Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

The cost of a beer the year you turned 21

1/
Russell Lee // Wikicommons

The cost of a beer the year you turned 21

Each year, the U.S. spends an astounding $100 billion on beer. Between pints over brunch and after-work sessions, beer holds a prominent place in the American lifestyle. But the obsession with beer doesn't stop with the average consumer, as sharing a round of brews has come to epitomize comradery, celebration, or just simple enjoyment across the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports, and business.

Over the last few decades, the beer landscape has evolved considerably with the rise of craft breweries and the consolidation of major brands. To help understand how these changes impact average beer drinks, Stacker analyzed average price data for 16-oz malt beverages from 1995 to 2018 along with CPI changes from 1952 to 1995 for at home consumption of beer, ale, and other malt beverages, both provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national CPI was used to adjust for inflation, and finally, the contextual information on the number of breweries each year from the Brewer's Association was added in to complete the analysis.

Read on to rediscover a time where you could get a refreshing pint for under a quarter—and you had to work a little harder to find a brewery to call your own.

2/
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

1952

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.22

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.04 (#6 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 285

3/
Fox Photos/Getty Images

1953

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.22

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.05 (#5 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 272

4/
Jet Lowe // Wikicommons

1954

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.11 (#1 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 258

5/
Russell Lee // Wikicommons

1955

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.10 (#3 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 239

6/
Russell Lee // Wikicommons

1956

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.11 (#2 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 227

7/
Three Lions/Getty Images

1957

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.08 (#4 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 210

8/
Geoff Charles // Wikicommons

1958

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.01 (#7 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 198

9/
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1959

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.01 (#9 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 193

10/
Ronald Saunders // Wikicommons

1960

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.01 (#8 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 188

11/
Seattle Municipal Archives // Wikicommons

1961

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $2.00 (#10 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 183

12/
John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images

1962

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.98 (#11 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 178

13/
Lance Nix // Flickr

1963

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.98 (#12 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 173

14/
Evening Standard/Getty Images

1964

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.97 (#13 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 168

15/
Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images

1965

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.25

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.96 (#14 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 163

16/
runextreme // Pixabay

1966

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.25

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.92 (#15 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 158

17/
Keystone/Getty Images

1967

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.26

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.91 (#16 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 153

18/
Chris.j.cook // Wikicommons

1968

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.26

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.88 (#17 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 148

19/
Bob Aylott/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1969

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.27

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.83 (#18 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 143

20/
Archives New Zealand // Flickr

1970

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.28

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.79 (#19 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 138

21/
MusikAnimal // Wikicommons

1971

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.29

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.77 (#20 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 133

22/
Seth Fox // Wikicommons

1972

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.29

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.73 (#21 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 128

23/
Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1973

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.29

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.66 (#23 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 122

24/
Gary Stevens // Wikicommons

1974

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.32

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.64 (#24 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 116

25/
Evening Standard/Getty Images

1975

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.36

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.66 (#22 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 110

26/
Pxhere

1976

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.37

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.61 (#25 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 103

27/
Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images

1977

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.37

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.53 (#26 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 96

28/
Bob M // Flickr

1978

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.39

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.50 (#27 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 89

29/
Gcorpart // Wikicommons

1979

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.43

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.49 (#28 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 90

30/
Minnaert // Wikicommons

1980

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.48

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.45 (#29 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 92

31/
William Lovelace/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1981

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.51

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#39 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 92

32/
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1982

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.54

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.39 (#45 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 93

33/
Jim Linwood // Flickr

1983

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.57

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.42 (#32 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 93

34/
Teritroub // Wikicommons

1984

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.59

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#35 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 97

35/
Katherine Johnson // Flickr

1985

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.60

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.40 (#41 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 110

36/
Kreuzschnabel // Wikicommons

1986

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.61

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.40 (#42 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 124

37/
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1987

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.62

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.37 (#51 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 150

38/
Pixabay

1988

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.64

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.36 (#55 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 199

39/
George Rose/Getty Images

1989

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.67

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.34 (#60 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 247

40/
Pexels

1990

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.70

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.33 (#62 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 284

41/
Max Pixel

1991

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.78

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.43 (#31 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 312

42/
TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

1992

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.81

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.44 (#30 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 359

43/
gpointstudio // Shutterstock

1993

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.81

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.39 (#43 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 446

44/
U. S. Air Force Photo By/Dana P. Heard

1994

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.81

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.36 (#53 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 601

45/
DisobeyArt // Shutterstock

1995

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.81

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.33 (#64 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 858

46/
BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images

1996

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.84

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.33 (#63 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,149

47/
wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

1997

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.84

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.31 (#67 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,396

48/
Syda Productions // Shutterstock

1998

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.86

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.32 (#65 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,514

49/
Max Pixel

1999

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.88

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.32 (#66 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,564

50/
DisobeyArt // Shutterstock

2000

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.92

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.33 (#61 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,566

51/
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

2001

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.96

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.35 (#59 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,545

52/
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

2002

Price of a 16-oz beer: $0.99

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.38 (#49 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,513

53/
Pxhere

2003

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.01

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.37 (#50 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,485

54/
VGstockstudio // Shutterstock

2004

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.07

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#38 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,468

55/
The Sun-POOL/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

2005

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.09

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.39 (#44 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,447

56/
Win McNamee/Getty Images

2006

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.11

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.38 (#48 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,460

57/
Viacheslav Nikolaenko // Shutterstock

2007

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.12

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.35 (#57 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,511

58/
Danielle Griscti // Flickr

2008

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.16

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.35 (#58 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,574

59/
Pressmaster // Shutterstock

2009

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.21

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.40 (#40 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,653

60/
AntGor // Shutterstock

2010

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.23

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#36 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 1,813

61/
Pete Souza // Wikicommons

2011

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.24

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.38 (#47 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 2,047

62/
Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

2012

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.25

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.36 (#54 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 2,475

63/
wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

2013

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.28

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.37 (#52 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 2,952

64/
Quinn Dombrowski // Flickr

2014

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.28

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.35 (#56 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 3,785

65/
bondvit // Shutterstock

2015

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.32

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.39 (#46 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 4,588

66/
George Rudy // Shutterstock

2016

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.35

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#37 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 5,491

67/
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

2017

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.39

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#33 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: 6,372

68/
wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

2018

Price of a 16-oz beer: $1.41

Inflation-adjusted price: $1.41 (#34 most expensive year in the last 67 years)

Number of U.S. breweries: n/a

2018 All rights reserved.