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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?
Eyeball In A Quart J 11:46 pm 10 Aug 09

jackal said :

farnarkler said :

Looks like a hatchet job by Aaron Ridgway. The menu confirms what Eyeball said, $10.50 for a 330ml bottle of Chimay Blanche. I’ll bet Aaron pronounces Hoegaarden incorrectly too. What an acht maand.

Ridgeway would know more about fine beers and wine than all of you clowns.

What an odd thing to say?

Eyeball In A Quart J 11:45 pm 10 Aug 09

54-11 said :

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

Firstly, VB is piss.

Chimay is one of the finest beers in the world, but if you pay $25 for a glass than you are indeed an idiot.

I’m sure you could go down to Plonk and pay a lil’ extra to pick up one of the Chimay gift packs which features all 3 Chimays (blue, white and red) and a goblet!

And the BWS up the road from the Belgium Beer Garden sells them for approximately $9 a bottle.

p1 10:39 pm 10 Aug 09

I went there several years ago. The beer was expensive, but good, and the food was too. But the service and atmosphere was great. If it loses the atmosphere and service then not worth the $, but other wise was a good after work drink with friends, and better value the paying for a VB in civic on a friday night…

Clown Killer 10:13 pm 10 Aug 09

fermented for flavour and then topped up with industrial ethanol last I heard

It’s brewed with yeasts that deliver around 8.5% alcohol and then they add carbonated water to bring it back to 4.9% (or whatever). They don’t use barley for the carbs either – rice, potato starch, sugar beet whatevers cheapest – so no it’s not really beer, well not as we know it …

Deckard 10:06 pm 10 Aug 09

johnboy said :

fermented for flavour and then topped up with industrial ethanol last I heard.

Then served as cold as possible to hide the fact that it tastes like sh*t.

johnboythe3rd 10:03 pm 10 Aug 09

johnboy is right, VB is hideous.

jackal 9:54 pm 10 Aug 09

farnarkler said :

Looks like a hatchet job by Aaron Ridgway. The menu confirms what Eyeball said, $10.50 for a 330ml bottle of Chimay Blanche. I’ll bet Aaron pronounces Hoegaarden incorrectly too. What an acht maand.

Ridgeway would know more about fine beers and wine than all of you clowns, and clown killers. And i’m not he, if you’re wondering. The bar owner was interviewed for the story and admitted the mark-up, blaming an issue with the suppliers.

johnboy 9:51 pm 10 Aug 09

54-11 said :

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

Well for a start VB isn’t beer, it’s a beer flavoured alcopop.

fermented for flavour and then topped up with industrial ethanol last I heard.

54-11 9:48 pm 10 Aug 09

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

Nambucco Deliria 9:35 pm 10 Aug 09

They tried to charge me $13 for a pint of stella a couple of years back. I won’t be going back there, Ridgeway hatchet job or not.

farnarkler 9:06 pm 10 Aug 09

Looks like a hatchet job by Aaron Ridgway. The menu confirms what Eyeball said, $10.50 for a 330ml bottle of Chimay Blanche. I’ll bet Aaron pronounces Hoegaarden incorrectly too. What an acht maand.

ramblingted 8:51 pm 10 Aug 09

Save yourself the trip lads..was there a few weeks ago..most of the tap beers weren’t available, and the barmaid was new and didn’t have a clue about anything. Guy next to me said something about the owner being screwed by his suppliers, hence the big markups…still doesn’t explain the $25 beer though…never again for me. I can drink imported beer at home without having to wait 15 minutes to get served..

Clown Killer 6:37 pm 10 Aug 09

I was planning on doing the same thing Eyeball. If you’re there at lunch time look out for a fat bastard reading the paper and having lunch on his own!

bugmenot 6:23 pm 10 Aug 09

Caveat emptor.

I wonder how many of their customers are buying a 2nd or 3rd bottle of it?

I can certainly see that there would be some interest in buying a bottle of expensive beer, more from the sheer curiosity of it. But if it’s not value for money, you don’t usually go back.

But then, value for money & Kingston rarely go together…

Eyeball In A Quart J 6:08 pm 10 Aug 09

I’m going to go there tomorrow and check out the facts of this story.

A 750ml bottle of Chimay Grand Reserve costs $27, and a 330ml of Chimay Blanche has generally cost $10.50 according to their menu.

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