MANCHESTER, England — Australian journalist Peter Lalor is something of a beer aficionado. He’s written about brews for almost 25 years, but he balks at paying more than $10 for a pint.
“I like nice beer and nice wine, but I don’t pay silly prices,” he told CNN in an email.
That might’ve been true until he went for a beer at a hotel bar in Manchester. He expected to pay $6.76. He was charged more than 10,000 times more than that.
“See this beer? That is the most expensive beer in history,” he tweeted with a photo of the budget-busting beverage.
The ordeal started Sunday night after he dropped off a friend at a train station and stopped at the Malmaison Hotel. He asked for something British. To his dismay, the bartender suggested a Heineken. So he settled for an IPA (that ended up being Scottish).
He wasn’t wearing his glasses when the bartender passed him the check, he said, but he “just had a feeling she’d got [the price] wrong.” So he asked her what he’d been charged, and she collapsed into giggles.
Lalor wasn’t laughing.
“She had increased the price 10,000-fold,” he said.
He’s waiting on his refund
Management issued him an immediate refund and assured him the charge that massive might not even go through. But a few days later, his wife called –$67,000+ dollars, gone.
His bank said it takes about 10 days to refund the sum, so Lalor’s waiting anxiously.
“I am not a wealthy man,” he said. “I could buy my car 10 times over with that amount.”
Malmaison told CNN it reached out to apologize and resolve the blunder.
“We always benchmark our bar prices and acknowledge this was a tad on the steep side,” the hotel chain said in a statement to CNN. “We hope we can invite Peter back for another drink soon. The next one is definitely on the house!”