Hong Kong tipplers to get taste of world's strongest beer, Snake Venom

SoHo drinkers will have the chance to try Brewmeister Snake Venom, but it's not cheap

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 July, 2015, 5:53am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 July, 2015, 5:53am

Hong Kong is set to get a taste of one of the most expensive and strongest bottles of beer in the world - a dizzying brew with an alcohol content of 67.5 per cent.

At 67.5% alcohol content, the snake venom beer will test Hong Kong's SoHo drinker's tolerance at The Roundhouse Taproom. Photo: SCMPAnd if that doesn't knock you over, the price will, at a staggering HK$1,200 a bottle.

Made in Scotland, the 33cl Brewmeister Snake Venom, the world's strongest beer by volume, is on the order list at The Roundhouse Taproom in SoHo, though a delivery date has yet to be determined.

The costly import comes as the 2015 beer price index ranked Hong Kong as the second most expensive city in the world for beer drinkers.

The overall average price of a 33cl beer in Hong Kong is US$6.16. In the supermarket, the average is US$1.46, but in a bar it will set you back US$10.86.

However, the survey measured the most expensive price based on major hotel chains.

Toby Cooper, director of The Globe, one of Hong Kong's best-known pubs, slammed the survey's ranking of this city as the second most expensive watering hole for beer.

"The biggest criticism I have of the survey is using hotel prices," Cooper said. "No one will argue with Hong Kong hotels being the world's most expensive [for alcohol].

"That in my mind is not a fair reflection of beer Hong Kong-wide," he said.

He warned it was misleading to think prices are "marked up excessively across the board".

Cooper, a 20-year veteran of Hong Kong, singled out Singapore as consistently "more expensive" everywhere, and probably with "less difference between bars and hotels".

"There is nothing worse than being charged US$15 in Singapore for a bottle of Tiger, which happens all over the place - anywhere with a view of the water you'd be charged a fortune," he said.

"There is still some fantastic value in Hong Kong. You can get some great happy hour deals."

Alex Yip, the bar manager of the Roundhouse Taproom on Peel Street, said it had ordered the Brewmeister Snake Venom, which comes with health warnings. Retailing in Britain for £50 (HK$605), the Central-based bar is expected to retail it for double.

The bar sold out of the Brewmeister Armageddon. Punters within a week snapped up the HK$999 tipple - containing 65 per cent alcohol content.

"You don't want to buy the whole bottle," he said. The bar sells in shots, HK$100 for a shot. "Just imagine, you cannot drink the whole bottle."

For beginners, one shot could put a drinker to sleep, Yip said.