Pint sees biggest price hike in 10 years

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Unaffordable luxury: average cost of a pint sees biggest increase for 10 years (Credit: Getty/miodrag ignjatovic)
Unaffordable luxury: average cost of a pint sees biggest increase for 10 years (Credit: Getty/miodrag ignjatovic)

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The average cost of a pint of draught lager saw its biggest increase in 10 years between October 2021 and October 2022, figures released yesterday (Wednesday 16 November) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

According to the data, the average cost of a pint of draught lager had risen by 23p (6%) since October last year, increasing from £3.92 to £4.15, the biggest year-on-year increase since 2012.

Bitter had also seen its biggest price hike​ in the last decade, rising by 27p from £3.27 to £3.54 (8%) between October 2021 and October 2022.

This comes as the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) earlier this week claimed the ongoing cost-of-living crisis was leading consumers to see having a pint in their local pub as an “unaffordable luxury​”.

Unaffordable luxury 

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Rising costs are compounded by inflation on key ingredients, severe staffing shortages and a cost-of-living crisis that is leading customers to see a pint in their local as an unaffordable luxury.”

The data from ONS showed the average cost of pint of lager and bitter had increased 30% and 26% respectively over the past 10 years, with average cost rising from £3.20 for lager and £2.81 for bitter in 2012.

Moreover, prices for both drinks had risen by 0.5% between September and October 2022 alone, increasing from £4.13 for lager and from £3.52 for bitter.

Prior to this, the previous biggest year-on-year increase occurred between October 2020 and October 2021, when a pint of lager increased from £3.80 to £3.92 and bitter rose from £3.16 to £3.27.

However, these price increases have not just impacted pubs and consumers, Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) head of comms Neil Walker claimed brewers​ were also being affected by rising costs across the board.

Completely unrealistic 

He said: “Independent brewers are seeing costs rise across the board - from raw ingredients and materials to energy and fuel - and whilst the price of a pint may be rising in pubs this increase is simply not being passed on to small independent breweries. 

“Its vital consumers support small brewers, buy local, and get out and support their local brewery taproom, where prices can often be competitively priced as brewers are selling direct and you can be certain of the freshest, best quality beer.”

This follows predictions from marketing analysists Admirals​ earlier this year that the cost of an average pint​ could cost more than £10 by 2030 due to soaring costs and labour shortages, with London and Leicester respectively being the most expensive and cheapest parts of the county to enjoy a pint​.

Furthermore, the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA) chief executive Tom Stainer recently warned the cost of a pint​ could extend even further than this and reach the “unrealistic” price of £20​ if pubs were to increase prices in line with inflation and soaring energy costs.

Stainer said: “Beer and pub businesses are facing increases in energy ​bills of around 500% - but they simply cannot increase their prices by the same amount or we would end up with a £15 or £20 pint at the bar. Clearly this would be completely unrealistic.”

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