Londoners can expect to pay more than £8 for a pint of lager, a shocking new report has revealed. A pint will cost £3.95, according to an average calculated by hospitality industry consultancy CGA which analyses samples of the UK’s 90,000 bars and pubs.
But this rises to £8.06 in one part of England’s capital – an increase of more than 70 per cent since the global financial crisis of 2008. On the other end of the scale, the cheapest pint was located in Lancashire at a cost of just £1.79.
The painful price hikes are understood to be partly driven by the rising cost of ingredients caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Leading figures in the industry are concerned that customers will stop visiting pubs if the price of beer continues to rise.
In the short-term, brewers and landlords are hopeful of a boost from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The British Beer and Pub Association has said it expects more than 90 million pints to be sold over the long bank holiday weekend.
But the war in Ukraine, which is a global supplier of wheat, has driven up the cost of grain and forced pubs to threaten further price hikes. Barley, one of the main ingredients of beer, has been badly affected.
Analysts at the research firm Bernstein described this as a “big negative” for brewers. It forecasts that “a realistic worst case would see malting barley inflation of 70 per cent” in 2022.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Fernando Tennenbaum, chief financial officer at the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Corona, warned that although inflation had risen significantly, beer prices were still lagging behind, “and there is strong demand”. The brewer Marston’s said it had increased its prices by 8 per cent in March, while Greene King has put up the cost of beer by 5p a pint.
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