I’m a complete beer nerd.
There are few things I love more than enjoying a super-hoppy IPA or a rich, dark stout.
When I go out to a restaurant, my eyes go right for the beer list to see if they serve something I’ve never had before. When we travel, I ask the bartender for something local that I can’t find at home.
I’m on a first name basis with the owner of the local liquor store (see the pic below for a sample of their craft beer selection) and I love going to local breweries to taste a flight of beers you can’t even get in stores.
As of this writing, my beer app tells me I’ve tasted 877 different types of beer.
So yea, I like beer.
But enjoying the craft beer scene can really get expensive, which is why learning how to save money on beer is so important. And today I’m going to share my best money saving tips with you so you can get your drink on without blowing your budget.
Drink At Home
Going out with friends and family is fun but the markup on beer, wine, and cocktails is ridiculous. A ten dollar bottle of wine will cost you $30, and even a crappy beer will run you $5 or $6.
My favorite local bar has 120 beers on tap and a pint costs somewhere between $8 and $12. It’s a real beer nerd’s paradise, at least until the bill comes. 😃
At those prices, I definitely can’t afford to drink there all the time.
So instead we get together with a few other families and have a little beer tasting. Each of us brings a 4-pack or a bomber of something interesting to share.
We order pizza or grill up some burgers and get our drink on without breaking the bank.
Stick to “Bring Your Own” Restaurants
The typical markup on alcohol in restaurants is a whopping 300 percent. That means a $15 bottle of wine will cost $45 at a restaurant. Two beers costs as much as a six-pack at home.
If you want to enjoy some drinks with your dinner, you can take a big chunk out of the bill by going to a place that lets you bring your own drinks.
Go To Happy Hour
Drinking out can get expensive fast, but happy hours offer great deals on both drinks and food. Find a few places in your area that that offer happy hours and you’ll have no shortage of choices when you want to get together with friends for some drinks and apps.
Enjoy A Flight At A Local Brewery
We’re in the midst of a craft beer revolution. New breweries are popping up all over the place. I have at least a dozen within a thirty minute drive, and a new one is scheduled to open within walking distance of my house.
That’s dangerously close hahaha!
When you go to a local brewery, you get to try beers you literally can’t find anywhere else. It’s a beer nerd’s paradise!
Personally I like try as many different kinds of beer as possible, and drinking 4 or 5 pints at a brewery is definitely not cost effective.
But if a brewery offers flights, you get to sample a number of beers for the price of one. And if you find one that you really enjoy above the rest, you can always get a pint of just that one (and maybe a 4-pack to bring home too).
Become A Secret Hopper
You’ve probably heard of mystery shopping, right? That’s when you get paid to shop at a store and then provide feedback on your experience.
But now you can do the same thing for craft breweries by becoming a secret hopper.
Here’s how it works:
Craft breweries work with Secret Hopper to gather independent and honest feedback on their tasting room experience. Secret Hopper can then help them improve their customer experience and looks for opportunities to grow.
When you become a Secret Hopper, you’ll be assigned to visit a craft brewery in your area. You’ll visit the brewery and enjoy some beer, and when you’re done you’ll get to provide detailed feedback on your experience.
Was the music too loud? Was the staff friendly? Did the tasting room smell like feet? Would you want to go back to this brewery again?
When you’re done just submit your feedback and you’ll get reimbursed for the beer you purchased while on assignment. In other words, free beer!
Secret Hopper is quite possibly the greatest idea in the history of mankind.
Get Cash Rebates From Ibotta
Ibotta is a neat app you can use to get cash back rewards on groceries and other purchases, including beer!
Ibotta is easy to use. Just purchase some of the items listed in the app and scan your receipt when you get home and you’ll get cash back for your purchases.
Ibotta always has at least a few beers listed, but they tend to rotate so you’ll want to keep an eye on what kind of rebates they have available before you hit the liquor store.
Even better, when you sign up through my special referral link here you’ll get a $10 bonus just for signing up!
Do you know what’s even more ridiculous than the restaurant markup of beer?
The price of beer at sporting events or concerts is just insane! Even a crappy beer can run you $12 at a stadium, so your best bet is to get your drink on before game time.
That goes for food too. You can keep it simple with some sub sandwiches or go all out with a grill or portable smoker. Just imagine sipping a hazy IPA and playing corn hole while slow-cooking some amazing ribs!
Brew Your Own Beer
Confession time: as big of a beer nerd as I am, I have never actually made my own beer. It’s been on my “to do” list for years but I just never seem to get around to it.
My buddy (also named Mike) and I are planning to do it soon though. He’s brewed beer at home in the past but it’s been a few years.
If you do it right and you use quality ingredients, home-brewed beer can taste as good as the pricey stuff at the most upscale brewpub.
This complete beer making kit is designed specifically for beginners and it has everything you need to brew your own delicious beer. Let me know when it’s ready to drink…I’m coming over!
Drink Cheaper Beer
Yuck! I admit I’m a craft beer snob and I really don’t enjoy most of the inexpensive, mass-produced beer on tap in every bar and restaurant across the country. That said, drinking less expensive beer will save you money.
And cheap is a relative term, right? You don’t have to downgrade all the way to the cheapest beer on the menu. Switching from a $12 draft to a $7 draft is still a good way to save money on beer.
Drink Less Beer
Yea, I know this one sucks but it really is the best way to save money. Beer is awesome in moderation, but if you drink too much it will drain your wallet and increase your waistline.
You don’t need to completely give up beer. That’s just crazy talk!
Maybe just have a dry month where you don’t drink at all. Or only drink on weekends. Whatever works for you.
The Final Word
Beer is awesome and should be enjoyed, but it can also pretty expensive. If you’re looking for ideas on how to save money on beer, the ten tips above are just what you need.
But I want to hear from you too! What How do you save money on beer??