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BEEROSPHERE - BEER NEWS

All about beer stuff and stuff about beer. It might be trivia, it might be quirky beer gadgets or it could be vital beer info. Regardless, it's all about the beer.

 
Sunday
Jul132014

WORLD BEER PRICES


We drink beer because we like it. We also like that it's good for you and makes us more interesting and more attractive to everybody else.

What we don't like is being screwed over to pay outrageous dollars for beers that are dirt-cheap in their home markets. We're forever having our European editor prodding us with unsubtle jabs about German getrinkmarkt prices, but it's not just Germany.

The thing is, it's never been cheaper to fly around the world and if you fly around the world, you might just want to adjust your schedules to find some of the world's cheapest beers. 

A survey from numbeo.com shows that Australia and the US are amongst the world's more expensive places to drink but the cheapest may surprise you.

Yes, there's a good risk you'll be shot by a Russian commando masquerading as a separatist, and, yes, there's a high possibility that you might glow from radioactivity, but the Ukraine ranks number one, with a 500 ml beer costing just US$0.59. Vietnam almost ties the Ukraine and gets our thumbs up because it has better beaches and far more cellars, which they used to call tunnels.

You might also want to pencil Cambodia, the Czech RepublicChina, Serbia and Panama onto the list, too. Cambodia is a top spot to sip on a beer on a beach. The Czechs are known for beautiful Prague architecture, so you'll have earned a beer by a tourist's day's end. You'll have earned a beer in China just for breathing Beijing's air for a day. You'll have earned a beer in Serbia if you turn up there between wars and Panama's just hot, all the time.

Actually, on the list of the cheapest 10 places to buy beer, we'd recommend Bulgaria. The oldest country in Europe has awful roads and communist architecture, but they have great food and terrific beer. It's not just cheap beer; it's cheap and good.

There is one huge shock on the list, with a half litre of beer in Saudi Arabia costing just $0.70. Beer is very hard to find in the religious monarchy. And nobody makes it there.

1. Ukraine $0.57

2. Vietnam $0.59

3. Cambodia $0.68

4. Saudi Arabia $0.70

5. Czech Republic $0.71

6. China $0.74

7. Panama $0.75

8. Macau $0.77

9. Serbia $0.78

10. Bulgaria $0.79

 

If you'd sooner spend your money on good hotels than extravagantly priced beers, there are places to avoid. The Middle East in general stands out. Wherever it's actually easy to find, it's out of control in cost, with a half-litre beer in Iran costing the same as 13 beers in the Ukraine. Think about what you can do with 13 beers...

There is one standout country here. It's the one with the reputation for drinking lots of beer and the weather that's just perfect for drinking beer. And it's secular (well, it was until Tony Abbott turned up as Prime Minister). It's Australia. Where is the outrage?

Here are the most expensive countries to drink in:

1. Iran $7.71

2. Kuwait $7.09

3. United Arab Emirates $6.20

4. Papua New Guinea $5.19

5. Singapore $4.72

6. Norway $4.61

7. Qatar $4.53

8. Australia $4.45

9. Afghanistan $4.33

10. Jordan $4.17

The survey also answered the extremely thoughtful question of where it's easiest to find a drinking buddy to show you around. It asked who drank the most 12-ounce (340ml) bottles of beer. 

And the answer is that it's easiest to find a drinking buddy in the Czech republic, which downs an average of 419 bottles per head per year. Expensive-beer laden Australia runs them a close second with Germany third. Yet the astonishing thing is that the Czechs average more than 100 bottles of beer per year more than any other country!

1. Czech Republic 419

2. Australia  304

3. Germany 299

4. Estonia 288

5. Poland 277

6. Ireland 277

7. Croatia 242

8. Venezuela 241

9. Lithuania 237

10. Romania 234

 

So there's an inevitable final table here, and it calculates who spends the most money drinking beer per year. With a ranking of 8th in beer prices and second in beer consumption, it's no surprise that the dubious honor falls to the Australians.

It turns out your average Australian spends US$747.90 on beer. Even if they're children. And that's got to hurt. That's OK. You should see what they pay for houses, food and coffee. 

The Irish and the Finns come in next, but in a tribute to the popular strength of beer, the top 10 countries are spread across four continents. You can't even say the same for soccer/football.

 

1. Australia $747.90

2. Ireland $688.10

3. Finland $565.82

4. New Zealand $452.90

5. Venezuela $444.60

6. U.K. $393.19

7. U.S.A. $356.20

8. Canada $351.89

9. Denmark $262.06

10. Germany $235.54

 

But if there are people paying through the nose to have a quietie at the end of a hard day, there are others living on easy street, relatively. And the Ukraine leads the way, as some compensation for Russia wanting to take chunks out of it. In fact, if the Middle East dominates beer pricing, then eastern Europe dominates the list of the least spent per year on beer.

1. Ukraine $72.69

2. Bosnia & Herzogovina $99.86

3. Bulgaria $119.81

4. Panama $123.45

5. Slovakia $136.38

6. Hungary $138.32

7. Mexico $141.36

8. South Africa $147.86

9. Lithuania $149.90

10. Romania $148.10

 

Bastards.

Monday
Feb102014

DRINKANATOR GOT $3 MILL TO DRINK BUD

A well-known Austrian gym junkie has been paid $3 million to drink Bud Light to convince American Superbowl viewers, presumably already drunk on crap like Bud Light, to drink more Bud Light.

While this is an older pic of said Austrian gym junkie, it also depicts him something which demands more respect than Bud Light, too.

