In the 22oz bottle it was going for $0.25 an ounce, now it is selling for as low as $0.0833 an ounce. First off, this is a fantastic beer selling at a regular price and I can't be happier. Second, unfortunately this is a Jan through April release, so start hoarding now - I don't think there is anything 'seasonal' about this beer and it should sell year round. But lastly, what can possibly explain the fact that the new price is 1/3 the old? Partly this has to do with niche marketing - going from a specialty beer aimed at the top of the demand curve to a mass market beer aimed at the heart of the demand curve. But, it probably has a lot to do with scale as well. Estimates exist of scale economies in brewing overall (i.e. the size for the brewery), but I wonder if any beer geeks can enlighten me about scale economies when it comes to producing a particular beer? It seems to me that this must be a big part of the story.
Finally, some gripes: I am pretty sure that it was I that came up with the whole concept of the 'Northwest Pale Ale,' I have been advocating for a long time for smaller but hops infused beers - hoppy beers don't have to be super-big. In fact I have been trying to perfect this concept in my kitchen and decided to call the result a 'Northwest Best Bitter,' the idea being a best bitter taken to the land of hops and given a re-education but with about the same alcohol content of an English version. I have every intention of creating a new category of beer. Of course my result pales in comparison to the Deschutes offering, but I await my royalty check for the NWPA idea.
Anyway, Red Chair is one of my favorite beers ever and the Deschutes move to more mass production is wonderful - so thanks Deschutes!