Probably the Most Expensive Lager in the World

It’s the weekend, let’s talk about beer.

Many many years ago, a very young Paul Hogan sold an Australian lager to the UK through a series of TV adverts. These adverts always ended with the slogan “Foster’s. The Australian for lager.”

Like this…

The reality though is that if you were to walk into a bar here in Australia and ask for a pint of Foster’s, you’d likely be on the tale end of a bit of a blank look. Foster’s just isn’t popular here and it’s not even easy to get hold of.

To borrow part of a catchphrase from one of their competitors, “Australians wouldn’t give a XXXX for…..” er, Foster’s.

If you want to find out which beers are popular with Australians, read my post:

These days, I believe Foster’s is brewed under licence in the UK but at some point in its history it was made by Carlton United Breweries (CUB), who I think at one point owned the Foster’s Group but are now themselves now part of the SABMiller Group.

It’s all very confusing and complicated, but the price of beer isn’t and that brings me to what I actually want to show you, which is a…

Jolly expensive beer

CUB brew many beers, one of them is called Crown Lager. Or “crownies” as they are often called here. It’s quite a regular beer, not too expensive, you can pick up a carton of 24 (375 mL) for around $45-$50.

I happen to have a crownie in my fridge right now standing amongst a small selection of other beers, so I can show you what one looks like…

crowniesJust the other day though, I discovered they have a limited edition version of this beer and have done since 2008. It’s described as a luxury beer; yes, it wants to be!

Because this beer costs $95.09 per 750 mL bottle, or, if you prefer, $570.55 for a case of six.

By my maths you are better off buying six singles, you will save yourself one cent. But of course, if you are prepared to pay that kind of money for your beer, I shouldn’t think you’d be too bothered about that.

Yes, very expensive, but interestingly nowhere near the most expensive beer in the world. I found evidence online of something called BrewDog End of History from Scotland which, apparently, costs $765 for a 330 mL bottle.


Anyway, I still haven’t told you the name of the crownies top of the range tipple, which, incidentally, has been limited to just 7000 bottles. So, hurry hurry hurry to secure your bottle before stocks run out. It’s called…

Crown Ambassador Reserve 2013 750mL

What’s it like?

I don’t know, I’d never pay that much money for a beer. So I’ll let these guys tell you about the 2012 vintage which I’m sure is pretty much the same…

Bottoms up, as they say.

One more thing about Foster’s

Update June 2018

This is a little update on Foster’s which was prompted by a comment made by DRM today on that post mentioned above about Australia’s top 10 beers. In it he says “Foster’s is the only Aussie beer we’ve heard of in the U.S.

Well, I’ve got a story about that.

Some time ago I was in New York and had a meal in a restaurant called Jekyll and Hyde. They gave out large paper table mats which listed beers from around the world. Here’s a picture…

Jeckyll and Hide beers As you can see, the lists are long for the likes of the United States, England, Germany and Belgium, but for Australia, there’s just one entry. Here, I’ve done a close-up for you…

Jeckyll Hide FostersYes, it’s Foster’s, and to add insult to injury, they add the word “Light”. I laughed so much I brought the mat back to Australia with me and for a while I had it framed, hanging on my lounge wall.

The last time I checked, Australia had 516 craft beer breweries, and I suspect each of those brews at least three kinds of beer or more. Then we probably have 15 or 20 major breweries. At a guess then, I’d say Australia produces at least 2000 different beers these days.

Foster’s Light indeed!

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Sean January 24, 2021, 3:08 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I stumbled across this post a while back, and as an American Australophile, I felt enlightened to know of Foster’s lack of status in its home country.

    But Australian movies sometimes present a different picture. There’s “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie”, in which our hero Barry brings an entire suitcase of Foster’s to the UK, and is seen consuming it whenever possible. Another is “Dead End Drive-In”, which features Foster’s as a sort of peace offering between two characters. We’re not just talking about cans in the background here, we’ve got recurring gags and borderline plot devices!

    So I’m quite keen to solve this mystery. Did Foster’s have a precipitous drop in popularity several decades ago? Or is this just product placement? Also open to ridiculous conspiracy theories.

    Thanks for the post!

    • BobinOz January 27, 2021, 8:29 pm |

      Hi Sean

      If you were to look into it, I think you’ll find that Fosters Lager was all just one great big marketing scheme to sell this brand of lager in the UK. It has never, as far as I’m aware, been popular in Australia.

      I don’t even think Fosters Lager has ever been brewed in Australia, I think it’s brewed in the UK under license. With a helping hand from Crocodile Dundee (Paul Hogan), the advertising campaign claimed that Fosters Lager was really popular among Australians, to the extent where it is all we would drink.

      Absolute rubbish!

      For a very long time Australia’s top-selling lagers have been VB and XXXX. So it was all a con. It worked as well, I think at one stage Fosters Lager was one of the top-selling in the UK, maybe it still is?

      • Sean February 1, 2021, 9:36 am |

        Thanks for your reply, Bob!

        It all comes back to the marketing I guess. They had a very successful advertising campaign in the States when I was coming of age… “Foster’s: Australian for beer.” And they came in those comically oversized cans that were a clever form of marketing themselves.

        The US variant is brewed under license in Texas, I believe. And while it’s not as popular as in the UK, I can walk two minutes to the corner store and pick one up. Not sure where I would go if I wanted a VB!

        • BobinOz February 5, 2021, 3:21 pm |

          Looks like the marketing has worked to then. They wouldn’t get away with it here, because in Australia, we know that Fosters certainly isn’t “Australian for beer”.

  • Bill Baillie February 20, 2019, 8:38 am |

    I have had a really good Australian stout called, ‘Sheaf.’ It is no long available, but I loved it. I was in Sydney for ten days for R&R from ‘Nam. Drank a lot of beer in Kings Cross bars but don’t remember drinking any Foster’s. Sorry, I was too loaded to remember what I drank, but I think it was very good whatever it was.

  • Bill Baillie February 20, 2019, 8:34 am |

    I wish Australia would ship us some of their better brews here to the US…I like Foster’s Green Can, but I’m sure there a better ones Down Under….so send us some other ones.

    • BobinOz February 21, 2019, 8:17 pm |

      Well, I’ve never actually seen the Foster’s Green Can here, and I just googled it as well, couldn’t find in Australia. I can see you have it in the US though, so you’re already one up on us 🙂

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