Beer and wine costs a fortune, and is likely to cost even more. Sigh.

we're struggling to find a half-full side to this story...

It’s a bit glum isn’t it. If it’s not the weather, it’s the economy, and starting today, we’ve all got Wimbledon to moan about. But worse than all of these is the dire news that the price of alcohol has already gone up stupidly, and is set to go up again.

Yes, the bad news is that the latest inflation figures show that the price of ‘alcoholic beverages and tobacco’ rose by 9.8% per annum, more than twice the ‘standard’ rate of inflation which was a measly(!) 4.5%.

Clearly this is Not A Good Thing, but can be attributed to a number of factors. On top of the baseline inflation, the Chancellor’s Budget in March added 4p to a pint of beer and 15p to an average bottle of wine, not to mention a small fortune on every packet of cigarettes. However, figures show that the average price of a pint of lager in the UK now stands at £3.08 compared with £3.02 in March and a pint of bitter that used to cost an average £2.64 in March will now set you back £2.70. You will notice this is more than the 4p tax increase. Crafty beer retailers.

But unfortunately it is not just pub beer and wine that is getting pricier. This year has seen fewer supermarket deals, as the big grocery chains have been under intense pressure from interfering so and sos health groups and the Government. They think loss-leader promotional deals are contributing to alcohol abuse and these deals are therefore evil. Yay for the fun-killers. In fact, it has been suggested that the Government is being a huge non-Christmas Bah Humbug by taxing a downtrodden population who are simply having a drink to try and forget their money/unemployment/pension worries...

Other things that could be affecting the price of a tipple include the rising cost of fuel, which affects distribution and manufacturing costs, and of raw materials such as grain. In fact, the rising cost of barley means further price rises for beer are inevitable this year with up to 5p more on the price of a pint.

It never rains...


  • Billy
    Sam, If beer was £2.64 and the chancellor bloke added another 4p, that only leaves 2p to cover inflationary costs since March (using your £2.70) price. Does that mean that crafty beer retailers are actually keeping prices down below inflation, or above. I can't be arsed doing the maths but I'd appreciate your view on this please. Cheers
  • Stu_
    It's still way cheaper than most of Europe. Have you been to France or Germany lately? Or even Spain or Greece (typically amongst the cheap holiday destinations) In fact, try Scandinavia....
  • Dick
    There is one way to avoid the rising costs of alcohol. Potato moonshine.

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