A recent survey looked at how much a single bottle of beer costs in stores.

By Mike Pomranz
March 21, 2019
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Last month, we looked at the average cost of a bottle of wine in the ten most expensive cities around the world as determined by The Economist’s annual Worldwide Cost of Living report. Tel Aviv was the priciest with bottles of vino going for $28.77 on average; Geneva, meanwhile, was far cheaper with bottles selling for just $8.37. Of course, flying from Tel Aviv to Geneva is an expensive way to save money on wine: A more tried and true method to cut down your drink bill is to just grab a beer instead. And thankfully, The Economist is already back with fresh data on how much a beer costs in the most expensive cities around the world so you can begin budgeting accordingly.

Get ready to start chanting “U-S-A! U-S-A!” because you don’t have to travel very far to pay exorbitant prices for a brew. Of the ten cities The Economist looked at, New York City ranked as having the highest average retail beer prices with a 330 milliliter (or about 12-ounce) bottle sold in stores setting drinkers back $3.33. Meanwhile, Geneva is once again the best bet for the most cost-conscious among the rich and famous: The Swiss city finished tenth with suds slinging for just $1.54.

Here are all ten cities in order of average beer price… (For those comparing this list to the wine one, note that the list of most expensive cities has also been updated: New York and Osaka have replaced Oslo and Sydney.)

  1. New York ($3.33)
  2. Zurich ($3.25)
  3. Seoul ($3.13)
  4. Tel Aviv ($2.94)
  5. Copenhagen ($2.61)
  6. Singapore ($2.37)
  7. Osaka ($2.30)
  8. Paris ($2.10)
  9. Hong Kong ($1.77)
  10. Geneva ($1.54)

Worth noting is that the methodology doesn’t explicitly state what kinds of beers were looked at for this survey, only that “researchers survey a range of stores: supermarkets, mid-priced stores and higher-priced specialty outlets.” As a result, it’s possible New York City’s love of expensive craft beers might have helped buoy it over cities like Paris where beer selections tend to be more mundane. But adding insult to injury, New York City was actually one of only two cities that saw the price of beer increase since last year. Beer prices in Osaka also increased over the past year, but prices in the other eight cities actually dropped.

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