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Lion Index: The Price Of Beer In Colombo

How much does a beer cost in Colombo? This is our survey of 22 places to find out. The base price of a 625…

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How much does a beer cost in Colombo? This is our survey of 22 places to find out.

The price of a Lion Beer can vary dramatically across Colombo. At the more working class bars its quite cheap, but at the posh ones it can be two to three times the sticker price. We did a survey of 22 places to see how much one of the big bottles (625 ml) would cost you around town. This is the second time we're doing the survey, see Lion Index 2012.

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Note that certain places (marked with a *) do not sell 625 ml bottles, so we've scaled the prices for the pitchers/mugs accordingly. The base price of a 625 ml bottle at the supermarket is Rs. 170, but prices at bars range from Rs. 206 (Machang) to Rs. 537 (Gallery Cafe, Cheers) for the same amount of tipple. 

Here's the full table, below. We've also calculated what 10% service charge and 12% taxes will do to your bill, which in the latter places on this list can't really be overlooked. Click on the headers to sort by that column


Menu Price (Rs.) Total (++) Mark-Up Price/ml
Machang * 208 253 38 0.33
Randoli 220 268 50 0.35
Ex-Servicemen's 220 268 50 0.35
Station 250 305 80 0.40
Buba 290 353 120 0.46
O! Bars* 290 353 120 0.46
Mintage * 312 380 142 0.50
Park Street Mews 340 415 170 0.54
Manchester 350 427 180 0.56
Fort Cafe * 375 457 205 0.60
Colombo Courtyard 400 488 230 0.64
White Horse 400 488 230 0.64
Barefoot 450 549 280 0.72
Cricket Club 455 555 285 0.73
Harbour Room 465 567 395 0.74
Casa Colombo 470 573 300 0.75
Havelock Bungalow 475 580 315 0.76
In On The Green 475 580 315 0.76
On14 (OZO) 512 624 342 0.82
7 Degrees 520 634 350 0.83
Gallery Cafe 535 653 365 0.86
Cheers 535 653 365 0.86

The Cheap Places

So the table is pretty self explanatory, with the slightly dodgy bars like Randoli and Ex-Servicemen's at the lower end of the spectrum. What's awesome though is that Machang offers the cheapest beer out of all these places, and the best part is that it's also a pretty great place to hang.

The Expensive Ones

On the other end we have the likes of Cheers, Gallery Cafe and 7 Degrees which generally offer more in terms of ambience, but then again you're quite literally paying more than three times the retail price. If you're looking to a grab a beer beach side, then you're options are limited to the likes of Buba and The Station, but we definitely recommend the latter. The newer places like the Manchester and Mintage are also quite affordable.

The Good Deals

If it's woman friendly places you're looking for, we'd suggest Park Street Mews (which happens to be surprisingly affordable), Barefoot or Casa Colombo, which has a great one-for-one offer on all alcoholic beverages between 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm throughout the week.

Conclusion

While the retail price of beer has gone up by a bit, the price for a bottle at certain places haven't scaled so judiciously. In a general sense the dodgier places offer cheaper beer, but Machang is an exception, with places like The Station and Casa Colombo also being decent choices, if you go at the right time.

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