- The Economist Intelligence Unit recently released its annual report calculating the cost of living across cities worldwide.
- The report lists the top 10 most expensive cities, including a three-way tie for the No. 1 spot between Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong.
- The report also compares city prices for food and drink items, including the average price of one 330 ml bottle of beer.
Three cities currently share the title of most expensive city in the world – Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore – and, across those cities, the average price for a beer ranges from $1.77 and $2.27.
That’s according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Report, which uses over 400 prices across 160 different products and services – including food and drink – to calculate rankings. Among these products is the average cost of a bottle of beer (330 ml).
Some cities, such as Copenhagen – home to major brewing company Carlsberg – saw price drops when compared to last year’s average prices. New York, meanwhile, led the charge with the highest price per beer bottle.
Keep reading for a look at the cost of beer in 10 of the most expensive cities worldwide, along with some of the areas’ best-known breweries. All prices are in USD.
Tel Aviv, Israel: $2.94
City ranking by cost of living: 10
Tel Aviv’s price per beer bottle dropped 25 cents from last year’s price of $3.19. Though Israel’s two major breweries are located farther up the coast in Ashkelon and Netanya, Tel Aviv is home to micro-breweries such as The Dancing Camel Brewing Company.
New York, USA: $3.33
City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with Copenhagen and Seoul)
New York has the highest price per bottle. The city is known for its breweries, and while many are upstate, several are located in the city area. Brooklyn especially is infamous for new pop-ups – including Circa Brewing Company and Five Boroughs Brewing Company – along with Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery, which was established in 1988. Overall, the price of beer in New York changed only eight cents, rising from last year’s price of $3.25.
Copenhagen, Denmark: $2.61
City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Seoul)
Home to the Carlsberg Group, Denmark’s capital has been brewing beer for over 170 years. Copenhagen’s price per bottle dropped almost 50 cents compared to last year, lowering its cost from $3.06.
Seoul, South Korea: $3.13
City ranking by cost of living: 7 (tied with New York and Copenhagen)
Seoul’s beer scene is best known for the Oriental Breweries headquarters, more commonly known as OB. The city saw a bottle price reduction of eight cents compared to $3.25 last year.
Osaka, Japan: $2.30
City ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Geneva)
As the popularity of craft beer in Japan steadily increases, Osaka remains a major hub for both food and drink. Alongside restaurants with prime beer on tap, the city is home to several breweries, including Dotonbori Beer. The price change from last year included an eight cent raise from $2.22.
Geneva, Switzerland: $1.54
City ranking by cost of living: 5 (tied with Osaka)
While it is best known for its watchmaking and Swiss chocolate shops, Geneva hosted its first Open Air Craft Beer Festival in 2017 and is also home to Les Brasseurs micro-brewery. The city’s per per bottle dropped 34 cents compared to its 2018 price of $1.88.
Zurich, Switzerland: $3.25
- flickr/ szeke
City ranking by cost of living: 4
At over a dollar more than fellow Swiss city Geneva, Zurich’s price per bottle rings in at $3.25, down three cents from last year. Travel + Leisure noted that craft beer is becoming more accessible, and several small breweries now exist in the region.
Hong Kong: $1.77
- Bobby Yip/Reuters
City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Singapore and Paris)
Hong Kong is home to Hong Kong Beer Co., the city’s first craft brewery. According to the company’s website, it is also the first craft brewery in Asia to sell beer exclusively in bottles and kegs. Though Hong Kong is tied for the No. 1 most expensive city, it actually offers the cheapest beer prices amongst the expensive cities, with a price of $1.77 – down from last year’s $1.93.
Paris, France: $2.10
- John Towner / Unsplash
City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Singapore and Hong Kong)
While Paris is better known for its wine – brought from vineyards in Bordeaux and Burgundy – the French capital has several microbreweries. Located both inside and just outside the city arrondissements, locations include La Brasserie de l’Etre, Paname Brewing Company, and Le Triangle. Beer prices dropped 35 cents compared to $2.45 in 2018.
City ranking by cost of living: 1 (tied with Paris and Hong Kong)
Beer in Singapore is dominated by Heineken Asia Pacific – formerly known as Malayan Breweries Limited – which produces both the Heineken brand and also owns craft breweries such as Archipelago Brewery, whose headquarters are located outside the city in Jalan Ahmad Ibrahim.
The area is best known for Tiger Beer, first brewed by Malayan Breweries Limited in 1932 but now distributed worldwide. Retaining its position as the most expensive city for the fifth consecutive year, Singapore’s beer prices dropped from $2.53 in 2018 to $2.37.