The pub price for a pint of beer is to go up - again. Brewers say the increase, of around 10p a pint, is necessary because poor harvests have forced up the cost of malting barley. The price hike will bring the average price of a pint to £3.10p from today (or £24.80p a gallon!)
"We were worried that this price rise could backfire on us by driving more customers away from the few pubs still remaining in Britain" admits Breweries spokesman Arthur Bitter, "and we were naturally concerned about whether people would have enough money in their pockets these days for them to be able to afford to keep buying expensive pub beer. Obviously we didn't want to lose out on the Christmas trade by bringing in this rise too early on our customers so we decided to get what we could out of them first by allowing them to buy their pints of beer cheaply over the festive period. In fact the bar till receipts for that period have revealed that people in the pubs were spending more than ever. That is very encouraging. Our only regret is that we didn't have the confidence to inflict this latest price rise onto our customers a few weeks ago. We feel we now do have that confidence and so we see no reason to further delay this. We also feel it is important to give our customers a few weeks to get used to the new price of the pint in the pubs before we hit them with another increase around the end of February."
The new average price of a pint of pub beer (£24.80p a gallon) is of course significantly more than the current average price being paid by motorists for a gallon of petrol (just £5.91p a gallon). Asked to explain why there is such a big difference in price spokesman Arthur Bitter explained,
"It needs to be taken into account that pub landlords have many overheads to cover before they even begin to show any profit from the sales of drinks over the bars. There is the cost of heating the premises so that customers can enjoy their pints in the warm, they provide chairs for customers to sit on, and the tables need to be wiped down regularly by highly trained staff. There is also the constant need to keep cleaning the glasses, ash trays need to be frequently emptied and cleaned from the tables outside, and many pubs have flower baskets needing to be watered and tended to during the summer months. And obviously it is a lot more expensive and harder to produce a gallon of beer than it is to get that gallon of petrol to the pumps from under the desert sands."
To be fair, it is also a well known fact that petrol service stations make only a very small profit - about a penny a gallon - from the petrol they sell to motorists. Their profits come not from the petrol they sell but from the high prices they charge in their shops for things like sweets, cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco, and especially those small packets of hand rolling Rizla cigarette papers."