Lion Beer. Our brew is competitive with any international beer and far superior to the local Carlsberg. But how much does it cost? The printed price is Rs. 140 but prices vary widely around Colombo. We called 21 places and put together a list, what we call the Lion Index.
Note that this isn’t comprehensive. We just called some places we know and/or liked and asked/calculated what 675 ml worth (the big bottle) would cost.
What were the results? The cheapest places are obviously the dodgy bars, but Park Street Mews and Barefoot are surprisingly affordable. The higher end restaurants and pubs are not.
Here’s the results. We’ve assumed that the base price is Rs. 140, that’s the number in black (Cost). That plus the red bar is the menu price, so the difference is their profit. We’ve also calculated what 10% service and 13% taxes will do to your bill. Put it all together and you can get a Rs. 140 beer pushing 500, easy.
|Menu Price||Total (++)||Profit||Price/ml||Price (Unit)||Unit|
|Park Street Mews||250||246||110||0.40||250||625|
|Inn On The Green||430||529||290||0.69||430||625|
Note that we actually checked 21 places, but the prices at Amuseum (a nightclub) were so insane (Rs. 600 for a small bottle) that we left them off the graph. We called another club – Kama – but they wouldn’t give us a price, meaning it’s nearing infinity. Those guys are rude and that club is unpleasant and too often violent.
If you’re drinking out you can expect to pay between Rs. 234 and Rs. 584 for a bottle of Lion – always at least about Rs. 100 above retail. A bottle can push over 1,000 at nightclubs, but we include that only for reference. It’s really apples and oranges.
A bottle of Lion is cheaper at dodgier bars like Randoli and the Ex-Servicemen’s club, but there is a definite drop off in terms of ambiance there. No women. The dodgier establishments, as charming as they may be to men, really aren’t very woman friendly. They seem rooted in the assumption that women don’t (or shouldn’t) drink – and that ladies certainly don’t like lager. While their minimal profit-taking of Rs. 50 is admirable, the ability for men and women to go out together (inconspicuously) is worth a bit more.
The cheapest (and probably best) option would be to head over to Keells (not Cargills, which stocks only their horrendous brews, not Lion), buy some bottles and have friends over. Going out often works out to be pretty expensive, and if you’re a woman this means you’re confined to a rotation of the same sort of places – almost all of which belong in the mid to expensive range. That being said, it is nice to go out for a beer sometimes. The Station is pretty affordable, and suprisingly so is Park Street Mews. Barefoot is the classic Sunday or any day place for a cold beer, and they don’t come out too bad as well.