World 633

Posted by timothy
from the beat-the-high-cost-of-living-and-die dept.
derekmead writes "It's frustrating to drop $7 on a pint of beer in New York City, as it turns out, Americans have the cheapest beer on Earth. International bank UBS gathered data about the median wages and average retail prices of a 500mL (pint) beer in 150 countries. Those data were compiled to figure out how many minutes of work it takes the average worker of a country to earn enough money to buy a beer. It's funny that UBS analysts are spending time looking at beer, but considering that beer is beloved and nigh essential everywhere, it offers an interesting comparison between commodities and wages. For example, India tops the least, with the median worker having to work nearly an hour to afford a pint thanks to extremely low wages. In the U.S. however, where wages are relatively high and the cost of the average beer is quite low (thanks to those super-massive macrobreweries out there), it takes the median worker about five minutes of labor to afford a retail (store-, not bar-bought) pint. That's the shortest amount of time in the world, which means that, relatively speaking, beer is cheaper here than anywhere else." OK, UBS: Now please repeat the research with coffee.
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Beer Is Cheaper In the US Than Anywhere Else In the World

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  • Incidentally... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:02PM (#41452553)

    ...it's also worse than anywhere else in the world. No joke, people.

  • Conversion error (Score:4, Insightful)

    by raburton (1281780) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:03PM (#41452569)

    a pint != 500mL
    a pint == 568mL

  • Low standards (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:04PM (#41452597)

    Most of the swill served in the US would not qualify as beer elsewhere in the world.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya ... m minus math_god> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:09PM (#41452681) Homepage Journal

    False, but you go on being ignorant.

  • Re:Vodka is better (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sarysa (1089739) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:11PM (#41452713)
    There's one purpose for alcohol, and Vodka tends to accomplish that faster and with less vomiting and hangovers. So I'll raise my glass, which is cheaper here than anywhere else, and toast Vodka's awesomeness.
  • by tgeller (10260) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:11PM (#41452717) Homepage
    I'll save you the time: "American beer sucks, har har har".

    Really? You *all* think you're clever for saying that?

    Anyway -- it's not even true. That is, it's a meaningless statement. America has an enormous range of native beers, of every style, strength, and flavor. It's true that our tastes run toward weaker beers, but it's just stupid to say popular = "American".
  • Re:Vodka is better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metalgamer84 (1916754) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:22PM (#41452925)
    Not everyone likes distilled liquors such as Vodka. I have no stomach for it and do not enjoy it in the slightest.

    Beer on the other hand I enjoy greatly. I stick to mainly micro and craft brews. I don't drink my beer to get drunk, I drink it because I enjoy the many many different flavor profiles possible with different types of beers and ingredients used. You sound like the typical youth of today, the only way to drink is in excess and the only reason to drink is to get drunk. Grow up and mature a bit, the world doesn't need more irresponsible alcoholics.
  • Re:Vodka is better (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:23PM (#41452963)

    There's one purpose for alcohol, and Vodka tends to accomplish that faster and with less vomiting and hangovers. So I'll raise my glass, which is cheaper here than anywhere else, and toast Vodka's awesomeness.

    There's only one kind of person who thinks there is but a single use for alcohol.

    An alcoholic.

    Have fun with your "less" vomiting and hangovers. I'll stick with no puking and more pleasure, or perhaps choose alternatives that don't cause a blatant poisoning effect on my body.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @02:26PM (#41453029) Homepage Journal

    ...it's also worse than anywhere else in the world. No joke, people.

    Well, there's BEER, as in Bud, Coors and various other mega brews, who use who knows what (Bud uses rice) in adjuncts, most of the money going into marketing is denied in going into product.

    Then there are craft brewers who make Ales, Stouts, Porters, Lagers and so on with the finest barley, hops and water they can muster. You'll see them competing in the categories which really matter at the GABF [greatameri...stival.com] Many of the small brewers can hold more than a candle to their European counterparts, who are under threat these days from cheap lagers from France (some people just want to get under the table and don't care how.) At least in Germany you are still guaranteed fair ales for your money, thanks to the Reinheitsgebot. A real pity the USA didn't take something like that onto the Constitution.

  • See Beer Advocate [beeradvocate.com]. American beer isn't all crappy lager in cans... we have an incredibly vibrant craft beer and homebrewing scene. I drink the former and make the latter myself, and these lips shall never meet swill! Mostly because it's cheaper to brew up a quick ten gallon batch of pale ale than to buy a vomit-inducing Budweiser. I guess it speaks to the power of marketing that folks outside of (or even inside!) the US think so lowly of our beer.

  • Re:Vodka is better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by atlasdropperofworlds (888683) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @03:09PM (#41453799)
    Better yet, just keep your vodka in the freezer and drink it straight.
  • Bad statistic... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Troyusrex (2446430) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @03:10PM (#41453809)
    This is really measuring the wealth of countries, not the cheapness of beer since it measures the number of minutes worked to pay for a beer. Even the major European economies have per capita GDP's 20%-30% lower than the US when measure via PPP (Purchasing power parity).
  • Re:Vodka is better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pwizard2 (920421) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @03:11PM (#41453835)

    Vodka is better than beer. It gives a nice warm kick and you don't need to go piss all the time.

