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Probably the most expensive beer in the world…

09 September 2019 | Lloyd Hughes

Deuchars IPA, or more pertinently, Caledonian Brewery, should consider nicking Carlsberg’s recently dropped slogan and adapting it for its own brand to play on a recent mispricing incident.

It centres on an Australian cricket reporter who, over in the UK to cover the Ashes, was billed an eye watering sum for a single bottle of its beer.

Staying at the Malmaison hotel in Manchester to report on the 4th test match, Peter Lalor initially thought he was treating himself to a £5.50 bottle of Deuchars IPA at the bar.

But, despite £5.50 being a faintly ridiculous sum to pay for a bottle anyway (I long for the days of £2.50 PINTS, yes pints, and I’m still relatively young) he ended paying just a little bit more than that.

Through human error a member of bar staff accidentally input the price as being the rather more hefty £55,000.

Now, I could be wrong but presumably that’s the world’s most expensive bottle of beer?

If the error was simply rectified there and then, we’d probably never have heard of the issue. Yet, despite questioning the bar staff as to how much he’d been charged (the first reaction was apparently laughter), the ball was already rolling and it seemingly couldn’t be stopped.

The £55,000 cost had already been billed to the journalist’s card with a £1,000 transaction fee to boot.

He's now waiting for the money to come back to his account. Yikes.

Given the initial amused response from the staff, and the fact that the error wasn’t rectified immediately, means it’s been a dose of bad PR for Malmaison, which has had to apologise and assure him the money will be returned (with all of the associated fees covered, presumably).

However, for Deuchars IPA on the other hand, it should be brilliant PR for the brand.

It’s now, probably, the most expensive bottle of beer ever sold.

If I was in the marketing team at Caledonian Brewery I’d want to be all over this. Looking at its social channels though, it seems the brand gave up the ghost with social last year as nothing’s been posted since 2018 (apparently Heineken bought the brewery so that's probably why).

The brewer should resurrect things on the basis of this incident alone.

So, hi Caledonian Brewing (or Heineken marketing bod). If you’re reading this, please tweet the Undertaker rising out his coffin at Wrestlemania GIF and say…

“Our social media executive upon hearing someone was charged £55,000 for a Deuchars IPA…”

That should set the scene.

Then, please build an entire campaign around the fact that it’s “Probably the most expensive beer in the world…”

Maybe mix it up with Stella Artois’s take on things too, adding “reassuringly inexpensive” as a follow up tagline.

There's loads of fun to be had with this, so come on Caledonian Brewing/Heineken, this kind of off the cuff incident is marketing nectar from the gods and you really should embrace it.*

*Pic PR hereby places Intellectual Property rights on any campaign of this nature, but is willing to give it up upon receipt of the sum of <insert Dr Evil GIF> one million pounds.**

**Possibly a lot less than that, tbf.***

***Seriously though if anyone wants some comms advice, get in touch. And that includes you, Caledonian Brewing and/or Heineken.