What’s Your Beer Trading At?

No, seriously.

At this restaurant, you won’t find fixed prices for the beer of your choice. Yes, you will have a menu, but only with the types of beers that are offered.

The concept of a beer exchange that mimics the workings of a stock exchange is perhaps the most innovative and unique thing I’ve heard in a while.  How the beers are priced is based on the simple model of supply and demand. When more people order the same beer, the price of it will naturally rise. Likewise, the price will adjust downwards on beers that are purchased less frequently. The timing of the day as well as the day of the week are also two important factors that largely affect the cost of the beer. A beer that is bought on a Saturday night instead of on a Wednesday afternoon will obviously differ by a higher margin.

So what kinds of beers are sold, you ask?


To segway into your question, I will first tell you where you can find this beer exchange.

In the United States, a new one that will be opened next week is The New York Beer Company. Located in Manhattan, it can sit up to 300 people with offerings of 40 kinds of drafts, 50 types of bottles, and convenient entrees ranging from pizza to steak. Here, you will be able to find your most common Guinness and Budweiser, as well as local exotic ones like the Brooklyn Local 1, Coney Island Lager, and Ithaca Flower Power IPA. Talk about state pride.

One cool feature is that the website allows you to click on a beer and then shows you its price and point of origination. For instance, Empire Cream Ale from Syracuse, NY can currently be bought at $6.50. Most are priced at $6.50. A more expensive one I found was Delirium Tremens, from Belgium for $10.


However, the U.S. isn’t the only place with such a system. In Barcelona, there is the Dow Jones Bar that has been in existence since 1995. It’s very popular due to its ability to attract international customers every day and retain a loyalty customer base simultaneously with this system. They offer drinks that are more known worldwide as opposed to The New York Beer Company. You not only have beer, but also mojito, Bloody Mary, Absolut, and more.

And whenever you click on the website, the home page is a table with all of the drinks (even in ticker mode, i.e. WHRUSSIAN for White Russian), the prices they are currently trading at, and a green or red arrow beside it depending on whether it went up or down during closing time.

That’s not all. As a customer puts it: “every 30 minutes or so the stock market suffers and drink prices go down by 30-50%.”


Thus, customers do not have to worry about highly inflated prices (nor deflated prices, unfortunately), otherwise prices could get really out of hand. The system incorporates a maximum price—which when reached—will trigger the price to crash and drop similar to a market surprise. At The New York Beer Company, beers are typically capped at a price range of $4 to $8.

At the end of the day, the bar will push a button that resets all prices for the next business day.

Whether you’re someone who follows the market all day, this place sounds too good to pass up. It’s like reliving your college days, except in a visibly more sophisticated and clever manner.


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