By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
With prices on consumer goods continuing to increase across the board, are some products inflation-proof? Liquor might seem to be a likely candidate.
You’ll get no argument from Wyoming State Liquor Association Executive Director Mike Moser. He said people will not drink less, but they’ll drink differently.
“People will continue to consume alcohol no matter how bad a recession, but they do it a different way,” Moser said.
First, they may downgrade what they drink. He told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that brand loyalty is mostly of the past.
“My dad and grandpa drank the same type of whiskey and beer for their entire lives,” Moser said. “But now, we have more products available. We’re more price-sensitive than we used to be and the alcohol and drink quality is just better overall.”
Second, the types of businesses that serve alcohol have changed.
Most businesses in Wyoming that sell alcohol have diversified their income streams, offering additional options to enhance the drinking experience.
“You don’t find standalone bars and taverns here with no restaurant or kitchen facilities or even a package liquor store,” Moser said. “Standalone bars and taverns have a much more difficult chance of surviving out here.”
There are a few reasons standalone bars that don’t offer food exist, he said. However, people drinking less is not one of them.
Responsible And Cheaper
First, the cultural attitude toward drinking has shifted, he said. It is not socially acceptable to drink to excess anymore, as it might have been a few decades ago.
With that shift also comes the legal ramifications regarding drinking and driving, which have also become much more strict than in years past.
People are more likely to have a drink or two with dinner and then go home, rather than hit the bar and have several drinks in one sitting, Moser said.
“People’s habits have changed,” he said. “It’s not that we’re drinking less, people are just drinking more responsibly. Not to mention, it’s a lot cheaper to drink at home.”
Noted Wyoming outdoorsman Paul Ulrich agreed with Moser except the part about drinking to excess not being socially acceptable.
“At least in my circle, beer pong is considered an artistic experience,” Ulrich said. “And who goes to the symphony without doing some body shots beforehand?”