Action cult man, former Kennedy bonker and ex California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger needed $3 million reasons to appear in an ad where he plays ping pong with some random cove and wears a silly headband.

While Schwarzenegger has appeared in similarly humiliating ads in Japan, it's his first dose of voluntary humiliation in his adopted homeland of the United States. Except, of course, Kindergarten Cop. And The Last Action Hero. And that Terminator sequel with Claire Daines in it.

The 66-year-old appeared in the 30-second ad (which costs about $4 million in television airtime alone during the superbowl) along with Don Cheadle and his Lama. While Bud Light is crap, at least he didn't land himself in the middle of a political bunfight like Scarlett Johansson, who chose SodaStream's cash over her humanitarian work with Oxfam.

 

Wednesday
Feb052014

BREWDOG GETS POLITICAL

It has been a long winter in Scotland, which partly explains why the Brewdog clan has gone crazy enough to taunt Vladimir Putin with a beer that taunts the Russian president's homophobia.

Half the profits of the Hello My Name Is Vladimir will go to charities that represent oppressed minorities around the world, which should be enough to send about half a tonne of Polonium-210 to Scotland in a diplomatic pouch full of Bulgarian umbrellas.

The beer is a bit tongue in cheek, described by Brewdog as a limonnik berry-infused double IPA, with an IBU ranking of 70 and an alcohol concentration of 8.2 percent. So, like the bear-wrestling, crocodile-punching, elephant-lifting, bullet-stopping Putin, it's probaby not to be trifled with.

While previous Hello My Name Is beers have been Scandinavian, this one is Brewdog's first beer to invite controversy for causes other than its own.

Brewdog describes it as particularly fruity, and a counterpoint to Putin's anti-gay stance at the Sochi Olympics. It uses Extra Pale and Cara malts, combined with Citra hops and infused with Limonnik berries. It describes the concoction as an explosion of liberally minded US hops against a robust malt backdrop and insists it contains malt sweetness, berry sharpness and fruity blueberry muffin maltiness and a piney, resinous hop finish.

 

Wednesday
Oct232013

SHAKE 'N' BAKE BEER? BETTER BELIEVE IT

Who doesn't remember Talledega Nights? Who didn't use the old "Shake 'N' Bake" line? Repeatedly?

So that was a bit of harmless fun. Past tense.

Now the Good Ole Boys of NASCAR have gone and ruined it. Can you imagine a Shake 'N' Bake beer?

No, neither can we.

There is indulgence and then there's the ludicrously indulgent. The level of indulgence that makes even Americophiles understand why the rest of the world laughs at them sometimes. Well, that's this level of indulgence.

The Rahr & Sons concoction (we stop short of calling it a brew) has been, err, concocted for the AAA Texas 500 race weekend from October 31 to November 3. So, if there's any consolation, you're going to have to be in a very specific place and moment in the space-time continuum to suffer through it.

So what they've done is combined half a bottle of the Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager (which we've yet to sample in its purest form) with actual pieces of bacon and, wait for it, vanilla ice cream. No, stop, it's not April 1.

The pieces of bacon aren't just pieces of bacon, either. They are candied in sugar and syrup and then, just in case you missed that there was bacon, there is additional bacon-flavoured syrup in it. And there is whipped cream on the top of the sort-of beer. 

If that's not enough, it will cost US$10 for a 16-ounce plastic cup. 

This plague is not solely upon the beer drinkers, either, because the mixture is going to be tossed into a non-alcoholic root beer as well.

While this might breach the open-minded approach Beeriosity takes to its testing procedures, we think we're pretty safe in saying this will be, err, awful.

Wednesday
Sep252013

SAY IT AIN'T SO: HELLO KITTY BEER?

Nothing is sacred to Hello Kitty. Nothing.

The Asian juggernaut, which makes Red Bull look like a paragon of marketing integrity, has its bow-tied cartoon cat logo on everything from tampons to teas, is making a range of beers.

Regardless of whether or not the beer is actually any good (our preconceptions suggest not, but we will happily be proven wrong), it has opened the brand up to accusations that it's aiming an alcoholic beverage at children. Hello Kitty is known to slap its brand on plenty of school gear for school-aged kids, as well as pre-school children, and even the very young could be easily confused about whether or not that Hello Kitty beer in the fridge is actually a soda-drink meant for them.

Sanrio, the company that stands behind Hello Kitty, insists the beer isn't aimed at children, but is aimed at Asian women who have grown up with the 40-year-old Hello Kitty brand. A recent Chinese survey found that only 15% of women considered themselves to be drinkers, while that number jumps to 56% for men. Hello Kitty's branding machine considers that a 41% opportunity.

That's why it asked Taiwan's Long Chuan Beer Company to make Hello Kitty beers in peach, lemon-lime, passion fruit and banana flavours. No, we are not making this up and, yes, we can see exactly how a child could be confused by all of this.

Especially when one Beijing-based blogger, Kotaku's Eric Jou, said: 'They're so ridiculously smooth and tasty that one can barely tell you're drinking beer.

'It's almost like drinking fruit juice, even if the cans do say beer.'

Read more of Eric's thoughts on it here.

All four of the Hello Kitty beers are low alcohol or light beers, with their ABVs rangingn from 2.3 to 2.8%. 

As odd as all this is, it's not the first time Hello Kitty's stupid cat has graced a beer. Shamefully, it did a licensing deal with Beck's a year ago. Now they're out on their own.