The price of a pint of beer is reportedly set to jump by 30 pence even before any duty increases are announced in the Budget as rising costs are passed on to consumers.
More than eight in 10 pubs have raised prices or plan to do so because of rising costs, including those caused by higher wages along with energy and supply shortages, according to a report in The TImes.
The report adds that publicans are appealing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to freeze the alcohol duty rate amid fears the £6 pint could become commonplace in London and the south-east.
Shortage of staff
A shortage of hospitality staff returning after furlough has prompted pubs to increase wages to fill the estimated 134,000 vacancies across the sector, the paper says, while drinks wholesalers Matthew Clark and Bibendum are hiking prices by between 3.5 and 5 per cent next month.
A spokesman for the companies, which are owned by the C&C Group, told The Times: “As our industry recovers from the pandemic, the pressure on UK and global supply chains has added increased cost and complexity.”
Dave Mountford, co-founder of the Forum of British Pubs, predicted publicans would have to increase pint prices from 20p to 30p to meet rising costs.
“In my pub that means I will be charging more than £4 for a pint of cask ale for the first time,” the Derby publican told the paper. “It will mean much more in areas like London.”