2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Colorado Springs among nation’s most affordable beer cities

Published: March 10, 2014, 9:21 pm, by Stephanie Earls


The only thing better than plentiful, awesome beer is plentiful, awesome, cheap beer.

We’ve apparently hit the trifecta here in Colorado Springs, which last week was ranked among the top ten least expensive U.S. cities for beer drinkers by consumer finance website NerdWallet.

For each metro area, NerdWallet looked at the average cost of a six-pack of Heineken, the median income per worker, local taxes and estimates on state beer consumption per capita. Based on that criteria, the average beer drinker in the least expensive city, Washington D.C., could afford 5,060 six-packs (or more than 30,000 individual beers) a year. Denver came in 4th with 4,062 six-packs. Colorado Springs, where the average resident drinks about 30 gallons of beer a year and can afford 3,581 six-packs on a median income of just under $29,000, was ranked 7th.

Here’s what NerdWallet had to say about us:

Colorado Springs is the second Colorado city in the top ten and it only ranks a few spots below Denver due to a slightly higher cost of a six-pack and lower median income per worker. The second-largest metro area in the state hosts the All Colorado Beer Festival in November, which is enjoyed by more than 3,000 beer fans.

Based on the website’s criteria, the most expensive city for beer drinkers is Chicago, where a six-pack of Heineken runs about $12.99.

Results were determined using a formula in which the cost of a six-pack and the median income per worker were each weighted as 40% of a city’s final score; state beer tax and consumption were each weighted 10%. The 48 largest cities in the U.S. were included in the study.