The Sky is the Limit for London 2012 Beer Prices

By Adam Mysorewala | June 8, 2012 | 0 Comments |
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Few events unite the world like the Olympics. Every four years, fans from over 200 countries gather to cheer on their flags. However, groans over the high price of beer at the 2012 Games are undermining the excitement surrounding the event.

Earlier this week, organizers of the 2012 Olympic Games, held in London from July 27th to August 12th, published a sample menu for the event which revealed that a pint of beer will cost more than $11 (£7.23). To put this into perspective, a beer costs $7.50 at Major League Baseball games – two-thirds of this Olympic sized price. (For more on beer and baseball check out Craft Beer Gaining Access to Americas Pastime) Even more astonishing is the fact that the national average price for a pint is £3.17, less than half the event price.

As expected, the public has responded negatively to this news, with one person calling the inflated prices a “Great tasty rip-off!” This “rip-off” will be difficult to avoid, as fans are not allowed to bring their own alcohol into the event. To make things even worse for Olympics-going beer lovers, the event will lack any variety, with Heineken being the only brew available. (More on Heineken’s sponsorship here: Heineken to Sponsor London 2012) UK citizens have also expressed discontent over the choice of Heineken (a Dutch beer), because no English beer will be represented at the 2012 Games. The 2008 Beijing games were internationally sponsored by Anheuser Busch, but domestically sponsored by Beijing Yanjing Brewery Company; the English public is wondering why the 2012 games can’t have a domestic sponsor as well. Beer isn’t the only inflated commodity at the 2012 Games, with a bottle of water costing £1.60 ($2.50), a bottle of Coke selling for £2.30 ($3.60), and a plate of fish and chips for £8 ($12.50) – all notably higher than market prices.

However, these high prices haven’t appeared out of thin air. Serving over 14 million meals at what is called “the largest peace time catering operation in the world” is no cheap task. One vendor commented on the cost of selling at the games, saying, “As the owner of a Fish and Chip shop I think that, considering the probable cost of trading on these sites, that £8.00 for a fish and chips is good value.” Paul Deighton, chief executive of London 2012, believes that prices are fair as well, saying they “are more than comparable to those found at other major sporting events.”

There has also been much talk among organizers about the quality of the refreshments at the 2012 games.  Deighton explains that the organization has “gone to great lengths to find high quality, tasty food that celebrates the best of Britain.” The organizers also ensure that all food will meet high environmental and ethical standards.

Still, there is no doubt that this year’s prices are unusually high. London is already an expensive town and these prices only place an extra burden on attending beer drinkers. Nonetheless, the Olympic Games remain one of greatest international events, and are considered by some the best sporting venue in the world.  Here at Beer Universe, we look foreword to gluing ourselves to our couches and enjoying our reasonably priced beer at home.

Your Choice. Your Beer. Drink Up.
- Beer Universe

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