Beer prices to surge

Pub drinkers have been warned to brace themselves for higher beer prices next year amid poor barley harvests and higher taxes.

It is the latest high cost of living to hit families that are reeling from the recession.

Prices have already more than doubled in the past two decades, with the average cost of a pint of lager climbing from £1.08 in 1989 to £2.81 in 2009, the British Beer & Pub Association said.

It is feared that the typical price of a pint could rise to as much as £4.



Poor barley harvests in Eastern Europe and export controls imposed by Russia threaten to hit brewers while they are forced to push through VAT and duty rises.

The British Beer & Pub Association said there had been a 26 per cent increase in beer duty during the last two years alone.

And it warned higher beer prices would be a fresh blow to pubs which suffered following the smoking ban.

The cost of living is already expected to rise significantly amid warnings that bread, gas bills and insurance are all becoming substantially more expensive.

The price of a loaf of bread is set to increase by 10p to 129p, which would be a record, after Russia suffers from its hottest summer in a century, wiping out much of the world’s wheat harvest.

There are also fears that rising prices on the wholesale energy market will push up gas prices for households, after a small supplier put up its prices by 23 per cent last week. Petrol prices are likely to carry on rising later this year and into 2011 because of higher taxes.

A spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association said: “The current upward pressure on grain prices will have some effect, but at this stage it’s difficult to quantify.”


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