We’ve got into the habit of asking industry people about money.
One distributor gave this response to our query about why beers from a particular brewery were so expensive (paraphrased):
Everyone, including me, is begging them for a few bottles here, a keg there, so they’ve got absolutely no incentive to offer discounts.
We’ve found that the best way to turn down a job is to quote a ludicrous fee, but sometimes people say ‘Yes!’ anyway.
Your choices as a consumer seem to be (a) drink something less trendy; (b) buy direct; or (c) grit your teeth and pay up.