'€61k pint was dearest in history', says stumped bar customer

Cricket writer Peter Lalor

Alistair Mason

A man who was charged £55,000 (€61,000) for a single ale believes he drank "the most expensive beer in history".

Peter Lalor, a cricket writer from Australia, was staying at the Malmaison hotel in Manchester ahead of the fourth Ashes Test match when he bought a bottle of Deuchars IPA.

The drink should have cost £5.50 (€6.10), but when he came to pay a female member of staff, it became apparent something was not quite right.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Lalor said: "I didn't have my reading glasses when [the woman] presented me with a bill for the beer.

"When she had some problems with the machine, I didn't think much of it.

"When it was eventually resolved, I said I didn't want a receipt and she went to leave.

"Something, however, made me ask: 'How much did I just pay for that beer?'

"She checked, covered her mouth, started to giggle and refused to tell me.


She ran to get her manager, who took the situation more seriously and tried to arrange a refund.

Mr Lawlor did not know how much had been taken from his account until he received a call from home.

"The sum of A$99,983 (€61,000) had been removed," he said.

"And, there'd been a transaction fee of A$2,499 (€1,544) to add to the pain."

Soon after Mr Lalor tweeted about the incident, the hotel got in touch and was "very helpful".

"We are carrying out an investigation into what took place. We have been in contact with Peter to apologise and ensure this has been resolved as quickly as possible," it said.

As for the ale?

"It's a good beer," tweeted Mr Lalor. "The original version won a heap of awards, including Supreme Champion Beer of Britain.

"But if you are thinking no beer is worth the best part of A$100,000, I am inclined to agree with you."