Why are British public houses so expensive?

£3.80 for a pint of ale. State of that. No wonder they are going out of business at such a rate. 

I heh @ 3.7 GBP being notably expensive for a pint, but, Britain is a high cost of doing business place in many ways - land and labour both comparatively expensive. I don’t think British pubs are disproportionately expensive compared to British plumbers or trains or whatnot

Plus you can buy a 3 bed house for £130k in the area. 

Dunno where you're finding beer for £3.80 but it's not Surrey. You won't get chance from a fiver anywhere in London now.

That said, the price of beer has remained more constant in real terms since the mid-30s than pretty much any other commodity. 

Sam Smiths do great beer at decent prices but the company is run by a massive luddite prick.

No chance Im telling you the name of this pub m7. It’s a lovely cosy local right in the city centre with a range of real ales that changes every week. And an open fire. And no braying City pricks or such like. Well there was one the other day. Hipster style kid. Landlady called him a khunt. Was most amusing. 

“Sam Smiths do great beer”

Are you mounting a late charge for Wrong of the Year? Sam Smiths beer is awful. Mega malty headache juice

Laz try the organic chocolate stout or the imperial stout, both of which are excellent. I will admit that some of the others are a bit naff.

organic chocolate JISM more like

Honestly Sam Smiths would get more footfall if they just let you BYOB for corkage.

I know a pub in London where all the pints are under a fiver and a few are under £4.

I do though remember the days of the 50p pint up north but think it was 50% water.

by the time I was legal drinking age the cheapest pint you could find anywhere was Hofmeister for one pound twenty in the union bar. Something run of the mill like Heineken or John Smiths was two quid and I remember that something premium like Stella or Caffrey’s was typically about two twenty five because our local did lunch and a pint for two pound fifty and if you ordered a stella this was famously regarded as paying 25p for lunch. 

at the very start of my drinking career there was nothing called “real ale” in an ordinary pub, only “bitter” as opposed to lager. You had to look quite hard to find that on cask as opposed to keg. I remember the “quality” ale when I was a student was Directors, still a good beer now, on both cask and keg. Old Speckled Hen and evening GKIPA were considered good pints and something like Theakstons a treat. There was probably only one pub in nottingham - the trip to jerusalem - where you’d actually want to drink a cask ale anyway.

A young beer drinker from today, sent back as little as 20 or 25 years, would conclude that hops were not an ingredient in beer back then. I didn’t know what hops actually tasted like until about 2005.

yeah my recollection of two quid might have been a bit tippy. Maybe one pound seventy-five in nottingham in the late nineties. I’ve good a good fix on the lower (Hofmeister) and upper (Stella) ends of the range tho.

yeah my dad, and sometimes I, used to drink at a pub that had a public bar / lounge divide well into the noughties. It had gone a bit to seed tho and in terms of decor and atmosphere you couldn’t really tell which was which, but they had entirely different regulars, who didn’t really know one another. I used to mainly go in a third room, which had the pool table. My pa was a lounge lizard.

mild merits a comeback. My bro in law, who is from Clydeside, maintains he used to drink it en ecosse and that it gave him the shits. I think the English brew must have been a little less rough. I’ve had it at beer festivals and liked it but it is rare indeed in pubs these days.

My first years drinking were in the market tavern and wheatsheaf at my home town market square.  In either, you could get 3 pints of Best for £1.50 a pop and still have 50p for some peanuts.  Got me absolutely plastered as a 16 year old.

One of the city centre pubs where we used to go drinking in sixth form was 99p a pint for bitter (which none of us drank) £1.09 for lager and £1.29 (I think) for the premium lager. All of it was shite but at 16 it didn't matter.

There is a decent pub I occasionally visit in a very affluent area near me that still has the lounge/bar divide, and it is a divide, the bar is properly bare bones, and full of alkies, the lounge full of affluent pisshead businessmen, their (grown up) children and the odd minor celeb.

Hopefully the Chancellor at the next Budget will help out our public houses and try to stop or at least slow down the massive closure rates.

At the moment it's almost like they welcome the disappearance of many fine communal meeting places where adults can have a few drinks and discuss the issues of the day...

Pub I worked in doing LPC in Oxford in early 2000s had one student-friendly cheap ale (usually Boddingtons) at around 1.90, a range of guests between 2.05 and 2.20, sometimes pushing 2.45 for a seasonal (and usually 5%+ strong) ale.

Stella was 2.45, Guinness similar.

Being a cheapskate, I drank ale at post-closing time lock-ins and kindled a lifelong love for it (having drunk indifferent ale as an undergrad student in the UK largely due to cheapness but pilsner on my year abroad in Germany).

College bars were around £1.30-1.50 a pint.

 

 

 

Heh, did u work in the Grapes Jack?  I did.

LPC bar work was fvcking ace if you did it in a decent pub.

Locals putting 'and one for yourself' behind the bar meant pretty much never having to pay for a drink throughout.

 

One lad at my college got rusticated for working in an HMV during term time.  Apprently it was a breach of some statute or other that dictated you couldn't work during term time.  Whether this was because it was unseemly for a gentleman to so do, or a worry that it would interfere with studies is unclear.  

