The Rake bar, near London Bridge, came under fire on Twitter yesterday (Wednesday 23 August) after a user posted a photo of its beer line-up, which showed one pint of Cloudwater North West Double IPA priced at £13.40.
Twitter users called the price of the 8.2% ABV beer “ridiculously marked up” and “hideously expensive”.
“£13+ for a pint?!?!? The sea is this way,” commented another.
However, Utobeer – the company that runs the Rake – issued a statement yesterday defending its decision, saying the high price was down to the mark-up added by a distributor.
“We are not making ‘vast profits’ we work to a margin like all businesses and if we stopped we’d start losing money and eventually go out of business,” the statement read.
“Cloudwater will not deliver directly to us unless we order a pallet from them and if you know the Rake you’ll also know we do not have the space to store a pallet; so this being the case we have to order through a distributor who will obviously put their margin on it.”
“While we always endeavour to keep the prices as keen as possible, the DIPA being a 9% beer is never doing to be a cheap,” it continued. “Being charged £130+ for a 20l keg by the distributor [means] we’re always going to struggle to keep the price down but we love Cloudwater beers, most of you know they are some of the best in the country right now and we want to showcase them and spread the love.
“Hopefully the good folk at Cloudwater are aware of the prices their distributors are charging but, for the record, we are also looking into other options for delivery to try and minimise the cost so that everyone can continue to enjoy some of the best beers the UK has to offer.”
Euroboozer, the distribution company that sold the Cloudwater beer to The Rake bar, issued a statement on Thursday denying that it had made a large profits on the beer.
"The difference in our price compared to Cloudwater's list price is minimal," it said. "Our gross profit on this keg is £22.39.
"When the cost of good beer goes over a certain price, we adjust our margins...and then adjust our pricing accordingly. As a result we have taken a good 25-30% hit on our usual overall margin here.
"No one is making anyone buy any beer but if you can afford it and want to then go ahead because it is a smashing pint," the statement concludes. "Good beer costs good money. If you can, drink it and enjoy!"
Meanwhile, Hogs Back Brewery will be celebrating its 25th birthday today by selling its flagship beer for just £1.30 a pint; the price paid by the brewery’s first customers in 1992.