Hong Kong second most expensive city in the world for beer drinkers

For the price of just one bottle in fancy Lan Kwai Fong you can swig six in the Polish city of Krakow

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2015, 2:55am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2015, 1:18pm

If cheap beer is a priority when booking a holiday, Krakow is probably your best bet.

According to the 2015 Beer Price Index compiled by the travel search site, GoEuro, the Polish city has the cheapest beer in the world, whereas Hong Kong - in case you hadn't noticed - is the second most expensive, topped only by Geneva in Switzerland.

The index includes data from 75 cities around the world and takes into account the five most commonly imported beers as well as the main local brew.

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.

Compared with those prices, beer lovers might lose their mind in Krakow, where a beer in a bar averages US$1.66 and you can pick one up in the supermarket for US 62 cents. That means you can buy a round of six drinks in a bar and get change from US$10.

Beer lovers in Hong Kong are only too aware of such harsh economic realities - which is why 7-Elevens are doing such a roaring trade these days, particularly for drinkers who still want to soak up the vibe in areas like Lan Kwai Fong and Wan Chai without having to swallow the prices charged in trendy bars.

But either because of sky high prices or because beer is mostly consumed by the expat community, the city has one of the lowest consumption rates - an average of 16 litres per person per year.

The only lower figures are for Bali (nine litres), Abu Dhabi (eight litres), Delhi (six litres) and Cairo (four litres), according to the survey, which used data from the World Health Organisation.

And the average Hongkonger spends US$296 a year on beer. By contrast, residents of the Romanian capital of Bucharest knock back an average 133 litres a year, which corresponds to annual spending per capita of US$1,132.

When it comes to expenditure per year, Helsinki in Finland comes out on top at US$1,542. Drinkers are a much rarer breed in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where per capita spending on beer is just US$25.

Beijing is the 53rd cheapest city to buy beer - the overall average price of a 33cl beer is US$3.87 (in the supermarket it costs an average of US$1.39 compared with US$6.35 at the bar).

But consumption levels are higher than in Hong Kong: 35 litres is the average annual consumption per capita, whereas the average annual spend is US$403.