The Brew Site

The Beer Hacker: Brewing on the cheap: Revising estimates

Returning to the series of articles about the economic impact of homebrewing, we re-examine previous cost estimates based on new information.

When I started this series, hops at the local Brew Shop were selling for $5 to $6.50 per two-ounces of whole flowers, and that was what the various estimates were based on. Since then, the price of whole hops has dropped to $3.25 to $3.95 per two-ounce package, so here I present some updated figures.

(Note: the online prices of hops are still averaging around $5-6 per two ounces, so it’s possible that hop prices in your area—if you have a local homebrew shop—are still similarly priced as well. But there is currently a hop surplus (a reaction to the hop shortage several years back), so I would expect to start seeing those prices go down sooner rather than later.)

Without further ado, here’s our updated pricing chart:

Ingredient Price Price (online)
Malt extract syrup – 7 lbs. $18.00 $16.50
Malt extract – dried – 3 lbs. $11.00 $11.25
Malt extract – dried – 1 lb. $4.25 $4.40
Grains – per pound $1.90 $1.45
Specialty grains – per pound $2.25 ~$2.00
Hops (whole leaf) $3.25 – 3.95 $5.50+
Liquid yeast $6.50 $6.00 – 10.00
Yeast – dry $1.25 – 3.95 $1.20 – 4.00
Corn sugar – 1 lb. $1.25 $1.00 – 2.00

And, here’s an updated table of costs by style:

Style Price
American Pale Ale $31.15
English Bitter $34.77
India Pale Ale $43.35
Double/Imperial IPA $54.92
Brown Ale $31.07
Porter $37.09
Stout (basic) $34.40
Imperial Stout $71.17
Hefeweizen (basic) $29.95
Cream Ale $29.15
Belgian Witbier $35.93
Barleywine ~$70

Not a huge difference from the original estimates, but every little bit adds up.