Category Archives: Micro Brews

Beer Math – Pies & Pints, Lexington, KY

Beer Math – Pies & Pints, Lexington, KY

Hey look! A post about REAL BEER on the internet’s only Fictional Beer site.
==> Download the Excel file for Beer Math – P&P <==

A Pies & Pints opened here not too long ago, and I’ve heard some great reviews. I’ve yet to visit so I checked their online menu and found a wonderful table of their 85 beer offerings (plus 2 non-alcoholic brews). So I threw it all into Excel………aaaaand that’s the story of my Tax Day. I spent almost all of Wednesday 2015 April 15 working on beer prices versus ABV. Plus an hour on Thursday, and now this post on Friday. (My job is cool, and has lots of free time.)

The Goal
Find the best ratio of alcohol to cost. This ratio is referred to as Crunk Factor 9000 or Total Cost per Ounce of Alcohol. A lower number is better on this scale.

How to do Drunk Math
Most of the math is straightforward, but I did need to come up with a method. To me a good trip to a bar is going to be about 4 beers over a 2-4 hour period. I’m counting ‘a beer’ as 12 ounces, which is how most beers are sold. So I used 48 ounces as the target amount to be drank. This was easy for 12 & 16 ounce beers, but there were a few beers sold in 22 or 25 ounce sizes. Using some Excel wizardry I found the number of  servings of a beer to not go over 50 ounces.

From that point I figured out how much alcohol you would drink total and the cost. Total cost divided by total alcohol is the Crunk Factor 9000.

In the spreadsheet this is colored from green (cheap) to expensive (red). Sorting by this was a much better determination of how to get a good buzz on good beer.

There’s some more info on the methods and reasoning at the end, but let’s get to the beer.

And the winner is….No. Not That!

The choice of Grover Cleveland (2nd term only)

Voted America’s Best during a time when America was so screwed up at voting we gave the Oval Office back to the guy we kicked out 4 years earlier.

Unlike the Oscars I won’t make you wait until the end. The best beer is clearly Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Okay. PBR is only two bucks at P&P. A great price that is so low it throws off the numbers. The next cheapest beer is twice as expensive. It didn’t take a spreadsheet to figure this out. However at only $6 for 48 oz. of beer you only get a paltry 2.25 ounces of alcohol. Wallet friendly, but not gut/bladder friendly.

Money is dumb.

Money is dumb.

There’s a beer at the other end of the spectrum that is a statistical outlier too. Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout 2015 is currently one of four featured beers at P&P. At a whopping $18 and 16.9% ABV it’s definitely gonna wallop something. (The little blurb on P&P’s site says 17.4% ABV, but the beer list said 16.9%. Math is based on 16.9%)

But to show why the CF9k score matters this beer comes in at 8.88. Not far from the average of 7.57. This is still a lot of money, but not as bad comparatively to the rest of the menu as that $18 price tag suggests. Four of these will set you back $72, but you’ll also be in a coma with over 8 ounces of alcohol in you. Only 2 of these (24 ounces) would be over 4 ounces of alcohol which would beat out any 48 ounces worth of 70 other beers on this list.

And the Winner REALLY is….
Brooklyn Monster

It's not like your liver was helping with rent anyway. (10.8% ABV)

It’s not like your liver was helping with rent anyway. (10.8% ABV)

At a whopping 10.8% ABV, but a budget friendly $5.50 for 12 ounces Brooklyn Monster scores a healthy 4.24 CF9k. Four of these ales will set you back $22, and you’ll be on the floor with 5.184 ounces of alcohol charging through your liver.

I’ve wondered about this one for awhile. Will try!

The runner up is Dark Horse Scotty Karate which wins the name contest by a landslide. (Say it like Spongebob. Scot-TAY KA-RA-TAY!!!) You save $2, but lose half an ounce of alcohol.
I really want to try this one.

You Chose Poorly Award
Not everyone is looking to get hammered or buzzed even, but love that feeling of a huge bar tab. Look no further than Lindeman’s Framboise. A sweet, tart lambic that costs a ten bucks a bottle. $40 yields only 1.2 ounces of alcohol. A CF9k score of 33.33, which is almost double it’s brother brew, Lindeman’s Faro (17.54 CF9k).

The Five Ouncers Club
There are five beers that offer over five Ounces of alcohol in a four beer drinking session. The bottom three in this list are excellent bang for your buck beers. New Holland’s Dragon Milk is a personal favorite. I even gave it as a special groom’s gift at a friend’s wedding. Very much worth the price in my opinion. (About $16 for a 4-pack in stores.)

