So without going back and reading over the whole article...why is there a big jump in price for the bomber.
IME, it's almost entirely due to labor costs. The packaging (per unit volume) costs about the same, but it takes us about four times as many man-hours per unit volume. That's because we have a four-head semi-automated bottling line for 12s, but have to fill 22s manually, four at a time. The margins are the same for a $9 six-pack and a $5 bomber at this scale.
If you're a company the size of New Belgium, on the other hand, I think the answer is that you're pricing the bombers in line with what the smaller breweries *have* to charge, and making better margins on them. Or even undercutting them a little, because $5 is the bottom of the range for a bomber around here.
A serious question: In reality...who does this pricing strategy really benefit? The brewery...or the consumer?
It must be the consumer, because it sure doesn't benefit the (small) brewer. People like to try things in smaller quantities, and apparently they're willing to pay a premium for that. We get a *lot* of flack over not offering our flagship beers in 22s, but the reality is that we'd have to cut production in order to do that much low-volume packaging. There just aren't enough hours in the day.