For a secretive Australian community of more than 50,000 strong, beer is liquid gold.
Let us explain, because that sounds crazy. According to several Australian media outlets, there’s a relatively large (and growing) number of people in Perth who operate in a somewhat exclusive, seemingly utopian world where beer-bartering is very much a thing. Their modus operandi is simple: use invitation-only Facebook groups to facilitate trades between alcoholic beverages and anything you might need.
In one of the largest Facebook groups, called “The Original Perth Beer Economy”, postings range from smaller items like strollers to more substantial items like this Mercedes: So, the owner of that vehicle would rather have 50 cases of Wild Turkey Bourbon than cash. If you do the math, at about $362 a case, that means the car’s asking price is roughly $18,000. But, of course, converting to a dollar amount kind of defeats the purpose. According to The Australian, people have been partially driven to this system by fear of the Aussie dollar further depreciating. Beer is a logical currency, the publication reports, because it is always in demand with local buyers.
A man named Michael Madden, who founded a popular alcohol-bartering community, tells The Australian that his Facebook page adds as many as 200 members a day. "Booze is fast becoming a legitimate currency in Western Australia,” Madden says.
Madden also reports that he’s seeing bourbon overtake beer as the tender of choice.