New chain of discount pubs with beer for £1-a-pop?
There are plans to open a chain of discount pubs who will be selling you beer for a pound-a-pop, which of course, has sent drink awareness campaigners into some kind of sober meltdown. The first of these boozers has already opened in Manchester and, thus far, absolutely nothing negative has happened.
The second is about to start doing business in Stockton on Tees, and they would like a special license where they can sell beer from 8am. Why you'd want something that makes you tired and farty that early in the morning is another matter. Maybe they'll do cheapo fry-ups?
Either way, if these pubs are a success, the chain wants to go nationwide, selling various lagers, bitters, ales and ciders for £1.50-a-pint, or £1 for a half. These prices aren't that dissimilar to Wetherspoons and a host of local pubs that aren't part of a chain as such.
Not that booze botherers are having any of it. Colin Shevells, director of Balance, said: "Drink is already too affordable, too available and too heavily promoted. We know that problems are caused by it being too cheap. The PoundPub is just part of a much bigger problem. We need to wake up to the problems cheap alcohol is causing both in the short and long term."
Mike Wardell, a director behind PoundPub said: "The first PoundPub in Atherton, Greater Manchester has just won an award from CAMRA for the most improved site for our range of cask ales. It is hugely popular and successful, and customer feed back has been fantastic. We are responsible retailers, and this is about giving value for money to working people."
"No one said anything when Workingmen's clubs were offering bitter for 99 pence a pint, in fact it was pretty popular. We will offer a quality product at an affordable price. These two sites are the test, and a lot will depend on how successful they are as to how we expand. At a time when 12 pubs a week are closing across the country we have to think outside the box a bit."
These PoundPubs aren't just selling cheap ale - they have trad pub games like darts and billiards, but no satellite TV. Basically, they sound amazing - although the beer might be lousy; there's only one way to find out if that's the case.