Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I'm in a Beer Daze

Now, I'm a careful person when it comes to money. I am in particular very careful about who gets to put their hand in my pocket. Fagin and his crew of pick pockets have however, nothing on the landlord of a pub that I recently visited. Now the Government is looking at making a minimum charge per unit of alcohol. Its doing this in a bid to stop binge drinkers getting trashed and then appearing up before the beak the next morning.

In the case of this landlord, he was charging £3.40 for a pint of beer. Now call me old and cynical but even Dick Turpin the highway man at least had the will to wear a mask. But it gets worse, he was charging  £1.99 for a half pint of the same beer. When I challenged him about the price (an extra 29p) of a half when compared to a pint. He said "Its down to basic running costs, serving up two glasses of beer was more of a overhead then serving a single pint in one glass!" As I was mulling over his remark, he went on to say "The number of people visiting the pub has been diminishing and I still have to try and make a living".

I may have an inkling of an idea why his clientele has dropped off.

So being the understanding person that I am, you know me. I enquired about his thoughts on the minimum charge per unit of alcohol that the government was looking to bring in. He said "Personally he could not wait for the numbers of people who are currently buying beer at the supermarket for consumption at home, being priced back into his pub." I said, for me your current pricing regime was forcing me and everyone else into the supermarket. To which he answered. "You will be back, I've heard it all before!"

The one thing I am sure about is that we will not be going back, ever again. Give me strength!

So I did a look up on prices across the area. I used one of those beer price comparison sites. A bit like compare the Meerkat but comparing the beer instead. Now in first place (Guildford £6.8) came as no surprise. However, casting my net round the area I came up with the following. Barnsley  £2.45, Bolsover  £2.6, Bradford  £2.78, Dewsbury  £2.15, Doncaster  £2.5, Grimsby  £2.3, Holmfirth  £3.5, Huddersfield  £2.52, Hull  £2.3, Leeds  £2.55, Mansfield  £3.3, Newark  £2.75, Selby  £2.55, Sheffield  £2.7, Tadcaster  £1.54, Todmorden  £2, Wakefield  £2.87, York  £4.25.

The average price across the UK was £2.90 a pint. The landlord was charging 50p per pint or £1.08 per half pint more than the national average. But the average price in Barnsley is £2.45 which is 95p per pint more and £1.53 per half pint more than the Barnsley average.

Then I went on the Compare the Supermarket website and did a quick trawl of the price of Beer and Lager in Tesco. At £5.39 which we were charged for a pint and a half. (1.5 pint = 0.8523922275 litres.) There are many (half litre per can) four pack (2 litre) available for less than £5.39 there are a few where the charge is less than £4! There were several special offers at £1.99! There were bottles of wine that cost less than £5.39!

I wonder why people choose to drink at home...


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