Price of a pint sees biggest January increase in five years

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Knockout blows: pint prices up 10.8% (Credit: Getty/agrobacter)
Knockout blows: pint prices up 10.8% (Credit: Getty/agrobacter)

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Draught lager prices rose by 10.8% in the 12 months to January 2024, which represented the biggest January hike since pre-Covid in 2019.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released on Wednesday 14 February, showed the price of a pint of draught lager in a pub stood at £4.69 last month compared with £4.23 in January 2023.

Analysis of the figures by The Morning Advertiser (MA) revealed the increase marked the biggest annual upswing in January for five years.

The cost of draught lager was estimated by ONS to have increased by 27.7% overall since January 2019, The MA’s analysis showed, when the price of a pint was £3.67.

Cost increases 

However, month-on-month lager costs saw a 0.21% decrease, down from £4.70 in December last year.

Draught bitter also saw its biggest January uptick during the 12-month period, up from £3.57 in 2023 to £3.90 this year, an increase of 9.2%.

Similarly to lager, month-on-month draught bitter costs were also in decline, dropping by 0.75% from £3.93 in December last year.

Since January 2019, the overall cost of a pint of draught bitter has increased by 27.8%, up from £3.05 pre-pandemic.

Previous data​ revealed similar cost increases in the 12-months to December 2023 as well as an overall rise in lager prices of 41.5% in the last decade.

Knockout blows

In addition, drinks sales have been down across managed venues in the on-trade for four consecutive weeks, according to data from CGA​ while the number of breweries in the UK have reduced, figures from SIBA​ last month showed.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) national chairman Nik Antona previously told the MA the licensed trade was being “pummelled relentlessly from all angles” and “losing the fight to survive”.

He said: “The successive haymakers from the rising costs of goods and employing staff, spiralling energy bills, along with Government support on business rates being cut, plus customers continuing to tighten their belts due to the cost-of-living crisis are all knockout blows. 

“Pubs certainly do not want to pass on the high prices to their loyal and supportive customers but realistically the only other choice would be to close their doors for good.”

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