The Beer Connoisseur

In Featured Article on February 27, 2012 at 2:28 am

The Best Six-Pack a WSU Student Can Buy, by Sean Haschak

It is no secret that many outsiders know Washington State University as a “Party School”.  My response to that; who cares!  Those people who are categorizing WSU this way most likely have never been to Pullman and seen how much more it has to offer than simply being a “Party School.”

One thing I realized upon entering college was that although many students enjoy the social atmosphere at WSU, the lack of variety of beer consumed by most WSU students is very noticeable.  Go to a party on any given weekend, and you will be hard-pressed to find any beer being consumed not named Busch Light.  When WSU students get drunk, more often than not they want to do so in the cheapest way possible.  Makes sense right?  Perhaps one thing that WSU students are not considering when making their choice is how different alcohol content levels can often skew what you are paying for when you buy your beer.

Is Busch Light the most feasible choice for WSU students?

This lead me to do a little study on the different prices of a six-pack of beer at Dissmores, Pullman’s local grocery store and home of the infamous urban legend that their store alone accounts for 5% of all Busch Light sales in the USA.  More and more, college students are frequently operating on tight budgets as tuitions prices continue to rise and other areas such as book prices and rent don’t seem to be getting any cheaper.  The solution for students meandering the Palouse wanting to get drunk: buy cheap beer.

In my study, I looked at five different six-packs of beer at Dissmores.  In the table below, the type of six-pack is listed with it’s non-sale price, (some of the six-packs were on sale, but comparing some sale with non-sale prices could skew the results), alcohol content per bottle or can, ounces per can/bottle, price per 1 ounce of beer, and price of the beer per 1% of alcohol content.  I also included the “Drunk for your buck ranking”, which is simply the price per 1 ounce of beer multiplied by the price per 1% alcohol content.

Type of Beer

Price of Six-Pack

% Alcohol Content per beer

Ounces Per Can/Bottle

Price per 1 ounce of beer

Price per1% Alcohol Content

Drunk for your buck ranking

Busch Light

$5.79

4.2%

16

6.0 cents

$1.38

2

Keystone Ice

$5.89

5.9%

16

6.1 cents

$0.99

1

Henry Weinhard’s Blonde

$6.99

5.12%

12

9.7 cents

$1.37

4

Bud Light Platinum

$7.09

6%

12

9.8 cents

$1.18

3

Firestone Union Jack IPA

$10.29

7.5%

12

14.3 cents

$1.37

5

What is there to conclude from this table?  First off, although WSU students may often be categorized as college “students” who party too much, they seem to have a good idea on what the best bang for their buck is.  One finding/confirmation from this table is that cheap “Ice” beer is the way to go if you want to get drunk for the cheapest price possible.  With that cheapness, a sacrifice of sorts is being made with the rancid taste that many people who drink “Ice” beer complain about.  If you are looking to take a step up in classiness while still getting a quick buzz going, try Bud Light Platinum, a recent Bud Light addition that is high in alcohol content and relatively cheap in price.

Keystone Ice, always a smart choice for a college student.

Obviously, people have different logic and motives when they crack a beer.  Some simply want the enjoyment that comes along with drinking a cold beer.  Others want to get smashed, and the table above is a start on the cheapest way to do that.   As far as my advice on whether it is feasible for the average WSU student to drink a beer like Henry Weinhard’s Blonde or Firestone Jack IPA?  Wait until after college when you (hopefully) have a steady income to support more expensive drinking habits.  In the meantime, keep things cheap, and remember, if you’re looking for a sweet price, stick with the mighty ice.

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