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What You're Really Paying for That Beer

Six-pack

The venerable sixer is still the standard and serves as the benchmark for beer pricing. The Beer Institute has used it as its measure of choice dating back to 1955, when the estimated average price of a six-pack of beer was a whopping 89 cents.

Today the average six-pack goes for $5.05, with domestics fetching a little less at $4.95 and imports charging far more at $6.88. Those prices will vary depending on the taxes in your area of the U.S. and the pricing of local outlets and distributors, but that average is still about a dollar -- or 20% -- more than it was a decade ago. That's a steep hike, but still below the 27% rate of inflation since 2003.

Even without referencing those baseline prices, though, the six-pack can be the key to determining the value of your favorite beer. There are any number of six-pack-equivalent calculators available. The It's Pub Night blog offers a free one, but mobile versions exist for both Google Android and Apple iOS devices. They're either great measures of value or masochistic reminders of how much you're overpaying for beer.

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