Special Report

The Price of Beer the Year You Were Born

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If you think the recent growth of beer culture with its craft beers and micro breweries is something new, think again. Americans have always loved beer. Our country’s first president reportedly served beer to his guests at Mount Vernon and ensured that Continental Army troops were rationed a quart of beer each day during the Revolutionary War.

America’s appreciation for beer has survived centuries — even 13 years of prohibition was not enough to dull America’s appreciation for beer. By some estimates, the combined economic output of brewers, distributors, and retailers totalled more than $350 billion in 2016.

While America’s seemingly insatiable demand for beer remains a constant, little else in the beer industry stays the same from one year to the next. From the introduction of light beer in 1975, to the spike in craft breweries in the last decade, to the launch of a popular new lime-flavored brew in 2008, consumer tastes and preferences are constantly changing.

However, perhaps nothing has changed as regularly or as predictably as the cost of beer. Today’s beer lovers may be shocked to learn that a six-pack of suds cost less than $2.00 throughout the 1960s. Like everything else, beer has only become more expensive over the years.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the cost of a six-pack every year since 1953 with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to see the cost of beer the year you were born.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Fox Photos / Getty Images

1953
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.58
> Beer consumption: 90.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 51.7%

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Source: Chaloner Woods / Getty Images

1954
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.64
> Beer consumption: 92.6 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 51.5%

Source: Three Lions / Getty Images

1955
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.62
> Beer consumption: 89.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.5%

Source: John Pratt / Keystone Features / Getty Images

1956
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.65
> Beer consumption: 90.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 49.3%

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1957
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.68
> Beer consumption: 89.9 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.7%

Source: Dennis Rowe / BIPs / Getty Images

1958
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.68
> Beer consumption: 89.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.5%

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1959
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.69
> Beer consumption: 91.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.5%

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Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1960
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.71
> Beer consumption: 94.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 47.8%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1961
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.72
> Beer consumption: 93.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 47.1%

Source: John Pratt / Keystone Features / Getty Images

1962
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.73
> Beer consumption: 96.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 46.9%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1963
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.74
> Beer consumption: 98.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 47.0%

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Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1964
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.76
> Beer consumption: 103.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 46.6%

Source: Keystone / Getty Images

1965
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.77
> Beer consumption: 108.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.0 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.8%

Source: F. Roy Kemp / BIPs / Getty Images

1966
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.80
> Beer consumption: 109.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.7%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1967
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.83
> Beer consumption: 106.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.1%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1968
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.88
> Beer consumption: 111.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 44.5%

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1969
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.93
> Beer consumption: 115.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 44.6%

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Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1970
> Price of a 6-pack: $1.99
> Beer consumption: 121.6 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.2%

Source: Frank Barratt / Getty Images

1971
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.07
> Beer consumption: 126.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 44.4%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1972
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.09
> Beer consumption: 130.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.7%

Source: Spitfire1973 / Getty Images

1973
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.12
> Beer consumption: 136.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 45.8%

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Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1974
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.32
> Beer consumption: 144.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 46.8%

Source: HultonArchive / Getty Images

1975
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.57
> Beer consumption: 148.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 46.8%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1976
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.63
> Beer consumption: 150.9 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 47.2%

Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1977
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.67
> Beer consumption: 158.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.9%

Source: Tom Kelley Archive / Getty Images

1978
> Price of a 6-pack: $2.82
> Beer consumption: 164.6 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 49.1%

Source: Rob Cousins / Evening Standard / Getty Images

1979
> Price of a 6-pack: $3.12
> Beer consumption: 172.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 49.8%

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Source: Evening Standard / Getty Images

1980
> Price of a 6-pack: $3.44
> Beer consumption: 177.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.0%

Source: Patrick Riviere / Getty images

1981
> Price of a 6-pack: $3.68
> Beer consumption: 182.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.4%

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1982
> Price of a 6-pack: $3.86
> Beer consumption: 182.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.7%

Source: Five Starr Photos ( Aussiefordadverts) / Flickr

1983
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.08
> Beer consumption: 182.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.9%

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Source: jeka1984 / Getty Images

1984
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.22
> Beer consumption: 182.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.4 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.9%

Source: Frederic Gleach / Flickr

1985
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.32
> Beer consumption: 182.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.8%

Source: maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

1986
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.40
> Beer consumption: 186.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 51.9%

Source: Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

1987
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.49
> Beer consumption: 187.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 52.8%

Source: Lenscap Photography / Shutterstock.com

1988
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.63
> Beer consumption: 187.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 53.6%

Source: Dan Smith / Getty Images

1989
> Price of a 6-pack: $4.79
> Beer consumption: 187.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 54.1%

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Source: Alexander Raths / Shutterstock.com

1990
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.01
> Beer consumption: 192.6 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 54.7%

Source: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

1991
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.61
> Beer consumption: 188.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.1%

Source: Jupiterimages / Getty Images

1992
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.81
> Beer consumption: 187.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.1%

Source: Marian Weyo / Shutterstock.com

1993
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.80
> Beer consumption: 187.7 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.5%

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Source: Room 76 / Shutterstock.com

1994
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.81
> Beer consumption: 189.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.3 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 57.3%

Source: TORWAISTUDIO / Shutterstock.com

1995
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.83
> Beer consumption: 186.9 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 57.2%

Source: Rory Storm / Online USA, Inc.

