A Coming of Age Tale
Hear us out: Beer is important. Beer is so important, in fact, it may have been the reason our hunter-gatherer ancestors settled down and invented civilization in the first place. Many archaeologists think the earliest farmers may have settled down primarily so they could grow grain and ferment it into beer, even before anybody got around to inventing bread.
In modern times, beer remains important enough that the United States government officially keeps track of its cost: the Consumer Price Index, maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, has recorded the cost of “beer, ale and other malt beverages at home” every year since the early 1950s. Here's how beer prices have changed over recent American history and how much a six-pack cost the year you turned 21, alongside some notable beer-related happenings.
All inflation adjustments are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, comparing prices in January of a given year to prices in March 2023.