Price of a Pint

I’ve been watching Cask 2019 posing questions with little Twitter surveys, things like:

Should a pint of cask beer cost less than its equivalent on keg? (63% of people said No)

I thought I would post a few comparisons…

Lets say a bar adds a fixed Cash margin to each pint of beer sold of £2, this is the amount per pint that this hypothetical business needs to make to cover all costs and actually make it a viable business. We will assume they sell 68 of the 72 pints in that cask.

  • Bar buys a cheap beer at £45+vat for a Cask = £54 – 79p per Pint
    + their £2 Cash Margin is £2.79
  • Bar buys an average cost beer at £75+vat for a Cask = £90 – £1.35 per Pint
    + their £2 Cash Margin is £3.35
  • Bar buys an expensive beer at £120+vat for a Cask = £144 – £2.12 per Pint
    + their £2 Cash Margin is £4.12

Thats 3 simple options for beer prices.

What if a bar buys in loads of cheap beer all the time and flogs it for £4 or £5, as a drinker would you feel a bit ripped off that a beers that costs 79p a pint is being sold to you at £4, maybe £5? (Its beer, its got alcohol in it but its a bit thin and boring, it might not be that great)

Would you prefer to go into a bar that serves more beer in the average to expensive range and would that feel like you are getting better value for money?
(The beers really taste of something and quite obviously have more ingredients in them)

With all that in mind, lets do those same prices but for a 30 Litre Keg, I’ve written before that roughly speaking it costs about the same for 30 Litres of Keg beer as it does for 40 Litres of Cask beer. We will assume they sell 48 of the 52 pints in that keg.

  • Bar buys a cheap beer at £45+vat for a Keg = £54 – £1.13p per Pint
  • Bar buys an average cost beer at £75+vat for a Keg= £90 – £1.88 per Pint
  • Bar buys an expensive beer at £120+vat for a Keg = £144 – £3.00 per Pint

Should the bar add the same £2 Cash Margin per pint? After all this does seem to be the fairest method.

Now consider the Multinational brewer who is also selling a 50 Litre Keg for £45 too – £54 in vat that is 84 pints of salable beer which is 64p a pint! This would be all the usual lagers you can buy in a supermarket but then the Pub sells you a bottle for £4 that cost them less than a £1 or a Pint of mass-produced Industrial lager for £4 to £5.

So the question is; Why is Industrial mass-market Lager somehow worth more, how do they get away with this perceived value?

Should ‘Value’ have more to do with a hand-crafted product from non-mechanised beer production?

Shouldn’t the price of a pint of Cask beer, or indeed small produced keg beer, hold more value and show a real connection to where it came from and who made it than some ‘perceived value’ from an industrial multinational conglomerate with a high marketing budget?

Skewed is the word for the Beer market! Skewed from the Biggest producers downwards. Skewed in bars where a load of the profit comes from the cheapest products and then that profit is used to skew the Cask prices to a false low price… because this is what consumers expect. We need to turn the market on its head.

Anyway….. How much Cash Margin would you add as to that £3 pint of Keg?  Maybe £3, £4??? Why not add the same to the Cask beers too…. Y’no just to keep things fair 😉