1996
> Price of a 6-pack: $5.97
> Beer consumption: 188.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.9%

Source: Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

1997
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.00
> Beer consumption: 189.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 57.0%

Source: somsak nitimongkolchai / Shutterstock.com

1998
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.02
> Beer consumption: 192.9 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 57.0%

Source: Irina Mos / Shutterstock.com

1999
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.15
> Beer consumption: 196.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.9%

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Source: Goran Jakus / Shutterstock.com

2000
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.35
> Beer consumption: 197.6 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.2%

Source: Leszek Czerwonka / Shutterstock.com

2001
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.51
> Beer consumption: 200.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 56.4%

Source: givaga / Shutterstock.com

2002
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.67
> Beer consumption: 203.5 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 55.9%

Source: Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock.com

2003
> Price of a 6-pack: $6.83
> Beer consumption: 202.9 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 54.5%

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Source: CapturePB / Shutterstock.com

2004
> Price of a 6-pack: $7.07
> Beer consumption: 205.1 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 54.0%

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

2005
> Price of a 6-pack: $7.15
> Beer consumption: 205.2 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 52.9%

Source: Pecold / Shutterstock.com

2006
> Price of a 6-pack: $7.22
> Beer consumption: 209.8 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 52.6%

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Source: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

2007
> Price of a 6-pack: $7.46
> Beer consumption: 212.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 52.4%

Source: steve estvanik / Shutterstock.com

2008
> Price of a 6-pack: $7.71
> Beer consumption: 213.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 51.9%

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Source: ikolay Antonov / Shutterstock.com

2009
> Price of a 6-pack: $8.00
> Beer consumption: 209.1 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.2 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 51.1%

Source: Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock.com

2010
> Price of a 6-pack: $8.14
> Beer consumption: 208.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 50.4%

Source: Olga Vasilyeva / Shutterstock.com

2011
> Price of a 6-pack: $8.26
> Beer consumption: 205.3 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.9%

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Source: PHTGRPHER_EVERYDAY / Shutterstock.com

2012
> Price of a 6-pack: $8.41
> Beer consumption: 208.0 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 48.3%

Source: Kraft_Stoff / Shutterstock.com

2013
> Price of a 6-pack: $8.55
> Beer consumption: 205.4 million barrels
> Alcohol consumed through beer: 1.1 gal. per person
> Beer as a share of all alcohol consumption: 47.9%

Detailed Findings & Methodology

Over the last several decades, beer prices have climbed steadily each year. Price increases are a direct result of inflation, which reflects increases in the cost of living. Inflation is typically caused by demand for goods and services outpacing production, or by climbing production costs.

While costs have steadily increased, consumption has varied over the years. According to the Beer Institute, a beer industry advocacy group, Americans consumed 213.3 million barrels of beer in 2008, more than in any year before or since. However, per capita consumption peaked in 1981, when U.S. beer drinkers consumed 1.39 gallons of alcohol through beer for every American age 14 and up. That year, a six-pack of beer cost $3.68.

Rising costs aside, beer is America’s favorite alcoholic beverage. In most years since 1953, over 50% of all alcohol consumed has been through beer. In comparison, wine accounted for anywhere from 10%-18% of alcohol consumption, and spirits accounted for 29%-45%, depending on the year.

To determine the cost of a six-pack of beer the year you were born, 24/7 Wall St. adjusted the current average price of a six-pack in the United States for every year from 1953 to 2013. The price of a six-pack of beer is based on the Council for Community and Economic Research’s Cost of Living Index and is the average for the second quarter of 2016 to second quarter of 2017. The price was adjusted for each year using the inflation rate for the cost of beer, ale, and other malt beverages for home consumption for all urban consumers with data from the Consumer Price Index of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Per capita alcohol consumption through beer came from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. From 1953 through 1969, per capita consumption is for every American age 15 and up. From 1970 onward, per capita calculations are for every American age 14 and up. Beer as a percent of all alcohol consumption is also from the NIAA. Total beer consumption by year is from the Beer Institute.

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