If you've promised to buy your friends a round of beers, you'd better hope that you're not in Switzerland when they decide to take you up on it. Travel search engine GoEuro has released its annual Beer Price Index and, for the second straight year, Lausanne, Switzerland has the priciest brew, with an average cost of $9.51.
Every year, GoEuro calculates the average cost of beer in bars and shops in 70 cities around the world, and it also compares each city's average per-capita beer expenditure and per-capita beer consumption. For the past two years, the world's top beer bargain has been in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. The city's current tourism motto is "The City Where You Find Real Life," but visitors need to know that it's also the City Where You Find Beer for $1.65 (or $2.80 in a restaurant).
According to GoEuro, the five cities with the cheapest beer are Bratislava, Kiev ($1.66), Capetown ($1.87), Krakow ($1.87) and Mexico City ($2.13). It included six American cities in its list and, by comparison to Bratislava, they're all pretty expensive: Los Angeles ($3.64), Boston ($3.66), San Francisco ($3.78), Chicago ($4.48), Miami ($5.00) and New York ($5.36). New York tied with Abu Dhabi for the eighth most expensive brews (and, interestingly, GoEuro noted that it included the cost of non-alcoholic beers in Abu Dhabi's average, to reflect the United Arab Emirates' restrictions on alcohol).
The cities with the five most expensive beers worldwide were Lausanne, Hong Kong ($6.22) Singapore ($5.75), Zurich ($5.69) and Oslo ($5.57).
Back in Switzerland, if Lausanne's $9-bucks-a-bottle price tag makes your wallet burrow even deeper in your back pocket, it gets worse: the average cost of an 11-ounce pour in a restaurant in Lausanne is $17.60. To put that in perspective, that's more expensive than buying two beers at Fenway Park, Wrigley Field or Citizens Bank Park which at $15.50, were the most expensive pair of beers in the major leagues last year. Come on, Switzerland: you know it's bad if you're making stadium beer look reasonable. Unsurprisingly, Lausanne is Europe's biggest spender on beer; the average citizen drops $1,598.27 annually on brews.
When it comes to annual beer consumption, Eastern Europe (and Canada) is tops: the average Prague resident downs 38 gallons every year, followed by Krakow (34) Warsaw (34), Toronto (31) and Belgrade (31). All six U.S. cities are listed at 23 gallons annually, but that's not entirely accurate; GoEuro uses data from the World Health Organization, which ranks consumption by country, not by city.
Regardless, if you lose a bet, tell your friends you'll pay up the next time you're all in western Slovakia.