ALE Autumn 1995 No. 282

The Price Ain't Right

CAMRA's annual pub prices survey shows that beer drinkers are still paying grossly inflated prices for their pints - and Cambridge area drinkers are among the worst affected. CAMRA members surveyed over 1000 pubs nationwide during April and the main findings were: As usual the survey showed massive regional variations. For an ordinary gravity bitter, the average price ranged from 131p in the North-West to 162p in the South-East. For East Anglia the average was 157p but this also disguises fluctuations between areas - from 144p in Norfolk to 161p in, yes, the Cambridge area, more expensive even than London at 158p. In Cambridge city, the average price went up to 164p. It is also noticable that prices are higher in the southern part of South Cambs, 161p, than in the northern part, 157p, and East Cambs, 158p.

All this of course is a classic example of brewers and pubs charging what the market will bear. Cambridge is affluent and a tourist trap, so up go the prices.

As a ready reckoner, here are the average prices across East Anglia for some popular beers. Compare them with what you have to pay next time you are in a Cambridge pub. Figures in brackets are North-West prices.

Greene King IPA156Tetley Bitter160(136)
Charles Wells Eagle152Wadworths 6X174(147)
Flowers IPA159Marstons Pedigree176(144)
Wells Bombadier170Flowers Original184(152)
Greene King Abbot180Old Speckled Hen188

However, if as a real ale drinker, you think you have been badly done by, spare a thought for the poor lager drinker. Prices for that stuff have gone up by 6.1% on average, and you don't even get any taste by comparison.

See the 1998 Prices Survey in Consumer Surveys

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