Lager prices jump 0.5% in Q1 2024

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Unwelcome news: beer prices up 0.5% on the quarter (Credit:Getty/Image Source)
Unwelcome news: beer prices up 0.5% on the quarter (Credit:Getty/Image Source)

Related tags Beer Finance Ons

Draught lager prices saw a 0.5% uptick during the first quarter of 2024, new data has revealed.

Analysis of data released earlier this week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a pint of draught lager increased by 2p, from £4.69 to £4.71, between January and March.

Year-on-year, prices jumped by 4.6% in March 2024, up from £4.50 in 2023.

However, this was the lowest annual increase of the quarter, the largest being in January, when lager costs soared by 10.8% year-on-year.

Previous data showed a 5.6% hike​ between February last year and this year, from £4.45 to £4.70.

When compared with pre-pandemic levels, draught lager prices were up by 28.6% from £3.66 in March 2019.

Little consolation 

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Nik Antona told the MA​: "The economic landscape continues to be a harsh environment for pubs, social clubs and brewery taprooms to withstand.

“The latest beer price increases will be unwelcome news to customers already being cautious with their cash throughout the cost-of-living crisis.”

In addition, Antona said while the data showed the lowest year-on-year increase during the quarter, this would be “little consolation” to operators who are “desperately counting their pennies”.

Conversely, draught bitter prices saw a 1% decrease during the first quarter of this year, dropping 4p from £3.90 in January to £3.86.

Nonetheless the cost of a pint of bitter still increased year-on-year, rising by 3.4% from £3.73 in March 2023.


Though this was again the lowest annual uptick of the quarter following a 9.2% and 4.3% increase in January and February respectively.

Looking at pre-pandemic figures, draught bitter prices were up 26.1%, from £3.06 in March 2019.

In contrast to the ONS data, a recent survey​ conducted by the Morning Advertiser (MA)​ found the on-the-ground average price of a pint of lager in the UK was £4.98.

Of the 18 brands included in the survey Peroni came out as the most expensive with an average price of £5.84 while Carlsberg was the cheapest with an overall average price of £4.25.

Grossly unjust 

Unsurprisingly, London was shown as the most expensive place for a pint of lager with an average cost of £5.59 while the north-east was the cheapest at £4.56.

This comes as the number of craft breweries becoming insolvent in 2023​ almost doubled, data from Price Bailey showed.

In addition, the headline rate of inflation​ was also estimated to have fallen this week, largely attributed to food costs, though operators are not seeing any price reductions at operational levels, one licensee told the MA​.

Antona continued: "Pubs, along with the brewers and cider makers who serve them, are enduring a potent mix of concurrent crises, including mounting costs of goods and employing staff, escalating energy bills and unfair business rates, and while customers are feeling the squeeze from price rises, the only alternative would be to close for good.

"If we want the UK’s community hubs to not only survive, but indeed thrive, Government needs to ensure the pub and brewing industries are taxed fairly to combat the grossly unjust business rates or risk a future without these wonderful venues."

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