TBF it probably interfered less than his other sideline of dealing Dutch super-pollen...

Mate if mine worked in The Salutation in Nottingham, a lovely and ancient building which inside was basically a fruit machine and WKD drinking barn.

In Eynsford, on the way to 7okz, there’s a really unspoiled pub called the Five Bells that still has lounge/bar with separate serving areas, and loads of other original features. There are other pubs in town and they’re all a bit different, it’s a nice place and commutable too.

No, I worked at the Turf Tavern.

Strictly between us girls, obvs.

The grapes was a decent pub in a very unfortunate location - George St (now wall to wall chain bistros and craft brew places) was still a bit of no mans’ land back then.

“Could I get a pint of Heineken?”

*Jack of c2001 vintage surveys list of 11 cask ales*
 

”You don’t do the getting, I do. And I must warn you that the Heineken tap you can see is in fact connected directly to the gents’ urinal.”

“Ah, how about a nice pint of Boddingtons, then?”

*Jack winces*
 

”That’s connected to the ladies.”

We used to joke about “real ale twats” and now I are one.

 

 

I am lying in bed in my flat near the beach and I have the dog lying next to me.  

To my right is a large window and maybe... seven metres from that is the side door to a pub where if I was in the mood I could walk into and pay £2.80 for a pint of Rattler. 

You're living in the wrong place old bean. Well,  no you’re not because you have Linda and a job and a happy family and all that shit, but like , metaphorically, if you’re complaining about the price of beer you’re in the wrong place.

Come down to Cornwall next summer and I would be delighted to buy you some £2.80 pints.  Wouldn’t suggest trying to buy a house around here mind you.

Christ - this thread is almost making me weep for my lost youth.

Went from Oxford to Notts. Drank at the Turf, the Grapes and the Salutation.

In the last 25 years the beer has gotten much better, but everything else has gotten worse. 

I would happily never drink an IPA again, if I could go back to necking pints of Bombardier or Tetley with a football team.

Fuck me - Looking back - I only became a lawyer because thats what all the historians in the year above me at Oxford that I used to play football with did.

85p a pint in the college bar back in the day - ye gods

 

but to answer OP British pubs are not expensive comparatively - in most of Western Europe beer is more expensive in bars - especially bars of comparative opulence to most British pubs 

““Could I get a pint of Heineken?”

*Jack of c2001 vintage surveys list of 11 cask ales*
 

”You don’t do the getting, I do. And I must warn you that the Heineken tap you can see is in fact connected directly to the gents’ urinal.””

Obviously I know this account is fictionalised but any barman who acted like that would be a proper chopper. “You don’t do the getting, I do” would be absolute Peak Tool.

Laz, what is it about Sam Smith beer that is so debilitating compared to other, stronger stuff? I can't do more than 2 pints.

What PP said, Sam smith beer not only tastes bad, seems to stick to the throat but gives you a bad hangover.  It is shame because they have some decent pubs but quality of the beer (and other drinks for that matter) means I avoid like the plague.

don’t understand it, but I think it has a tendency not to be very bright (clear), which will relate to the brewing process and indicates a lot of sediment which will fuck with your stomach and your heid. It is also generally malty, which hurts your stomach and your head, and think there may be something with the yeast they use.

26p a pint for Davenports in Union Bar.

Cider was 24p a pint.

None of you seem to remember the Penny Black at the end of Exmouth Market opposite the massive sorting office at Mount Pleasant.  
 

Well into the 90s it used to buy up industrial quantities of almost-expired ales for the posties coming off shift. At 50p a pint.  

Perfect for Bar School.  

Lush.  

I used to drink only Old Rosie in the Turf - in terms of price:abv ratio it was the clear winner for getting twatted, even if it did taste like cheap white wine with a shot of apple sourz dropped in

I was there the first week they ever had Old Rosie on. £1.50 a pint as an introductory offer.

Absolutely wrecked for £6.

@Laz - it was ALWAYS yank tourists saying “Can I get ...”? Some of the staff used to try to educate them in (southern) English idiom.

A bit of crisp assertion of expertise (backed up with real knowledge of the beers and an an anally well-managed cellar) worked in the context of what was an excellent pub. 

Has gone sadly downhill under Greene King. Staff don’t understand the beer, selection has been cut way back and the service is anodyne, efficiently polite but character-free.

I was there the first week they ever had Old Rosie on. £1.50 a pint as an introductory offer.

Absolutely wrecked for £6.

@Laz - it was ALWAYS yank tourists saying “Can I get ...”? Some of the staff used to try to educate them in (southern) English idiom.

A bit of crisp assertion of expertise (backed up with real knowledge of the beers and an an anally well-managed cellar) worked in the context of what was an excellent pub. 

Has gone sadly downhill under Greene King. Staff don’t understand the beer, selection has been cut way back and the service is anodyne, efficiently polite but character-free.

Ps Jack of c2001 vintage probably was a bit of a tool, in fairness.

What can I say? I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.