CAMRA: Pint prices threaten to push people out of 'hardworking pubs'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Perfect storm: Skyrocketing costs threaten to push customers away from pubs (Credit:Getty/Shaun Taylor)
Perfect storm: Skyrocketing costs threaten to push customers away from pubs (Credit:Getty/Shaun Taylor)

Related tags Beer Legislation Camra

Skyrocketing beer costs threaten to push customers away from “hardworking pubs”, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has said.

The latest figures​ from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released earlier this week, showed the average cost of a pint of draught lager in the on-trade had increased 4.6% year-on-year for a second consecutive month.

According to the data, lager prices jumped from £4.56 in May last year to £4.77 while the cost of a pint of bitter in pubs had risen by 2.6% in the year to May, up from £3.80 last year to £3.90.

CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona told the Morning Advertiser (MA): "The increase of beer prices over the past year, as shown by this latest set of ONS data, soon threatens to make a pint of beer cider or perry in your local a luxury.

Perfect storm 

“With the cost of a pint increasing by 4.6% for the second month in a row, we are reaching a point where consumers won’t be able to support their local pubs, social clubs, and brewers anymore.”

Antona added the price hikes were “no fault of hardworking pubs” who were simply trying to “survive” a perfect storm of rising costs across the pub and brewing sectors.

“Skyrocketing cost-of-business crisis, customers tightening their belts due to the cost-of-living, sky high energy prices and unfair business rates are a punishing combination that threatens to close many establishments”, he continued.

Compared with pre-pandemic levels, a pint of lager now costs 29.2%, analysis of the ONS data by the MA showed, with prices having risen from £3.69 in May 2019.

Level playing field 

Moreover, the figures, based on data collated from pubs across the country​, had soared by 41.5% in the past decade, from £3.37 in May 2014 to £4.56 in May this year.

The increase was also the second biggest YOY uptick in May in the past 10 years, with the highest being between May 2021 and 2022, when prices soared by 11.4% from £4.09 to £4.56.

Antona concluded: “At a time when customers have grown accustomed to cheap supermarket alcohol, we need the next Government to level the playing field for the UK’s locals by cutting tax on pints in pubs and introducing a fairer business rates system.

“These are some of CAMRA’s chief asks for MP candidates with the upcoming election​ in July."


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