Price per Alcohol content of beer formula

Can someone post the formula for the problem of finding an equation to determine the price of the alcohol content in a beer? I've been trying to figure it out but am having trouble figure it out. Basically I am trying to find out which beer will people drink the cheapest, its probably a a cheap blue and silver can but it could be a high ABV% IPA or something pricier per beer but with I higher ABV%.

  • 1
    No one I know is actually trying to get the most alcohol per dollar when they buy beer. People buy cheap beer because it's cheep and good beer because of taste.
    – Eric S
    Apr 20, 2021 at 16:21
  • The question has also been discussed at math.stackexchange.com/questions/1422450/alcohol-percentage/…
    – cyberixae
    Apr 22, 2021 at 7:18
  • Why? What is the purpose of you knowing "the price of the alcohol content in a beer?"
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 27, 2021 at 18:53

1 Answer 1


Alcohol content is not the primary driver of the cost of beer and so unfortunately there is not formula for directly mapping the price of a beer to its alcohol content. There are a number of ingredients in beer, and the non-alcohol producing ingredients (hops and other flavoring ingredients) can easily cost as much or more than the ingredients that produce the alcohol (malts, adjuncts, other fermentable sugars.)

This is why some extremely high alcohol beverages (malt beverages, cheap vodka) can cost far less per ounce than a high quality, considerably lower alcohol beer.

HOWEVER: If you're not looking for a general formula, but want to compare two specific beers, the formula would be to multiply the ABV by the unit of measure for the beer (ounces here in the U.S.) and then divide the results by the price.

EXAMPLE: So I have two beers, one that is 12oz and 4.9% ABV, and costs $0.83 per can, and a second beer that is 16oz and 9.2% ABV, and costs $3.00 per can.

For beer one I multiple the alcohol times the quantity 0.049 * 12 = 0.588 (It contains 0.588oz of alcohol per can.) Now I divide the price ($0.83) by the alcohol content (0.588) and I find that the first beer costs $1.42 per ounce of alcohol.

For beer two I multiple the alcohol times the quantity 0.092 * 16 = 1.472 (It contains 1.472oz of alcohol per can.) Now I divide the price ($3.00) by the alcohol content (1.472) and I find that the second beer costs $2.04 per ounce of alcohol.

So, in this specific case, the lower alcohol beer delivers more alcohol for the price. ($1.42/oz vs. $2.04/oz.)

GENERAL FORMULA: Units are as you give them (Use price in dollars and volume in ounces to get $/ounce -- Use price in Euros and volume in milliliters to get €/ml -- etc.)

Price of alcohol content = [Price of package of beer] / ([Units per package] * [Volume per unit] * [ABV])

  • If it’s dollars per ounce of alcohol, don’t you need to divide the price by the volume of alcohol not multiply?
    – Eric S
    Apr 20, 2021 at 22:32
  • @EricS Indeed, and I'm not sure how I missed that moving between the calculation and the write up. Thanks!
    – Xander
    Apr 21, 2021 at 13:20
  • 1
    No problem. I deleted my answer since you corrected yours. As a slight improvement it might be nice to actually show an equation. I know I like that in addition to the text description. Perhaps also an example with metric units (and euros).
    – Eric S
    Apr 21, 2021 at 14:33
  • @EricS Those are good ideas as well...I'll update when I get a few minutes, or feel free to submit an edit if you like!
    – Xander
    Apr 22, 2021 at 17:29
  • Other factors that may be a bit less easy to quantify are branding and size of the company. Small start-ups crafting small batches simply have to charge more than big corporations... Apr 23, 2021 at 8:51

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