No matter where you go in the world, you can usually find a refreshing beer. This universally loved alcoholic beverage is consumed in nearly every country in the world, on occasions ranging from sporting events and major celebrations to watching TV on the couch on a Tuesday. Additionally, there are as many different types of beer as there are reasons to drink it, from porters to pale ales, stouts to saisons, and lagers to lambics. The taste, quality, and especially the price of beer can vary widely depending upon one's preference and location.
While beer is quite affordable in countries such as the Czech Republic and Germany (both among the world leaders in alcohol consumption), it can be quite costly elsewhere—particularly in the Middle East and Northern Europe. While expensive beer can be a disappointment for consumers, most would agree that it's still better than no beer: Alcohol is illegal in many of Qatar's Middle Eastern neighbors.
|Rank||Expensivity 2021||Amica 2018||Finder 2018|
|1||Qatar — $11.26||Iceland — $12.75||United Arab Emirates — $11.60|
|2||Jordan — $9.40||Norway — $11.30||Qatar — $11.49|
|3||China — $7.71||United Arab Emirates — $10.83||Iceland — $10.76|
|4||France — $6.39||Israel — $9.43||Norway — $9.96|
|5||Switzerland — $6.23||France — $9.20||Bahrain — $8.53|
|6||Japan — $6.16||Bermuda — $9.09||Singapore — $8.49|
|7||UK (England) — $5.97||Finland — $8.87||Oman — $7.95|
|8||Italy — $5.83||Singapore — $8.44||New Caledonia — $7.88|
|9||Denmark — $5.20||Denmark — $7.94||Switzerland — $7.83|
|10||Singapore — $5.17||Sweden — $7.79||Mayotte — $7.60|
*No study examined every existing country in the world. As such, countries in the top 10 for one study may have been absent from other studies. For example, Qatar and Jordan were excluded from the Amica study, and neither Iceland, Norway, United Arab Emirates, nor Israel were included in the Expensivity study. For a full list of every country included in every study, see the table following this article.
According to the 2021 World Beer Index by Expensivity, Qatar has the most expensive beer prices in the world. The average price of beer in Qatar is approximately $11.25 (with some estimates as high as $13.61) for a single 330 mL bottle. In comparison, the average price of beer in the United States is approximately $4.75 on average for a similarly sized bottle. Alternate studies in previous years using different methodologies have achieved different, but similar results (see table above).
Several factors play a role in determining the price of a beer. These include the size of the beer, the amount of money it costs to manufacture the beer, the flavors and ingredients that go into the beer, where the beer is being purchased (i.e.: a grocery store, a hotel restaurant, etc.), and transportation expenses. In addition, the country and city in which the beer being sold is also a major factor, as local taxes may apply. For instance, the high price of alcohol in Qatar is partially the result of a 100% import tax that effectively doubles the price of beer.
The most expensive beer in the world is widely believed to come from BrewDog, which makes The End of History. This is a Scottish beer that was first released more than a decade ago. The reason why this beer is so expensive is that it has an incredibly high ABV, coming in at 55 percent. This is about twice as strong as most whiskeys. A single bottle of this beer costs approximately 700 pounds, making it incredibly expensive. Furthermore, every bottle was stuffed into a unique piece of Taxidermy. A few popular examples include hares and squirrels.
Even though Qatar is known for having very expensive beer, other countries are known for having expensive spirits and wine. Finland and Sweden are among the most expensive countries in the world for those looking to buy alcohol of any type, as are Ireland and Turkey. There are a number of reasons why these countries might have expensive alcohol, but one of the biggest factors is the taxes imposed, which can make alcoholic beverages prohibitively expensive.
Even though there are some countries that have very expensive beer, there are plenty of other countries that have very cheap beer. For example, South Africa is widely believed to be the least expensive country for those looking for beer. South Africa has several beers that show up in supermarkets, and many of them cost less than a dollar. There are some people who believe that South Africa has beer that is cheaper than water. There are plenty of other countries that are also known for their inexpensive beer, including the aforementioned Czech Republic, Germany (also one of the world's leading cheese consumers), and Austria.
|Rank||Expensivity 2021||Amica 2018||Finder 2018|
|1||South Africa — $1.68||Paraguay/Vietnam — $1.00||Venezuela — $0.70|
|2||Ukraine — $1.76||Ethiopia — $1.02||Uzbekistan — $0.80|
|3||Argentina — $1.79||Ukraine — $1.08||Nigeria — $0.85|
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina — $1.96||Nigeria — $1.10||Malawi — $0.87|
|5||Ghana — $2.05||Colombia — $1.17||Ethiopia — $0.91|
|6||Tunisia — $2.09||Philippines — $1.27||Vietnam — $0.95|
|7||Georgia — $2.30||Rwanda — $1.30||Saudi Arabia — $0.99|
|8||North Macedonia — $2.34||Tunisia — $1.31||Puerto Rico — $1.07|
|9||Chile — $2.40||Ghana — $1.57||Ukraine — $1.12|
|10||Czech Republic — $2.49||Egypt — $1.59||Kazakhstan/Lesotho/Togo — $1.14|
Expensivity 2021 (330ml)
Expensivity avg per capita/year
Finder 2018 (pint)
Numbeo (dom. .5l)
Numbeo (imp .33l)
Metro UK 2017 (GBP)
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1.96||647.21||1.87||0.73||0.98|
|Papua New Guinea||3.7|
|United Arab Emirates||10.83||11.6||4.11||6.68||8.81|
|Republic of the Congo||2.64|
|Central African Republic||1.47|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1.86||2.7||undefined|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||2.24|
|United States Virgin Islands||4.53|
|Antigua and Barbuda||4.79|
|Northern Mariana Islands||3.92|
|British Virgin Islands||4.34|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||2.42|
Qatar has the most expensive beer, with an average of $11.26.