Algarvean Daze

Events & Activities - mainly during the daytime - across the Algarve

Beer by the Bottle, Wine by the Jug

It's been too long now since I've lived in England to know what a UK premium beer costs. Maybe someone there can advise me - just a normal 33cl bottle of a brand name something with more than 5% alcohol. The venue isn't important, in a pub, in a shop, it doesn't matter. I'm just curious.

What matters is that here in the Algarve, centilitre by centilitre, it is cheaper to buy bottled beer in restaurants and cafes than it is to by the same volume on draught. And although the prices vary depending on what type of establishment one is visiting, the bias is always toward the bottle being cheaper.

The difference can be significant. If I drink beer when dining, I would normally drink roughly 1.2 litres. That's three average 'canecas' or four bottles. Or, in old money, just a tad over two UK pints. The cost saving in buying the same amount in bottles, not from the barrel, is about €2. Eat two meals out weekly and thats €4. Fifty weeks a year and it's €200. Two of you relaxing and quaffing, €400. Four hundred Euros!

But it doesn't stop there. Wine by the jug (jarro) can often be equally as pleasant as bottled house wine, and again is significantly less expensive. OK, it's not always brilliant - jug whites can be a bit rough at times, as can the occasional red - but if it's really not drinkable you can send it back or just chuck it away (it's cheap enough) and order a bottle from the winelist, or, order a soft drink or freshly squeezed orange juice and mix your own sangria at the table.

The Algarve is in the main, a much cheaper venue for eating and imbibing than the UK. Try drinking bottles and jugs and you'll find it even cheaper than you thought. Saude!