    Scotch (or even a decent bourbon) does the same thing and actually has some complexity. Vodka is too sterile and lifeless for me... it's good in drinks but I can't imagine drinking it straight.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @03:29PM (#41454079) Homepage Journal

    It's certainly true of the large breweries. The micro brews (which are extremely common now days) are much better

    You know, I did my best to accommodate the beer snobs, but I have found, again and again, that on a hot day barbeque at the summer house, the cooler with the watery Pabst macro brew seems to empty out first.

    And when you see someone at Comiskey nursing a room-temperature micro-boutique "pils" that has some too-clever name, you can be pretty sure that their tickets are being written off as a business expenditure and they're not really a Sox fan. They probably use a moisturizer around the eyes before bed, too (if you catch my drift).

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @03:52PM (#41454495) Homepage

    Just because our big native breweries have been bought by foreign investors doesn't mean they've changed the traditional recipes. Bud and Coors are still as American as ... polysorbate 60.

    Sam Adams is meh. Better that the bland, tasteless crap produced by the big guys, but only "quite good" if your standards are quite low. For American breweries that predate the microbrew explosion and actually have flavor, I'll take Anchor Steam, thanks. And even they're not as good as the good American beers that are available these days.

    The thing is that "American beer" can have two meanings. If you mean "beer made in America", then yes, there's plenty that's quite passable (including even Sam Adams), but I think it can also be used in the sense of "American cheese", as a description of a style of beer that is utterly flavorless, except perhaps for a few hints of nastyness, as exemplified by Bud and Coors.

  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@ g d a r g a u d . net> on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:04PM (#41454731) Homepage

    Weird opinion - the US is near the tops in terms of food quality in the world, based on my experience.

    He, have you really stepped out of the US ?!?

    Try eating your way around New York

    Every time I mention food being bad in the US, americans always go "but you have to try it in NY!". Why ? NY is only a tiny subset of the US and also variety != quality. And for your information I've been in NY and the crappy 25$ burgers were just as bad as ANY other burger. If you go to a random unassuming restaurant in Italy [for instance], chances are you'll find the antipasti and the pizza and the pasta delicious. And for less than 20$/Euro. If you do the same anywhere in the US, chances are you'll shit that fast food in your pants if you can't find a toilet fast enough. Travel, and see for yourself.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:06PM (#41454773)

    It's probably what people grew up with. Some people for inexplicable reasons will prefer Coors. But it technically wouldn't be considered a real beer in some parts of the world. On the other hand you can go to a lot of ball parks and get decent beer, like Sam Adams or a locally brewed batch (mini-brew if not micro-brew).

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:16PM (#41454947)

    some people just want to get under the table and don't care how

    This is one thing I've never understood. Yes, it's true that some people just want to get absolutely plastered. Hell, one could argue common. In college, it's damn near a requirement in some social circles there.

    So why in the darkest pits of hell would you want to do so with beer?!? You can't POSSIBLY find a more inefficient liquid than something that's 4.5% alcohol. Great, you just funnelled 3 liters of beer into your stomach. Have fun burping the fizz out for the next several hours, farting what you don't burp, and going for a piss every 30 seconds.

    You can get absolutely, ridiculously cheap vodka or rum or what have you, almost (and sometimes over) a full order of magnitude MORE alcoholic than beer. No gas, significantly less pissing, faster drunk... I just don't understand it.

    Now don't get me wrong... I like the taste of a good beer (emphasis on 'good'... anything mass produced like coors or what have you can be dumped right down the drain in my opinion), but if I was for some bizarre reason in the mood to get plastered, literally ANYTHING else alcoholic would do a better job than cheap beer.

    If there's anyone on slashdot who enjoys getting wasted on cheap beer (unlikely), I'd love to hear the reasoning behind this.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:44PM (#41455483) Homepage Journal

    I see you've never tasted American beer, only Budweiser (Belgium), Coors (Canadian), or Miller (British). Those brands used to be American but all were bought by foreigners. Try a Sam Adams some time, or one of the fine microbrews. Every bit as good as a Bass or Guiness.

  • Re:Incidentally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Meeni (1815694) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @05:39PM (#41456239)

    I follow you up to the last statement. There are very good microbrews now in the US, and certainly, when the subject is IPA, US brewers are top notch. Still, Belgian and Germans are better. Proper process inherited from traditions can be tasted, and often "belgian style" US production is adventurous (good), to the point of denaturing the product by using improper processes to "enhance" or "flavor" the batch the easy way (additives), instead of the proper way. That being said, the general quality is certainly satisfactory, and sometimes, the creativity pays and this is to be appreciated.

    On the price side, this report is misleading. Crap beers are dirt cheap. But they are crap. Good beers are not that cheap compared to typical European prices.

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