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Bottom Line : A Sad Cerveza Saga

March 19, 1995|Chris Rubin

With the peso plummeting and your refrigerator just about out of Corona, you head down to the corner market to stock up on some south-of-the-border brew, expecting a bargain. But Corona and Pacifico and all those other cervecitas are holding steady in price. What gives? When will the price of Mexican beer dive along with the peso?

No time soon, apparently. U.S. importers aren't getting the beer for any less because they pay for it in dollars, not pesos, says Dan Cook of Barton Beers, the importer of Corona. And, notes Richard Ulibarri of Bay Distributors, a Redondo Beach beer wholesaler, "tariffs and taxes don' t change" even if currency rates do.

As it turns out, beer isn't even all that cheap in Mexico, where a six-pack of Dos Equis goes for 18 pesos--about $3. "Brewery costs have increased with the devaluation of the peso," Cook says, "because they buy so many U.S. goods."

Oh, well. When it comes to Mexican beer, even at five bucks a six-pack, todo beats a Bud.

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