Cost of a pint rockets by 11% for second month in a row

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Worrying data: ONS figures show cost of a pint has increased 11% (Credit: Getty/DusanBartolovic)
Worrying data: ONS figures show cost of a pint has increased 11% (Credit: Getty/DusanBartolovic)

Related tags Beer Finance Camra

The average cost of a pint of draught lager increased by 11% in the year to May 2023, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed.

Released on Wednesday 21 June, the data showed the cost of a pint of draught lager ​had risen by 47p (11%) between May 2022 and May this year, from £4.09 to £4.56.

This marked the second consecutive month draught lager prices had risen by 11% year-on-year.

Last month’s figures​ from ONS showed the cost of a pint of draught lager had increased by 46p (11%) in the year to April 2023, from £4.08 in April 2022 to £4.54.

Month-on-month, the draught lager category saw a 0.5% rise, from £4.54 in April 2023 to £4.56 in May this year.

Grossly unfair 

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Nik Antona said: “The latest ONS data is worrying, and it is clear just how much households will struggle to afford a night out at their local pub, social club or taproom.

“With energy bills for businesses spiralling and the cost of goods and employing staff rocketing too, pubs - and the breweries ​that serve them - have had no choice but to put up prices to make ends meet, despite doing everything they can to continue to welcome their loyal customers and stay afloat.”

Draught Bitter prices saw an 8.5% year-on-year upswing in the twelve months to May 2023, rising from £3.50 per pint in May 2022 to £3.80 as well as a 0.7% month-on-month increase, from £3.77 in April this year to £3.80 in May.

Antona added: “This is already a make-or-break time for the licenced trade. With business rate relief schemes currently in place in England due to end in 2024, the Government needs to act soon.

“Pubs pay a grossly unfair portion of the total business rates bill, and proper reform is the only permanent fix to the issue.

“This will be a main focus for us when we launch our campaigning ahead of an expected Autumn fiscal event.”  

No choice 

The increase across both categories exceeded the previous decade’s record-high in 2022, when draught lager prices rose by 23p (6%) between October 2021 and October 2022, increasing from £3.92 to £4.15.

Draught bitter also saw its biggest price hike​ in the last decade during this period, rising by 27p from £3.27 to £3.54 (8%) between October 2021 and October 2022.

UKHospitality ​chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “These new figures show the pressure pubs are under to stay afloat in the current economic climate, and many have no choice but to pass these costs onto customers.

“Businesses want to keep their prices as reasonable as possible, but the cost of doing business is forcing these prices up.

“Measures need to be taken urgently to tackle the extortionate energy costs businesses are facing, as well as to bring down the cost of food and drink and ease ongoing worker shortages.”

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