The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released last week, revealed a pint of draught lager in a pub now costs £4.47 compared with £4.09 in June 2022, an increase of 11.7%.
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Nik Antona said: “Despite some easing of inflation rates, the latest ONS data shows that pubgoers will continue to feel the squeeze with the price of a pint continuing to climb.
“Pubs and the breweries that serve them have had no choice but to put up prices to simply survive the ever-rising cost-of-business crisis now help with energy bills has been cut.
“At the same time, customers are struggling to afford to support their local pub, social club or taproom due to the cost-of-living crisis.”
Month on month draught lager prices saw a 0.2% upswing between May and June this year.
Draught bitter also saw price hikes in the year to June, rising from £3.50 last year to £3.81, equating to an 8.8% upswing. Month on month bitter prices rose by 0.2% from May to June 2023.
The previous data from ONS showed lager and bitter prices had risen by 11% and 8.5% respectively in the year to May 2023.
Comparatively, lager prices saw a 5.6% increase between June 2021 and June 2022, from £3.87 to £4.09, while bitter soared by 9% during this period, from £3.21.
“This is a make-or-break time for the industry, with the future of the UK’s beloved locals, brewers and cider producers at risk.
"The Government needs to act soon, as business rate relief and August’s new draught duty rate still need refining to make sure they properly supporting the trade.
“This will be the main focus for us when we launch our campaigning ahead of an expected Autumn fiscal event”, Antona added.
Moreover, a pint of lager cost just £3.65 in June 2018, meaning prices have seen a 25% uptick over the last five years.
The cost of a pint of draught bitter saw a 24.5% increase during the five-year period, from £3.06 in June 2018.
Keeping costs down
British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “A pint should be affordable for everyone but the last few years we’ve seen prices increase even though brewers and pubs are doing the best they can to absorb costs and protect customers.
“The cost of everything in our supply chain is soaring around us, whether it’s key ingredients, energy or upcoming increases in duty, businesses are having to make tough decisions to remain viable.”
In addition, figures from the BBPA estimated RPI had soared by 34% since 2018 while the price of beer had increased by just 17% across the same period.
McClarkin added despite the sector having been “heavily impacted” by cost inflation across the board, pubs and brewers have done a “good job of keeping costs down”.
She continued: "Our industry is in the business of serving and welcoming people, the last thing our publicans and brewers want to do is price people out of their local, and in tough inflationary conditions they’ll continue to do everything they can to keep a pint affordable.
“The Government also needs to play its part in this and help us by looking at reducing beer duty, VAT and business rates.”