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Frugal Friday - American Beer Edition

Happy American Beer Day! American beer has been enjoying a tremendous boom as breweries continue to pop-up on every corner across the country. The craft brewing industry has experienced double digit growth since 2010, only starting to shows signs of slowing down in the last year. There has never been a better time to enjoy an American beer. How can you enjoy your craft beer without breaking your budget?

The obvious answer is to stop ordering beers while you dine out. Restaurants typically mark their alcoholic beverages up by about 4x. That $96 pack of craft brew easily becomes a $36 bar tab, plus tip. Yikes. We're guilty of this, but yikes. Just make sure you're earning rewards on those bar tabs. Barclaycard just announced a new Uber credit card that will earn 4% cash back on dining purchases. That's .16 cents in savings per beer. You could be rich in no time. Just to put this into perspective, if you have four beers a week when you go out, you'll be looking at a pre-tip tab of about $832. 4% cash back will save you $33.28. Woot. Compare that to 4 drinks at home, and the tab is going to be about $306. That tab is also going to come with loneliness, so there's a bit of a trade off here.

Our second recommendation is to start home brewing. Warning, home brewing can quickly turn into an expensive hobby. With that being said, you can start for a relatively small amount, and grow your tool kit over time if the hobby sticks. The great thing about starting a hobby is that it will not only provide you with a cheap quality beer (if you do it right), you'll also end up  with hours of free entertainment during your brew cycle. Between brew and bottle day, brewing easily takes up 5 hours of time. It's such a great way to spend a Friday night date night or lazy Sunday with the bros. Ladies can be bros too. Brewing is for everyone. When you bring in the entertainment aspect of home brew, the beer is kind of paying for itself.

How do home brew prices compare? You can pick-up an ingredient kit for home brew from between $25 - $60. We recommend Austin Home Brew. If you give them a call, they can help you pick the tools you'll need to get started. That will net you 5 gallons of beer goodness or roughly 50 bottles of beer. Your cost becomes anywhere from .50 cents - $1 a bottle. Your start-up cost will be between $150 - $200 to get a kit that will provide you with the basic necessities, and then you'll need some bottles. This kit is $160 and even comes with your ingredients for your first brew.

There it is, our beer loving frugal friends. Today, raise your glass to saving money on great American beer. Cheers!