Priced Out of Beer

Any of you alive during the 1970s know that increases in fuel prices drive increases in food prices. Then, and (sadly for the most part) now our agribusiness-produced food heavily relies on fossil fuels for fertilization, planting, spraying, harvesting, shipping, processing, and more shipping. Despite the growth of the organic food industry and a greater interest in eating locally-grown foods, far more of the food available at Central Market and Whole Food Markets travels greater distances than the offerings at our neighborhood Rylanders did in the 1970s.

So I’ve been alert to food prices nickel and diming their way up all summer. When I wandered into Central Market last week during inventory, I accepted the fact that more price increases were on the way. I was unprepared for the smarmy way in which they did it.

Case in point: Wednesday, I purchased a 4-pack of Maredsous 10, a lovely and pricey Belgian beer, for $7.99. It was so yummy that on Saturday I went back for another 4-pack. In front of the Maredsous display was a card announcing “$8.99; save 50 cents!” Behind the card the price from Wednesday, $7.99, was still visible. Now I understand that Central Market has to raise its prices to cover increased costs. But being told that the $1.00 price increase was a 50 cent savings just irked me. Talk about adding insult to injury. I stared at the two prices for a long time and walked off without buying the beer.

In all fairness, Central Market still has the better price. The same beer is $9.99 at Whole Foods Market. However, I’m so miffed at the false advertising that I won’t be buying fancy-shmancy beer from either of them for awhile. Back to Lone Star.

4 Comments so far

  1. ttrentham (unregistered) on August 28th, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

    I’ve noticed the beer prices creeping up across the board. My beloved Red Hook ESB, which sits somewhere between Lone Star and Maredsous, has gone up at least $1 / 12-pack in the past 6 months.

    We also noticed that they jacked up an already pricey soap/shampoo that we used to use on the kids. I say “used to” b/c a 50% price increase has put it firmly in the luxury item category.

  2. PanAsianBiz (unregistered) on August 29th, 2006 @ 9:09 pm

    I can understand your frustration because it’s happening by me (Chicago right now) also. Granted, I didn’t notice a $1 ($1.50?) price increase in a matter of a couple of days, but they are definitely higher across the board.

  3. Annie in Austin (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

    MSS, I mentioned your beer saga to Philo, who thought the Maredsous was twice as much as he was willing to pay for beer. Tim, he also likes Red Hook, and was glad to take advantage of the 12-pack sale at our local HEB, price $12. He prefers RH India Pale Ale, but they also had ESB.


  4. mss (unregistered) on September 2nd, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

    Twice the money for twice the punch? Maredsous 10 is 10% alcohol. Redhook IPA is 6.5%. A Corona Extra, 4.6%.

    I noticed that IPA’s are also are generally higher in alcohol than the porters and stouts I generally drink. AJ loves IPA and I love stout and the only common ground we find drinking beer is Belgian ale.

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