The companies blame an ‘unprecedented’ rise in the price of materials such as gas, fuel, malt and sugar for the decision to push up the price tag of lager, bitter and ale. Draught and bottled Stella Artois, Beck’s and Tennent’s lager, all owned by brewery InBev, will go up by about 3p a pint tomorrow, while in two weeks’ time Carling and Grolsch drinkers will also see 3p added to a pint.
Tetley’s bitter will follow in the first week of October, while Marston’s, the Wolverhampton-based brewery behind Pedigree bitter, is adding 10p to a pint. ‘We have done everything possible to limit the price increase, but there have been unprecedented levels of increases in raw materials in recent months,’ said Stephen Oliver, managing director of Marston’s Beer Company.
The price of barley and metal, used for making cans, has gone up by more than 50 per cent in the past two years, while the company’s energy costs have soared by more than 150 per cent in some cases. For the punter this equates to an average pint of lager now ringing in at £2.82.
But in London and south-east England, drinkers face significantly higher prices. ‘The current wave of price increases means £4 a pint will be far more commonplace this year,’ said a spokesman for the British Beer & Pub Association.