Which Countries Have the World's Highest and Lowest Beer Prices?
It's highly unlikely you've ever chosen where to travel strictly based on the price of beer. But at the same time, who isn't pleasantly surprised to find cheap drinks on vacation? Or vice versa, who hasn't groaned at the exorbitant beer prices at a hotel? Well, if you don't like surprises, a recently compiled list tried to hunt down the cost of a beer in countries around the world.
For their World Beer Index 2021, the financial advice site Expensivity looked at two sets of data from the capital of 58 countries around the globe: the cost of a beer at a supermarket ("focusing on well-known beer brands such as Corona and Heineken") and the price of a beer at hotel lobby bars—specifically, 12-ounce bottles standardized into U.S. dollars. They also combined these two numbers together for a quick assessment of the "average" cost of getting a beer whether you're going out or staying in.
So where in the world is the most expensive beer? Expensivity says Doha, Qatar with an average price of $11.26. "The mostly Muslim country introduced a 100 percent tax on alcohol imports ahead of the 2022 World Cup, and visitors need a special permit to drink alcohol," the site explains. Doha easily had the most expensive store-bought beers—$9.34—over $3 higher than the second most expensive "supermarket" beer on the list, which was a $6.25 bottle in Amman, Jordan.
However, Doha's $13.19 hotel beer price tag was actually second most expensive to Beijing, China, where Expensivity found grabbing a beer in the lobby would set you back $13.61. If you are in Beijing, maybe consider hitting up he shops: Amazingly, the listed price of a store-bought beer was only $1.81—or nearly $12 less.
And what if you want cheap brews? Unexpectedly enough, the world's cheapest supermarket beer was found in Rome, Italy: just $0.58 per bottle (as opposed to their $11.07 hotel brews, the 4th most expensive on the list). Meanwhile, the cheapest hotel beer was in South Africa—with the average price of a lobby beer at hotels across the country's three capital cities of Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town clocking in at $2.40. South Africa also landed the cheapest average beer prices overall—just $1.68—thanks to their inexpensive supermarket beers which cost $0.96.
And what about the U.S.? We're relatively expensive: taking the 45th spot on the list of average pricing. For supermarket beers, the District of Columbia wasn't too bad: a $1.49 bottle landed America's capital as 32nd least expensive on the store-bought rankings. But Washington, D.C.'s hotel prices did us in: At $8.00 for a beer, only 13 cities were more expensive than D.C.
You can take a look at Expensivity's entire sortable list here.