Who has the best prices on beer?

beer in store

It doesn't grow on trees you know.

Maybe you're rooting for the Steelers. Maybe you're rooting for the Cardinals. Maybe you don't so much -- you know -- care. But you will care if there's beer at the Super Bowl party.

According to the folks at the Beer Institute (yeah, there is such a thing) 3.5 percent of beer sales come from Super Bowl weekend. So how will you get the best bang for your beer buck this weekend? AOA went beer shopping to help you out. (Yay, beer shopping.)

We priced 10 different beers at 12 different places*, from beverage centers to supermarkets, to help you figure out where to get the best deal on your favorite brew. The table at the top of this page lists the results (scroll up).

There wasn't one store that totally owned the lowest prices. But a few did stand out. Minogue's in Saratoga was the cheapest, followed by Oliver's in Albany and Excelsior in Saratoga. Here are all the stores ranked cheapest to most expensive based on the total price of the whole "basket" of beers:

  1. Minogue's - 105.90
  2. Oliver's - 108.98
  3. Excelsior Beverage - 110.90
  4. Savemore Discount Beverage - 113.20
  5. Westmere Beverage - 116.24
  6. Wal-Mart - 116.55
  7. Glenville Beverage - 116.80
  8. Hoosick St. Discount Beverage - 119.90
  9. Price Chopper - 119.90
  10. Waterford Beverage - 120.20
  11. Hannaford - 122.90
  12. Glenmont Discount Beverage - 125.00

Also interesting: there wasn't much price difference on some beers (e.g., Budweiser), but others were all over the place. Sam Adams is probably the best example. You can pick up a 12 pack for $9.99 at a few places -- but it's $16.99 at the Chopper.

We tried to account for a wide variety of tastes and price ranges. If you don't see your favorite, you're probably safe using something comparable as a guide, as most places seemed to have similar prices for different "levels" of beer.

The prices listed are for 12 pack bottles with one exception, Milwaukee's Best. "The Beast" only comes in cans. We should note that you can probably do even better if you're buying by the case, but out of concern for variety and, um, cirrhosis we opted for the 12 pack.

Remember, buy enough beer the first time, 'cuz once you start drinking nobody goes anywhere. Got it? Good. Now, please pass the guacamole.

* Stores: Minogue's in Saratoga, Excelsior Beverage in Saratoga, Westmere Beverage in Guilderland, Savemore Discount Beverage in Clifton Park, Glenmont Discount Beverage in Glenmont, Oliver's in Albany, Hoosick St Discount Beverage in Troy, Waterford Beverage in Waterford, Glenville Beverage in Glenville, Hannaford on Central in Albany, Price Chopper on Central in Albany, the Walmart on Washington Ave Ext.

Thanks to everyone who helped us compile the list of stores on Twitter.

The Bottom Line

Beer prices all over the place, but a few stores do stand out (Minogue's, Oliver's). Also, it seems that beverage centers tend to have lower prices than supermarkets.


Wait...The Superbowl is *this* weekend? I was hoping that was already over.

Along time ago a friend told me Rite Aid was the best cheapest place to buy beer.

Something about how they sell at a little above cost hoping it lures people in to buy other products.

Not sure if it is still true....or ever was for that matter.

Too bad you were pricing and not buying, because I'd ask to come over otherwise.

Thorough and revealing, but like many beer lovers, I'm more interested in selection than price ---unless I only have $1.75 in my pocket, then I'm interested in one of those 24 oz. Coors Lights that they sell at Stewart's.

Another reason why I love AOA! Nice work, folks!

Typo: that would be Heinek*e*n. Not his relative, Heinekin.

nice job, gang! i agree with rob about selection being really important. i'd really like to know who has the best price on la fin du monde. yum.

It's Super Bowl, two words. One wouldn't write Rosebowl, or Orangebowl,...
sorry, pet peeve of mine. Nice work on the story.

Editors: thanks for catching that.

People will pay $9.14 for Coors Light?

If you have a membership, BJ's Wholesale Club has some of the most competitive prices.

Of course, you may have to buy a 24 pack. But does anyone just need a 6-pack to make it through 3+ hours of football?

I'm just there for the commercials.

Oh, number crunching goodness! What a great list, guys!

[Glenmont Discount Beverage - $125.00] I think they should practice what they preach-Like Glenmont No Discounts Beverage Center

big ups to hoosick beverage - glad to see they are at least competitive, though i definitely brave the traffic on that awful, awful street for their selection.

Apparently, somebody's Heine is crowding -S's icebox.

When you get past the numbers, does Oliver's have any competition, really? Where else can you buy a cheap case of PBR, mix and match your own Sam Adams 12-pack, pick up a Franziskaner or two, and get a growler filled?

Okay, I'd rather have a growler filled at the Pump Station but for one stop shopping, just, Olivers. I don't mean one stop beer shopping, I mean one stop shopping, I'm on the beer diet, it's magnificent.

Zack, I think you're right about low price beer at Rite Aid. That's where I always found the best price. (But the one near me went out of business.)

I buy depending on where I am, or if I'm driving or walking. Oliver's, Walmart or Stewart's.

That picture looks like the beer aisle at Pchop but I don't think I've ever seen it that full... They never have Molson XXX when I'm looking for it either, curse you price chopper!

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