Every year Deutsche Bank releases their Mapping The World Prices index. This is a book of charts that looks at the price of goods and services and relates that to the general quality of life around the world. It’s jammed with numbers and prices in big spreadsheets that are honestly dizzying to look at. This year, one chart stood out to us: The analyst at Deutsche Bank calculated the average price of a beer in cities around the world.
The report cites the cost of “one beer in a neighborhood pub.” That’s a proper 500ml (16.9oz) beer too. None of this American 12oz nonsense. Overall, the report listed 47 major cities around the world and the average cost for a beer in a central or “expat” district. We don’t want you getting a headache from looking a spreadsheet of beer prices (you should only be getting headaches from too much beer consumption). So we grabbed the top five most expensive and the five least expensive spots to buy a glass a beer and made this handy list for you to peruse. Enjoy!
THE FIVE MOST EXPENSIVE CITIES FOR A BEER
5. Boston, MA
The average cost for a beer in Boston is $7.20. Boston is known for some great Irish pubs, where a pint of Guinness will run you around seven bucks, so these numbers feel right. There are also some grand craft breweries like Trillium serving some great, local beers. Either way, expect to pay a little more than average for a single beer in Boston.
4. New York City, NY
New York City only averages 20 cents more per beer than Boston, at $7.40. Granted, New York is known for its high prices so this should come as a shock to no one. Still, there’s plenty of options with $4 specials at dive bars for cans of PBR or Coors. To counterpoint that, there’s a thriving craft beer scene with a broad range of options from one end of the city to the other. Check out New York City’s 35 craft brewers here — we’re sure you’ll find one or two to fall in love with.
3. Hong Kong
Another 30 cents per beer and we’re all the way on the other side of the globe in Hong Kong at $7.70. Hong Kong is a massive city that collects the best the world has to offer. Finding a great beer is never too hard a task. You can bar crawl around the Wan Chai all night drinking pale lagers. Or do a little sleuthing and find stellar beer bars like Roundhouse Taproom and Kowloon Taproom for some of the best selections of craft beer in east Asia.
Singapore’s beer prices are much higher, at $9.00 on average per beer. Singapore, much like Hong Kong, is a crossroads of humanity and a lot of the best foods and drinks end up on this island in Southeast Asia. The beer scene is largely dominated by pale lagers like Tiger Beer — and there’s nothing wrong with an ice cold Tiger. In recent years, the beer nerds have arrived in Singapore and brought the world’s best beer with them. Spots like the hole-in-the-wall Good Luck Beerhouse and Smith Street Taps are at the forefront of Sing’s burgeoning craft beer scene.
1. Oslo, Norway
Oslo clocks in at $9.90 for a single glass of beer. That’s a tough pill to swallow for one beer — even if it is 16.9oz. Not really a surprise, though: Oslo is just plain expensive. There’s no getting around that. You can comfort yourself in knowing that your hard-earned tourist dollars will be going toward very high-quality products. Local beer scenes and brewers are on display at craft beer joints like Crowbar (Crow Bryggeri) and Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri.
Expect an excellent selection of local takes on classic styles and expect to pay dearly for the experience.
THE FIVE CHEAPEST CITIES FOR A BEER
5. TIE Warsaw, Poland and Manila, Philippines
We have a tie at $2.30 for a single beer! These two places couldn’t be further apart and yet you can get a good, cheap beer in both.
Warsaw is the capital of a country where alcohol is a deeply ingrained part of the culture. Beer drinking in Poland is a way of life until the vodka starts to flow. Check out the PiwPaw Beer Heaven for an astounding selection of local suds and a lot of beer from all over the world all on tap.
Manila got its beer culture from the Spanish and Filipino San Miguel still dominates the scene out there. However, where there are beer drinkers, there’s craft beer to be sipped. Find your way to Alamat Filipino Pub & Deli for some seriously excellent food and a spot on beer selection.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
At $2.10 per pint, Cape Town has one of the best beer prices in any major city when you factor in the saturation of great breweries available to the average drinker. The Western Cape, in general, has nearly 100 breweries to choose from. In town, there are options all over the city with great beer being brewed consistently. Devil’s Peak Brewing Company is a great place to start your Cape Town beer odyssey.
3. Lisbon, Portugal
At an even $2.00 per beer, Lisbon feels like a great place to grab a pint. You can get yourself five beers for a cool ten bucks. That math feels right. Lisbon is a great place to walk around and explore hidden gems in blind alleys and musty cellars. Beer bars like Duque Brewpub and Quimera Brewpub (which is actually in an ancient cellar) offer deep menus of local, excellent beers along with delicious Portuguese treats.
2. Johannesburg, South Africa
Back down South Africa way, you’ll be able to find a glass of beer for $1.70 in Johannesburg. Jo’burg is a massive, sprawling city. Finding a cold beer isn’t going to be an issue. Bottles of Black Label and Castle Lager are everywhere. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find dope little joints peddling crafty beers like The Foundry in Gauteng. The food is filling and the beer is spot on.
1. Prague, Czech Republic
The promised land of beer is Prague. And a great beer is only going to set you back $1.30 on average. Some of the best beer in the world also happens to be the cheapest. Some would call that kismet. We just call it awesome!
The best beer in Prague is found at the “Tankovna” bars. That’s where Pilsner Urquell is shipped in fresh from the brewery multiple times a day and filled into air tight tanks. Then it’s served straight to us beer drinkers. It’s the freshest and most luscious pilsner you’ll drink. Hit up the Kolkovna beer bars around the city or the iconic Lokal for the best tankovna experience and some tasty Czech comfort food.