While people have been distracted by things like Tesco's 4 for £5 offer (which unfortunately finished yesterday), following the budget the major retailers have on the quiet been pushing through significant increases in the price of bottled beers. The standard price for a 500ml PBA in Tesco is now £1.89, and many bottled 500ml lagers, including the Polish ones that once were considered a bit low-rent, are a similar price. The £1.89 includes the 3.8% ABV Courage Best, making it a Don Shenker-pleasing 99p a unit.
Realistically, that’s comparable with the prices for cask ales in Wetherspoon’s, and the Magnet in Stockport sells a wide range of well-kept cask beers for £2.50 or less.
Of course you can still get slabs of Carling and Stella for much less per pint than the equivalent beers in the pub, but when it comes to premium products the differential, at least at official list price, is now much less than is often supposed.