Name Price ABV Crunk Factor 9000
Avery Uncle Jacob’s Stout 2015 $18.00 16.9% 8.88
New Holland’s Dragon Milk $9.00 11.0% 6.82
Brooklyn Monster $5.50 10.8% 4.24
Founders Imperial Stout $6.50 10.5% 5.16
Gulden Draak 9000 $8.00 10.5% 6.35

Beer Snobbery Disclaimer
This post has little to nothing to do with taste. It’s simply some math & stats on costs to get buzzed. If you don’t like stouts or ciders or IPAs and won’t drink one of them regardless of cost that’s cool. Personally I don’t like IPAs or ales in general. I prefer stouts & lagers. I’ve got a few simple comments about my tastes, but stats are stats. After the first hour I didn’t even look at the names anymore.
So find what you like & use this as a price guide….or don’t.
Also the two non-alcoholic brews aren’t counted for averages, etc.

How this got started….
Pies & Pints (P&P) listed their beers, price, ounces per serving, ABV, and how they are served. I included all of this info in the first five columns.

First I figured up Price per Oz. What a single ounce of this beer would cost. That was simple but with beers at different sizes and ABV it didn’t tell the whole story. So I color-coded the two columns (Excel feature).High ABV was blue decreasing to red for low ABV. Low cost was blue increasing to red.

Still not clear, but if a beer had two blue cells next to each other. It was probably a good value, but there weren’t many of them.

To be continued…..

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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Macro Brews, Micro Brews, Reviews


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LOTR – The Return of the Brewmaster

Recently I ventured to Middle Earth to commune with the hobbits and humans on the best brew in the Shire and surrounding lands. Specifically I’m speaking of Barliman’s Best.

Move Over ‘King of Beers’! This is the King’s Beer

Barliman’s Best is the namesake of Barliman Butterbur, owner of the Prancing Pony in the town of Bree. Barliman’s ales are so revered that many hobbits make excursions there for no other reason but the beer. Barliman is either absent-minded or just overwhelmed with the details of running a successful inn, but one thing is for sure. He is a master brewer, and Barliman’s Best is truly the best.

The inn has played host to all sorts of characters, but its most famous, and infamous, patron has got to be the shady ranger, Strider. Although you’ve probably know him better as King Aragorn. The king will tell you that his favorite beer is Barliman’s Best. That’s got to be good for business.

Aside from the celebrity endorsement, the Barliman’s is also mentioned in song as “a beer so brown” by Frodo Baggins. And good rumor has it that the beer was once blessed by Gandalf the Grey (now the White). With all the word of mouth advertising from locals and the nearby Shire, along with the king’s own endorsement, Barliman’s Best needs little in the way of advertising. So let’s get tasting!

What’s That? – A Pint!!

A Pint!

A Pint!

Barliman’s Best is top fermented. So an ale, but not crisp as expected from other ales.  This ale is heavy, woody, and packs a serious punch. An herby pungent bouquet greets your nose, which is overcome with a bitter taste. The finish however remains clean and refreshing, reminding you that this is a serious ale. Let’s explore those three moments further.

Barliman  sage for the strong, woodsy finish. I don’t know if woody or woodsy are good beer tasting terms, but this brew just makes you think of a forest. The sage aromas bring both the remininces of secret forest meadow and fresh game being cooked over a fire. A distinctly odd but comforting aroma.

The bitter taste of this beer is not achieved through hops. It is created by nettles of all things according to the recipe and tales told to me by other patorns. I seriously doubt this. There is something at work here other than common thistle plants. No one else has been able to copy this beer. If people are running around the woods gathering up thistles to make a quality beer perhaps they should by some of the beachfront property I have for sale in Mordor.

The bitterness is not over the top at all. It clenses the mouth, and leaves the palate almost dry. You’re refreshed but immediately ready for another swig. The high alcohol content makes you order more at midnight than you intended to order at sundown. Methinks Barliman has a taste for beer and business.

As good as this beer tastes, it is still a punch in the face. Plenty of alcohol and plenty of woodsy goodness, but still alien to my modern palate.

How ’bout Some Potatos?



As I mentioned above, I’d love this beer with some fresh game, fresh rabbit perhaps. A hearty stew would be welcome as well, or just let Barliman’s Best stand on its own.

The Rundown

  • Category: Micro Brew
  • Taste (20): 16 – 7000 year old recipes don’t get better than this.
  • Ad Campaign (10): 3 – It doesn’t have one, but it doesn’t need one.
  • Realism (10): 10 – I’m sure many beers over the centuries were made like this.
  • WNI (10): 10 – The world needs good beer made the old, Middle Earth ways.

Final Meaningless Score – 40 – A must have the next time you’re near The Prancing Pony.

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Posted by on March 5, 2009 in Live Action, Micro Brews, Reviews


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