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Dawn of the £8 pint: London bar hits troubling benchmark with prices up 70% since the 2008 crash

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Dawn of the £8 pint: London bar hits troubling benchmark with prices rising 70% since the 2008 crash – as industry fears shoppers will stop going to pubs if drinks are too expensive

  • Drinkers paid an average of £2.30 for a pint in 2008, but the rising cost of ingredients brought them to £3.95 that year, a 72% increase since the 2008 crash.
  • Pint of beer found for £8.06 in London while cheapest is £1.79 in Lancashire
  • Industry fears customers will stop going to bars if drink prices rise too high

To be enough to make you cry in your beer – the price of a pint has passed £8 for the first time.

Drinkers paid an average of £2.30 for a pint in 2008, but the rising cost of ingredients pushed that to £3.95 this year.

This is a 72 percent increase since the 2008 financial crash, according to hospitality consultancy CGA.

The highest price found was £8.06 in London, while the cheapest cost just £1.79 in Lancashire. It didn’t name the locations, but this is the first time that CGA, which regularly analyzes prices from random samples of the UK’s 90,000 bars and pubs, has seen the price of a pint past £8.

The industry fears that customers will stop going to the pub if the price of a drink becomes too high.

It’s enough to make you cry in your beer – the price of a pint has passed £8 for the first time (stock image)

Brewers and landlords expect a boost from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, with the British Beer and Pub Association estimating more than 90 million pints to be sold this long weekend.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is a global supplier of wheat, has pushed grain prices up, forcing pub companies to threaten further price hikes.

Barley, one of the main ingredients of beer, has been hit hard. Analysts at the research firm Bernstein said this was a “big negative” for brewers, estimating that “worst-case scenario would be 70 percent malting barley inflation this year.”

Speaking to the Financial Times, Fernando Tennenbaum, chief financial officer at the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, which makes Budweiser and Corona, warned that while inflation had risen significantly, beer prices were still lagging, “and there is a very strong demand for’.

Clive Watson, chairman of City Pub Group, which operates 41 pubs in London and the south, said ingredient costs were up 10 percent, “wage inflation is likely 7 percent and electricity inflation is 100 percent, so the mixed cost sets the price of a pint of beer probably up by 12 to 13 percent’.

Mr Watson claimed his company’s prices had risen by no more than 6 percent in December because it took the increased costs ‘on its chin’.

He said it would maintain its prices this year, adding: ‘We just want people to go back to the pub.’

Brewer Marston’s said it had raised its prices by about 8 percent in March, while rival Greene King has increased beer costs by an average of 5 cents a pint.

Mark Derry, executive chairman of Brasserie Bar Co, which runs 18 gastropubs, said it was trying not to charge more “because we’re fighting for covers and guests.”

He added: “That sounds pious, but we are concerned about the cost pressure on people.” Derry said the company had increased the price of stout by 3.8 per cent to £5.50, although costs to the company had increased by 8.2 per cent.

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