Hard Seltzer Should be cheaper than beer?

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madscientist451

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The recipes I've seen for homebrew hard seltzer use water, corn sugar and some kind of flavoring. No mashing, no hops, no boiling. So shouldn't commercial hard seltzer be way cheaper than beer? I used to be able to get a 30 pack of Hamm's light for $16.50 including tax, but they discontinued it along with a bunch of other budget beers. Are the industrial brewers just trying to make us believe that all beer should be $8-12 a six pack and that way keep the price of hard seltzer, hard lemonade, and hard ice tea elevated? I recently heard that Boston Brewing Co, which makes Sam Adams and Dogfish Head beer only gets 10% of their profits from beer, and 90% from their hard seltzer and similar products. BTW, they'll be coming out with Hard Mt Dew, and I expect there will be hard versions of all the major soda brands before long.
How about an "ice" or high ABV vesion of Jolt Cola? Twice the sugar, twice the caffeine and way more alcohol than you need.....
 

JJinMD

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I have made a few batches for friends and co-workers. It is crazy cheaper than any beer I have ever brewed. We have a few local brewpubs, one has several selections of seltzers, the others don't (apparently trying to stay "true to the beer"), guess which one is packed every weekend?
 

bracconiere

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Are the industrial brewers just trying to make us believe that all beer should be $8-12 a six pack

i thought the 'micro' brewers started the price hike, and the macro just said f'it. i mightest well charge more too!

but this IS a DIY forum about making your own alcohol. and i'm glad it's so cheap and easy to make! one of the few drugs you can actually compete with ******* dealers....
 

seatazzz

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Just my 2 cents, but I think they're keeping the price within range of craft beer prices to keep hard seltzer from becoming the new MD 20/20. Also it's fairly new to the market; if they actually priced it lower than craft beer, there goes the craft beer sales to people who just want to get sh*tfaced and don't really care what they are drinking. In my opinion, speaks to the issues with hardcore alcoholics (many of them homeless) who just need something to feed their addiction.

Is it cheaper to make? Oh hells yes. Unless you go crazy with fresh fruit as the flavoring, a 5-gallon batch can be made for less than $10, and that's if you're using one of the premade flavoring bottles available at the LHBS. You can make some pretty tasteless prison hooch for about $5 that will eff you up good, just using table sugar and whatever yeast you have on hand.
 

JDTH

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I have made a few batches for friends and co-workers. It is crazy cheaper than any beer I have ever brewed. We have a few local brewpubs, one has several selections of seltzers, the others don't (apparently trying to stay "true to the beer"), guess which one is packed every weekend?
Do you have a simple recipe for the Hard lemonade you will share? My husband has cancer, and it's one thing he still enjoys, thought I'd try making a batch since it's a quick process and relatively inexpensive. We have a tight budget but have saved bottles and 5-gallon buckets I can equip with a airlock and spigot. I've made wine before but it is slow. Any suggestions or input is appreciated.
J
 

JJinMD

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Do you have a simple recipe for the Hard lemonade you will share? My husband has cancer, and it's one thing he still enjoys, thought I'd try making a batch since it's a quick process and relatively inexpensive. We have a tight budget but have saved bottles and 5-gallon buckets I can equip with a airlock and spigot. I've made wine before but it is slow. Any suggestions or input is appreciated.
J
Sorry, I don't have a recipe for Hard Lemonade, I have made hard seltzer and also a batch of skeeter pee, but not a true hard lemonade. I am sure there is a tried and true hard lemonade recipe out there.
 

mashpaddled

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People will pay beer prices for hard seltzers which is part of why breweries are pumping these things out. The profit margin is way higher and right now sales volume beats beer in most markets. If people said no way to the prices you'd find a twelve pack of hard seltzers for under ten bucks quickly.
 

OleBrewing

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Not to mention it is part of the gluten free craze. Which some do need an alternative from the overly sweet ciders. Never tried one, but as far as a gluten free low calorie option I see the why there is popularity.
 
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