I am a semi-recent transplant (about a year) from New Hampshire. There, I could usually find a 12-pack of craft beer for $12, or $14 at most. Here in Beervana, those same 12-packs are $16 and up. Why the discrepancy?
You know that "record stops with a scratch" sound effect you hear when Adam Sandler walks into the biker bar dressed in a "sexy chicken" costume? I'm going to spell that "brp-zz-ZIP."
Now, Aaron: Many new Oregonians are surprised by our relatively high excise taxes and fees. As one of the few states without a sales tax, our beer and wine taxes are higher than those in states where—brp-zz-ZIP!
Oh, New Hampshire doesn't have a sales tax either? Huh. Well then, I'm sure you're familiar with the trade-offs that come with that revenue model: We decided to tax beer, while you guys went with a higher personal income tax—brp-zz-ZIP!
Really? No income tax on salary and wage income either? Then how do you…never mind. (I guess your beer distributors bribed the legislature and ours didn't; whatever.)
Let me just check the tax tables…yes, see? New Hampshire's beer taxes are the lowest in the nation, while Oregon's are—brp-zz-ZIP!…the third lowest, at $0.08 per gallon.
So it's not taxes at all. Could it just be that everything is more expensive in Portland? It's true that our overall cost of living is about 10 percent higher than it is in Manchester. But when I checked beer prices in Pendleton, where life is cheap and sheep are nervous, it was just as spendy there.
The oddly high price of Oregon beer is a well-known conundrum in craft-beer circles. One proposed explanation is, there are relatively few beer distributors in the state, and so far none has been inclined to initiate a price war.
But maybe the real secret is that New Hampshire is a free-beer fairyland! All you semi-recent transplants should totally ditch this Stalinist hellscape and relocate to the never-ending keg party that is Concord—I hear it's gonna be the next Pittsburgh!