Booze You Can Use

How to be the best consumer you can be.
Aug. 31 1999 2:00 AM

Booze You Can Use

Getting the best beer for your money.

(Continued from Page 1)

The neat 6:3:2 mathematical relationship among the price groups should be noted. The high-end beers cost roughly three times as much as the cheapest ones, and twice as much as the middle range. The beers used in the experiment were as follows:

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High End

Grolsch. Import lager (Holland). $1.67 per pint. (See an important note on pricing.) Chosen for the test because of its beer-snob chic; also, one of my favorite beers.

Heineken. Import lager (Holland). $1.53 per pint. (Sale price. List price was $1.71 per pint.) Chosen because it is America's long-standing most popular import.

Pete's Wicked Lager. National-scale "microbrew." $1.11 per pint. (Deep-discount sale. List price $1.46 per pint.) Like the next one, this put us into the gray zone for a lager test. Few American "microbreweries" produce lagers of any sort. Pete's is called a lager but was visibly darker than, say, Bud.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager. National macro-microbrew. $1.56 per pint. (That was list price. The following week it was on sale for $1.25 per pint, which would have made it do far better in the value rankings.) Calls itself America's Best Beer. Has dark orangey-amber color that was obviously different from all other lagers tested.

Mid-Range

Budweiser. $.84 per pint. (Sale. List price $.89 per pint.) Self-styled King of Beers.

Miller Genuine Draft. $.84 per pint. (Sale. List price $.89 per pint.)

Coors Light. $.84 per pint. (Sale. List price $.89 per pint. Isn't price competition a wonderful thing?) The Silver Bullet That Won't Slow You Down.

Cheap