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Beer at $25 a stubby! The Canberra Times as consumer advocate?

By Clown Killer 10 August 2009 35

The Canberra Times online is running an odd story about the cost of a stubby of beer at the Belgian Cafe in Kingston.

Before digging deepier I imagined that this would have been a little puff piece on some new and exotic beverage from some distant land or a super-premium offering form one of our local brewers, but that was not to be.

Apparently the Belgian Cafe is simply charging a hefty margin on a product – Chimay Blanche, made by Trappist monks in Belgium – that may otherwise only cost punters between $6-9 in bottle-shops (or $11 over the bar in a Sydney venue – if you’re prepared to discount the cost of travel I suppose).

Whilst the margin seems steep I can’t help wondering where this is going. Is it the begining of a campaign to protect unwitting Canberrans against over-priced goods?

Will the CT now start a crusade against restaurants and cafes that slap a healthy mark-up on wine? And what about plates of pasta? Surely $18 for a serve of spaghetti is simply blatant gouging when compared to the cost of nipping into the IGA and getting the ingredients to take home and whip up the meal yourself?

What’s Your opinion?


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35 Responses to
Beer at $25 a stubby! The Canberra Times as consumer advocate?
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$25 is a LOT of money to spend on a beer when there are billions who do not eat 3 meals a day. Still, we live in a great country with plenty of opportunity. I just hope people who are willing to spend this much on beer appreciate what they have (which is clearly a lot!).

Deckard 8:35 pm 26 Aug 09

georgesgenitals said :

Addison said :

ridiculous prices. if you can afford to pay, you have no business whinging.

Paying that much for a beer makes you a typical over-consuming westerner who is spoiling our world. There are people in this world who don’t make 25 dollars a month.

Or $25 a year! Hope you don’t drive a car George.

georgesgenitals 7:55 pm 26 Aug 09

Addison said :

ridiculous prices. if you can afford to pay, you have no business whinging.

Paying that much for a beer makes you a typical over-consuming westerner who is spoiling our world. There are people in this world who don’t make 25 dollars a month.

blossom 7:25 pm 26 Aug 09

Paid 18.50 for the same 750ml bottle at Ainslie IGA , 6.50 mark up is cheap compared to some mark ups we pay for wine.

astrojax 7:08 pm 11 Aug 09

see? ck is well and truly living proof that the myth is precisely that… ; )

still rekkun byt’s recipe looks worth a try; but you might do nice potatoes in ‘fries’ or wedges or anything else yaself without having to go out for them and so have to delay drinking the chimay creatures only as you’re about to eat (or is there a delivery service from flatheads?? that would work…)

Clown Killer 5:19 pm 11 Aug 09

…it is a myth that closed mussels are unfit to eat, so don’t be put off…

I was always under the impression that it was a good idea to reject open mussels when buying them fresh but had never heard that closed cooked ones were to be avoided – I’ve been prying the stubborn little suckers open for years.

astrojax 4:21 pm 11 Aug 09

byt2007 said :

Last time I went there the beer tasted odd — stale, flat, unclean — and a good half of the mussels were closed (per serving, and we ordered five different kinds). It was also expensive beyond our wildest dreams — 3 beers each, bread, fries and mussels ended up costing over $80 per head for six people (the total bill was close to $500!!!!!).

Since then, I’ve stuck to doing the mussels-beer-bread-fries combination at home on the sunny balcony — where $80 will get you Little Creatures beer, 2 kg mussels (chilli-garlic-marsala and white wine-cream-garlic), fresh bread, oozing ripe brie and camembert, home made aioli, and nice fresh hot fries from Flatheads. More than enough food for six people to gorge themselves on, and if you’re lucky, your guests might bring along a bottle of wine.

axctually, it is a myth that closed mussels are unfit to eat, so don’t be put off – get stuck in with the knife and dig out the musselly goodness and enjoy. though being slugged twenty five quid for a beer doesn’t sound enjoyable to me when the wig and pen pint prices are quite reasonable…

and next time you have the balcony session, i have one thing to say: can we come?? ; )

pepmeup 4:09 pm 11 Aug 09

i’ve been there and found it a great place, I would pay extra for good beer in a nice place that is not over crowded any day. Also pubs and clubs dont make that much money, they are only busy at certain times, have to pay higher wages because of late hours, have high insurance costs. and of course soon they will be paying 40% more for power as well.

Addison 3:45 pm 11 Aug 09

ridiculous prices. if you can afford to pay, you have no business whinging.

Clown Killer 3:22 pm 11 Aug 09

In my view $15-20 for a 750ml bottle of ultra-premium beer is about the limit. Chimay is ok as far as Trappist beers go but there are more interesting farmhouse and lambic style beers – including some excellent Australian products – about for those wanting an interesting tipple (and with deep pockets).

I guess what I was thinking about in the OP was the fact that licensed establishments have always placed a healthy mark up on wine with a 100% (or greater) premium over bottle shop prices but I have never come across a dummy spit in the papers because such-and-such cafe was charging $25 a bottle for Hardy’s Oomoo shiraz when you can get it at Dan Murphy’s for $11, or $7 a glass for Yalumba Riesling when you can buy a whole bottle for $14 at Fat Boys …

Was this just because the product on offer was a beer, rather than wine?

rosiered 1:56 pm 11 Aug 09

edit: eating not reading

rosiered 1:49 pm 11 Aug 09

byt2007 said :

Last time I went there the beer tasted odd — stale, flat, unclean — and a good half of the mussels were closed (per serving, and we ordered five different kinds). It was also expensive beyond our wildest dreams — 3 beers each, bread, fries and mussels ended up costing over $80 per head for six people (the total bill was close to $500!!!!!).

Since then, I’ve stuck to doing the mussels-beer-bread-fries combination at home on the sunny balcony — where $80 will get you Little Creatures beer, 2 kg mussels (chilli-garlic-marsala and white wine-cream-garlic), fresh bread, oozing ripe brie and camembert, home made aioli, and nice fresh hot fries from Flatheads. More than enough food for six people to gorge themselves on, and if you’re lucky, your guests might bring along a bottle of wine.

nice! makes me long for summer reading that……

j from the block 10:47 am 11 Aug 09

Skidd Marx said :

We should be thankful that places like the Belgian Beer Cafe exist. Who else is going to keep all of the pretentious tossbags with two last names away from the good bars?

What are the good bars?
I am biased, so will not mention mine, or do we not tell anyone about the good bars incase they (the two last names) come to them?

Kramer 10:38 am 11 Aug 09

A product that goes from warm water and sugar to packaged beverage in less than a day is not beer.

Why drink euro exotica beers when you can have delicious local Zierholz (or even U-Brew it with a little effort).

MrMagoo 10:10 am 11 Aug 09

54-11 said :

Posers that spend $25 on a beer deserve everything they get. What’s wrong with a VB?

What’s wrong with VB could fill volumes??? Interestingly on a recent excursion to the Apple Isle, I had occasion to find myself at the Boag’s Brewery on the ‘Beer Lovers Tour’. An interesting trail through the beer making process of one of Australia’s oldest Brewers and then the delights of a tasting session. Someone in our group mentioned VB and Melbourne Bitter and our guide retorted with, ‘we only talk about beer here’. Nuff said.

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