Peter Lalor, an Australian sports journalist who was visiting England, got the surprise of his life when he was mistakenly charged nearly $100,000 for a beer at a hotel. The reporter, who was in England covering the Ashes cricket series, was staying at the Malmaison hotel in Manchester. It was there that he got stuck with a steep tab for a bottle of Deuchers IPA.
"See this beer? That is the most expensive beer in history. I paid $99,983.64 for it in the Malmaison Hotel, Manchester the other night. Seriously," Lalor tweeted alongside a picture of his bill. He said he didn't have his reading glasses on him when the bartender handed him the bill for the beer. She did mention there were some problems with the machine, but he assumed the problem had been resolved.
After asking how much he had paid, the bartender started laughing when she realized her mistake. She eventually went to find the manager who reimbursed Lalor’s debit card. Although she reassured him that the discrepancy had been rectified, Lalor was informed by Visa that he would still have to wait nine working days before the money was returned to his account. On top of everything, he was also charged a transaction fee of $2,499.59.
Visa told the BBC they were working to fix the error, but that ultimately it is the bank’s responsibility. Despite the hassle, Lalor managed to see the humor in the situation. “It's a good beer," he said. "The original version of it won a heap of awards, including the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, but if you are thinking that no beer is worth the best part of $100,000, then I am inclined to agree with you."
The beer, a Caledonian Brewing Company Deuchars IPA, has won over 40 awards, including CAMRA Supreme Champion Beer of Britain and World Champion Cask Ale. Brewed by a Scottish brewery founded in 1869 in the Shandon area of Edinburgh, Scotland, the IPA is "solid gold in color, strongly aromatic, with hints of fresh citrus." The brewery says it goes well with "spicy dishes curries, or anything with a kick" as well as "cheese, meat and shellfish."
According to Lalor, the Malmaison Hotel has taken the issue seriously and has repeatedly apologized. They also offered to compensate him for any additional losses. "I am staying nearby, but at this point in time I reckon I probably own one floor of the Malmaison," Lalor joked. The actual price of the beer is £1.80 in supermarkets and presumably slightly more in a hotel, though nowhere near $100K.
If you’re wondering which beer is the most expensive brew in the world, it’s Allsopp’s Arctic Ale, sold for $503,300 on Ebay. The bottle of beer was brewed in 1875 for an Antarctic expedition. Originally, it sold on eBay for $304 because the seller listed the name as Allsop’s with only one p. Eight weeks later with the spelling corrected, it was sold on Ebay for $503,300 after receiving 157 bids from 56 unique bidders.