Sunday 22 March 2009

How much is too much?

I recently ran a poll with the question “How much would you consider exorbitant for a pint of 4.0% ABV beer?”

There were 40 votes, broken down as follows:

£2.25: 3 (7%)
£2.50: 2 (5%)
£2.75: 10 (25%)
£3.00: 9 (22%)
£3.25: 7 (17%)
£3.50: 2 (5%)
£3.75: 1 (2%)
£4.00: 6 (15%)

So a wide range of opinion there, with every option getting at least one vote, but a clear clustering around the £2.75 - £3.25 band. Obviously it also varies depending on what part of the country you are in – I voted for £2.75, as that reflects prices in this area, which are some of the lowest in the country, but I wouldn’t necessarily regard £3.25 as that unreasonable in London.

Having said that, I did have a very pleasant pint of Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter today for £1.49.

The view is often expressed that, as a high-quality craft product, cask beer should be able to command a price premium over mass-market kegs. There is some merit in that, but you have to be aware that there are many cost-conscious drinkers who you won’t necessarily take along with you, and that in order to justify a price premium you have to deliver consistent quality, something on which companies in a variety of markets have come unstuck in the past.


  1. "to justify a price premium you have to deliver consistent quality" - spot on there. A lesson a few publicans should learn.

  2. I agree with Paul. However, it can be difficult for some pubs in the current economic situation to maintain quality when working hand to mouth.

    To be able to command a good price you need to deliver quality but to be able to deliver quality you need financial backing.


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval by the blog owner. See here for details of my comment policy.

Please register an account to comment. Unregistered comments will generally be rejected unless I recognise the author. If you want to comment using an unregistered ID, you will need to tell me something about yourself.