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why is imported beer so expensive in the ROK?
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 7:52 pm    Post subject: why is imported beer so expensive in the ROK? Reply with quote

Every time I go to E-mart, wal-mart, etc. I check out the beer selection. While some of them have decent beer selection (by korean standards), the prices are way too high if you ask me. If I were to get a 6 pack of pretty much any non-american import here, it would cost over 10,000 won. Over 10,000 won for a 6-pack of Corona? give me a break. It blows me away how much Sapporo costs here too. The question is WHY is it so expensive?

My only guess is it is the lack of interest in international beer here. Every country has high duties on alcohol and liquor, so don't think that's the cause. If it were the duties, then whiskey and hard liquor would be much more expensive here as well, but they aren't. From what i've found, they're about the same price as you'd find back home, maybe a bit more, but not by much.

Anyway, I'm just bitching because of my recent trip to Hong Kong. Went into a grocery store and I was in heaven. A little over 2 USD for a 550 ml bottle of guiness. Not cheap, but certainly a hell of a lot better than what you'd find here in Korea. Anyway, there was a huge variety of imports, none of which came close to 10 USD for a 6-pack. The locally bottled San Miguel was less than 4 dollars/6-pack. Naturally I bought one pack and brought it back here to Korea.
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Gwangjuboy



Joined: 08 Jul 2003
Location: England

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhhh? Let me think.......

Maybe because it's imported. Yeah, that must be it.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, but like i said, hard liquor isn't much more expensive than elsewhere. A bottle of Jim beam in korea isn't a hell of a lot more than a bottle in the states. So I don't its due to the "import" factor.
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends where its bottled/canned et cetera.

Some liquors are much more expensive. A bottle of Southern Comfort, for example is about 40,000 won.

Heineken is only 1000 won more expensive than Cass because its canned in Korea.

Its all about it being an import. Consider also that Korean's aren't huge import beer drinkers. They drink Soju with most meals and whiskey for up-scale meetings and domestic draft beer for casual get-togethers at a Hof.
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FierceInvalid



Joined: 16 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it must be volume of orders due to low demand. If you're only ordering a couple of cases a month, it's going to cost way more per bottle than if you brought it in by the shipload. That's why whisky is decently priced - it comes in by the shipload.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, i think both of you are right: its strictly about demand. Oh well, I only have a couple more months where I have to decide to go cheap and buy crap beeer or splurge and buy decent beer.

SoCo is 40,000 won? yikes. I'm surprised they sell it over here to begin with.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sapporo is expensive everywhere. It's even expensive in Japan. Not as expensive, but still expensive.
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FierceInvalid



Joined: 16 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I splurge on the Sapporo Silver Cup every once in a while, what is that like 12000 or something? Rudely pricey, but it's goood. One time in Osaka I was paying 450 yen or so for draught Sapporo, which wasn't too bad but the price was the same as their other draught beer, which was a non-Yank import, I forget what. No discount for the domestic, at least not at the place I was at.
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gwangjuboy wrote:
Uhhh? Let me think.......

Maybe because it's imported. Yeah, that must be it.


Be quiet, you voice of reason!
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mack the knife



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: standing right behind you...

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yikes!

First of all, it's totally unfair to compare Hong Kong (one of the "most free" of all "free market" economies in the world) to Korea or just about anywhere else, for that matter. apples and oranges. Singapore is quickly gaining ground. But I digress...

Second, whiskey is marked-up heavily just like any other imported alcohol. I was in Canada last winter and a bottle of "Jack" cost $25 U.S. or thereabouts. I was in the States one month ago, and that same bottle of Jack cost $19. I've never seen a bottle (liter) of Jack for less than W40,000 here, which is almost double the price (even making concessions for exchange rate). A bottle of "Evan" will run you more, even though it's considered an off brand!!! What?!? I can get a bottle of "Evan" for $10-15 in the States. So why the enormous mark-up?

There is no lack of interest in international booze in this country (beer or otherwise). However, Koreans are not willing (or able) to pay (as frequently) the ridiculous prices. Whiskey is more popular only because 5-10 people split the cost when they consume it (at room salons and nightclubs, which is where whiskey is most frequently consumed). No one's gonna share the cost of a $12 bottle of Guinness.

No Heineken beer is canned in Korea. Singapore yes, Korea, no.

The correct and final answer to your valid and important question is "Unreasonably High Tariffs". The Korean government has decided it's in Korea's best interests (it's not, by the way) to tax the hell out of anything and everything imported. Protectionism is the main reason why the economy here has grown at such a rapid pace (until recently, of course). It's a real pisser for countries like the U.S. and Japan that want to export cars/electronics/etc. but find local sales "blocked" by mind-boggling 150% duties (not a factual number, but you get the idea).

HOORAY FOR BEER!! Laughing
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Austin Powers



Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Location: Incheon

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 11:33 pm    Post subject: How do they get away with it Reply with quote

Hey its ok for Koreans to sell their goods abroad, and I bet that if any country tries to impose high tarrifs on korean goods they have a fit, but try selling goods into Korea and they tax them to the moon, or resort to other measures, smacks of intense hypocracy. Personally I don't understand why the rest of the world keeps subsidising these people
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mongrel



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:49 am    Post subject: imported beer prices Reply with quote

the high price probably isn't because of the level of demand. the law of supply and demand says that the price will be lower if demand is low, and vice versa. it could be to protect local beer (if you can call it that) makers. i read that when the first micro-brewery tried to open in korea, the likes of ob and hite 'persuaded' the government to make a minimum litre output requirement for breweries to be legal. it was incredibly high for a micro-brewery, but at a normal figure for the big boys. since then of course there have been several open up. bucheon bum, why don't you check out some of them? the beer's really reasonably priced and pretty tasty.
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crazylemongirl



Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning troll in progress

"It's because all koreans like korean beer. Korean beer is the best beer in the world, it's brewed with kimichi so you won't get SARS."

CLG
Can't you tell I've had a bad day?
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: imported beer prices Reply with quote

mongrel wrote:
the high price probably isn't because of the level of demand. the law of supply and demand says that the price will be lower if demand is low, and vice versa. it could be to protect local beer (if you can call it that) makers. i read that when the first micro-brewery tried to open in korea, the likes of ob and hite 'persuaded' the government to make a minimum litre output requirement for breweries to be legal. it was incredibly high for a micro-brewery, but at a normal figure for the big boys. since then of course there have been several open up. bucheon bum, why don't you check out some of them? the beer's really reasonably priced and pretty tasty.


Yeah, I know of one near Bucheon station, but haven't gotten around to trying it out. Also know of the Crocodile place near Sinchon, but that's it. If you know of other places, I'm all ears.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a place called the Beirhaus or something that opened recently in Apgujeong, which is a microbrewery. They brew what would seem to me to be a nice European-style beer, but it's not that cheap.
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