Worlds most expensive beer made from Antarctic ice

Australian beer maker Nail Brewing revealed the secret behind its latest ale, which set a new record for the most expensive beer ever produced when it was sold at auction last month. The new limited edition brew, which was produced and sold for charity, was made from melted Antarctic ice.

Dubbed Antarctic Nail Ale, the beer first went on the auction block to raise money for the Sea Sheperd Conservation Society, an organization dedicated to protecting whales and other sealife around the globe. On November 3, a single bottle sold for an amazing $800 AUD (roughly $780), setting the new record for the worlds most expensive beer in the process. That auction was just the warm-up however, as another bottle went up for sale on November 19, smashing the new record. That second bottle sold for a whopping $1850 AUD ($1805)!

The beer was created by John Stallwood, the owner of Nail Brewing. Stallwood’s brother-in-law is part of the crew on board a Sea Sheperd ship, and recently visited an iceberg floating in the waters off Antarctica. He collected some of the ice there and flew it back to Tasmania, where it was melted and then passed on to Stallwood to use in the beer.

I’ve had some expensive beer before, but $1850 for a single bottle? I’d have to nurse that one for a really long time.

New “most expensive” cities list names Tokyo in top spot

The results for Mercer’s 2009 Cost of Living survey are out, and while there are some changes, most of the rankings for the most expensive cities are just about what you would expect. Moscow, Geneva, Zurich and Hong Kong are expensive (duh), as are Copenhagen, New York, Beijing and Singapore, which all took spots in the top ten. Japan took top (dis)honors with Tokyo and Osaka taking the number one and two spots, respectively. London dropped a whopping 13 spots to number 16.

Some big moves were made by Caracas, which shot up to number 15 from 89 last year, and Dubai, which jumped from the number 52 to number 20 spot. Several U.S. cities became significantly more expensive – at least, according to the rankings. Los Angeles moved from 55 to 23, White Plaines jumped from 89 to 31, San Francisco went from 78 to 34, Honolulu climbed from 77 to 41, and Miami rose from 75 to 45. My home city of Chicago rounded out the top 50 list (which has more than 50 cities on it because some are tied) as it moved up from being number 84 last year.

The survey takes into account the average cost of over 200 items in each city including food, housing, clothing, transportation, and entertainment. The survey compares 143 cities and uses New York, with a base score of 100, as the measuring stick. In the top spot with 143.7 points, Tokyo is nearly 1.5 times more expensive than New York.

The cheapest city? Johannesburg, South Africa, which replaced Asuncion in Paraguay.

New York’s Most Expensive Hotel Room

High atop the 52-story Four Seasons in New York sits the city’s most expensive hotel room: the Ty Warner Penthouse.

It takes a lot to earn such an accolade in this city, but thanks to the efforts of I.M. Pei and interior architect Peter Marino, lucky visitors to the Big Apple can now drop $30,000 a night for the privilege.

So what does 30 grand get you?

* 4,300 square feet
* 25-foot ceilings
* Chauffeured Rolls Royce
* 24-hour butler
* Private elevator
* Four balconies
* Fitness room
* Library
* Bösendorfer piano
* Zen garden
* Infinity edge bathtub
* Unlimited supply of Twinkies (um, just kidding)