Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

The cost of a beer the year you turned 21

  • Russell Lee // Wikicommons
    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.

  • George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images
    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

  • Fox Photos/Getty Images
    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

  • Jet Lowe // Wikicommons
    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

  • Russell Lee // Wikicommons
    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

  • Russell Lee // Wikicommons
    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

  • Three Lions/Getty Images
    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

  • Geoff Charles // Wikicommons
    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

  • Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    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

  • Ronald Saunders // Wikicommons
    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

  • Seattle Municipal Archives // Wikicommons
    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

  • John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images
    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

  • Lance Nix // Flickr
    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

  • Evening Standard/Getty Images
    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

  • Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images
    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

  • runextreme // Pixabay
    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

  • Keystone/Getty Images
    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

  • Chris.j.cook // Wikicommons
    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

  • Bob Aylott/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    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

  • Archives New Zealand // Flickr
    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

  • MusikAnimal // Wikicommons
    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

  • Seth Fox // Wikicommons
    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

  • Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    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

  • Gary Stevens // Wikicommons
    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

  • Evening Standard/Getty Images
    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

  • Pxhere
    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

  • Douglas Miller/Keystone/Getty Images
    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

  • Bob M // Flickr
    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

  • Gcorpart // Wikicommons
    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

  • Minnaert // Wikicommons
    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

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

  • Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    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

  • Jim Linwood // Flickr
    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

  • Teritroub // Wikicommons
    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

  • Katherine Johnson // Flickr
    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

  • Kreuzschnabel // Wikicommons
    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

  • Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    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

  • Pixabay
    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

  • George Rose/Getty Images
    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

  • Pexels
    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

  • Max Pixel
    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

  • TIM CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
    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

  • gpointstudio // Shutterstock
    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

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

  • DisobeyArt // Shutterstock
    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

  • BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images
    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

  • wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock
    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

  • Syda Productions // Shutterstock
    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

  • Max Pixel
    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

  • DisobeyArt // Shutterstock
    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

  • Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock
    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

  • Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    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

  • Pxhere
    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

  • VGstockstudio // Shutterstock
    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

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

  • Win McNamee/Getty Images
    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

  • Viacheslav Nikolaenko // Shutterstock
    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

  • Danielle Griscti // Flickr
    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

  • Pressmaster // Shutterstock
    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

  • AntGor // Shutterstock
    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

  • Pete Souza // Wikicommons
    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

  • Jacob Lund // Shutterstock
    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

  • wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock
    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

  • Quinn Dombrowski // Flickr
    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

  • bondvit // Shutterstock
    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

  • George Rudy // Shutterstock
    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

  • Chris Jackson/Getty Images
    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

  • wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock
    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.