Price of a pint of lager jumps 12.5% YOY

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Tough position: price of a pint of lager jumps 12.5% YOY (Credit: Getty/agrobacter)
Tough position: price of a pint of lager jumps 12.5% YOY (Credit: Getty/agrobacter)

Related tags Beer Brewing Finance Siba

The average cost of a pint of draught lager increased 12.5% in the year to October 2023 as pubs and brewers “struggle to survive”.

According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the cost of a pint of draught lager stood at £4.67 as of last month, up from £4.15 in October last year, an upswing of 12.5%.

Month-on-month lager prices saw a 1% hike, up from £4.62 in September.

Draught bitter prices also saw increases during this period, up by 9.8% year-on-year, from £3.54 last year to in October this year £3.89. Month-on-month bitter costs rose by 1.3% from £3.84 in September.

Society of Independent Brewer (SIBA) head of comms Neil Walker told The Morning Advertiser rising costs had created a “tough” environment for pubs and brewers alike.

Tough position 

He said: “Prices are not going up because brewers are profiteering, they are going up because raw material costs are going up, energy costs and wage bills are going up, fuel costs are still high; it's tough for firms of all sizes.

“Unfortunately, this means prices have had to go up on the bar, but the prices still do not reflect the percentage increases for those brewers’ costs.

“If they were passing on all the additional costs, they're getting it would be even more, but brewers want to keep people going to the pub, they want to keep people buying their products. They're very conscious of that but they are having to do it to survive.”

SIBA’s head of comms added pubs were in a similar tough position to brewers, in particular independent free houses.

He said: “Pubs are also really trying to keep the prices at a level where they can keep their regular customers and not drive people away, but it's difficult”, he continued.

Stark figure 

In addition, draught lager saw a 25.5% upturn compared to pre-pandemic levels, up from £3.72 in October 2019, while bitter costs were up 25% against October 2019, rising from £3.11.

Moreover, lager costs have soared by 10.4% since the start of the year and by 2.4% in the last six months alone, up from £4.23 in January and £4.56 in May.

The average cost of a pint of draught bitter saw growth of 8.9% since January and 2.3% in the last six months, up from £3.57 and £3.80 respectively.  

Walker also explained the number of brewery closures across the was a “stark figure”, resulting in a “loss of consumer choice”.

He added: “There's nobody out there with a small brewery that's in it for the money, they're in it for the love of producing great beer. They are not making money hand over fist; they're struggling to survive.”

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