18
Feb
11

The upper echelons of beer

Last weekend I was at a bar in Sydney known for its beers, imported from around Australia and the world. A gent was at the bar in front of me, ordering, and I was waiting my turn behind him.

“Hey, what’s that beer like?” the gents says to the bartender, pointing at a chalkboard sign. “Mikkeller?”

“It’s very good,” the bartender says.

“Okay, I’ll try a bottle of that,” says the gent. He also orders a glass of something else they had on tap, I didn’t catch what. The bartender cracks the bottle, pours the draught, and the gent hands over a fifty dollar note for the two beers.

The bartender gives the gent fifty cents in change.

“Wait a minute, that was fifty dollars I gave you.”

“Yeah.”

“But you only gave me fifty cents back.”

“Yes.”

“Fifty dollars for two beers?”

“The draught is $7.50, but the bottle is $42.”

“FORTY-TWO DOLLARS? FOR A BEER? I thought the sign was saying $4.20.”

It was a 330ml bottle, I’d like to add.

“Yes,” says the bartender, “It’s one of the five rarest beers in the world.”

Stunned silence from the gent. Then, mumbling, “Well…I guess I could…” Then he sort of trailed off. The bottle was open and his extremely expensive beer was sitting there, sharing its gold-plated carbonation with the atmosphere.

“Look,” says the bartender, “If you’ve made a mistake just say so, and I’ll give you your money back.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

I’ve made a mistake.

The bartender gave the gent his $42 back, and took back the opened bottle of Mikkeller. I didn’t see what he did with it.

I wanted so much to taste it.

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