According to Peter Lalor, chief cricket writer and beer editor for The Australian, he was watching the Ashes Cricket Match in Manchester at the Malmaison Hotel's bar on a Sunday. He paid his tab for his Scottish Caledonian Deuchars IPA but later realized something was terribly wrong.
In a Tweet, he said he didn't have his reading glasses when he was handed his bill for the beer. The barmaid said she had problems with the register but eventually fixed it.
He didn't give it much thought and said he didn't need a receipt and then just before she left, he realized this was the most expensive beer in the history of the Malmaison Hotel in Manchester with a whopping $99,983 charge!
He realized something was not right and asked her how much he paid for the beer. The girl looked at the receipt responding “Oh My God!” He said she appeared a little reluctant showing him the bill.
The hotel told him they would correct the mistake and rectify his bill. Lalor left, believing his bank would never approve this large charge on his bill.
He told The Guardian, he was woken by a phone call from his wife. She discovered a huge drop in their mortgage account.! On top of that, he said they had no problem taking the money out of his account in a matter of seconds but took them 10 working business days to put it back in. Not only has he lost a fair amount of interest but he is also out $99,000.
On top of that, he was charged a $1,710 transaction fee! He found it very concerning that his bank and Visa would let this huge amount of money to go through without asking so much as one question?
A spokesperson from the Malmaison told the paper the hotel was conducting an investigation. They contacted Lalor to apologize and ensured this situation would be resolved as quickly as possible. (Really? You need to investigate a charge of $99,000 for one pint of beer??)
He did say the hotel was being very helpful in correcting the error and he praised Deuchars. He said it is a good beer that has received many awards including the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain. He added that if you think this beer is not worth anywhere near this price tag, he couldn't agree more!
Note: Very rarely is a beer as expensive as the pint Lalor purchased, but a 750ml bottle of “Lost Abbey Cable Car Kriek did sell for $923 at the Skinner Auction.