There are concerns that £6 a pint could become commonplace in pubs in London and the South East.
Image: The pub industry has really struggled during the pandemic
Beer prices are reportedly set to rise by 30p a pint as pubs across the country face rising costs, including those caused by higher wages, along with energy and supply shortages.
More than eight in 10 pubs have raised their prices or plan to, even before any duty increases are announced in the Budget next week, according to a poll by the Morning Advertiser.
It found that of 189 respondents, fewer than a fifth (19%) said they would not be putting their prices up.
Publicans are appealing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to freeze the alcohol duty rate, amid fears the £6 pint could become commonplace in London and the South East.
A spokesman for the C&C Group, which owns drinks wholesalers Matthew Clark and Bibendum, told Sky News the firms will be hiking their prices by 3.5% next month.
This rise is also being driven by a shortage of hospitality staff returning after furlough which has led to an estimated 134,000 vacancies in the sector.
Dave Mountford, co-founder of the Forum of British Pubs, predicted publicans would have to increase pint prices from 20p to 30p to meet rising costs.
“In my pub that means I will be charging more than £4 for a pint of cask ale for the first time,” the Derby publican told The Times. “It will mean much more in areas like London.”
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, told Sky News: “Our sector faces a range of cost pressures and rising prices at a critical time in our recovery.
“It is one of the reasons we are urging the chancellor to support our sector by cutting Beer Duty, VAT and Business Rates in the Budget next week to ensure our pubs and brewers can remain at the heart of communities up and down the country.”Internet Explorer Channel Network