Thursday, 29 December 2011

The hyper-inflation of beer

Amongst my stocking fillers this year was a book titled The Book of Beer Knowledge from which I give you these statistics:

Pint of milk

1971: 5p

2007: 32p

= 640% increase

Pound of steak

1971: 60p

2007: 408p

= 680% increase

Sliced loaf

1971: 9.5p

2007: 88p

= 926% increase

Pint of beer

1971: 12p

2007: 224p

= 1867% increase

Aside from the enormous, above-inflation rise in the price of beer—despite the temperance lobby's disingenuous assertion that alcohol has become more "affordable"—I'm struck by how much the price of a pint has increased even since 2007.

The book was published by CAMRA so £2.24 pint was presumably the average cost of real ale, but anecdotal evidence tells me that the price must have risen to around £3 in the four years since, no? Does anybody have some 2011 prices to complete the picture?


Curmudgeon said...

Here you go, Chris:

"The average price for a pint of real ale in the UK in February 2011 was £2.84 an increase of
5.7% over the 2010 average price."

john miller said...

Speaking as a vintage beer drinker - me, not the beer - I can further your education here.

It was generally felt that the decimalisation of the currency in February 1971 had allowed pubs to add a penny to the price of beer.

So the figure of 12p (which I remember paying in a pub in Woolwich in 1971 - it was the first of many) was perhaps on the high side. A baseline of 1970 would give a higher inflation figure.

A pint in south-east London now is about £3.25.

My personal beer inflation is therefore about 2955%.

I think that possibly the UK average may be distorted by such chains as Wetherspoons, the like of which did not exist in 1971.

Mag said...

OT (apologies)

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Anonymous said...

I think the same applies to other sin taxes like fuel and tobacco duty. Profiteering and price fixing by the state to extract as much money as they can from the public. And, more so nowadays, bombarding us with ethical and health reasons for doing so.

Richard White said...

I worked in a pub in about 2008, and a pint there was £2.80.

Kris said...

How about gross domestic product per capita since 1970?

Anonymous said...

1914 3d a pint, 1921 7d a pint duty up from 7s 9d a barrel to 100s

Michael J. McFadden said...

Chris, in terms of those percentage increases, from 1971 to current ...

how would a pack of cigarettes have fared?


Jason Smith said...

In 1973 the price of a pint of lager was 17p (in Yorkshire). The price in London is a pretty standard £4 a pint now. The lager itself cost about 1p a pint to produce but the pub buys it from the brewery / pubco / cash n carry for about £1.20 a pint.

The overheads of running a pub means that even with a £2.80 mark up on each pint, beer and lager are still loss-leaders for the majority of pubs - sales of beer add to your VAT bill and that's about it.

Pubs make money selling wine, pop, spirits and food. Beer loses money.

smithy said...

anything over 3 pounds is scandalous really. No wonder so many British pubs have closed down. However, my parents have informed me they rarely visited the pub in the 60s and 70s as it was quite expensive and they simply didn't have the disposable income...