For this post I’m in danger of biting the hand that feeds me. I’ve been concerned about a particular subject for a while now and, speaking to some other beer fans, I know I’m not alone when I say I feel aggrieved by the rising price of craft beer in off-licences.
Naturally many will say “Ah well you get what you pay for” and generally I agree. Of course I’d rather pay a few quid for a bottle of decent, tasty beer than 70p for a can of overfizzed bland yellow water. However I’m not talking about the broad scope of craft beers or real ales that are becoming more common on the off-licence shelves but those beers that are new or (and I hate to use this word) exclusive to some retailers. You know the ones, crafted from a carefully balanced mixture of smoked unicorn’s tears and wonderberries from South East Mordor – or wherever.
Am I willing to pay over 4 quid for a bottle from the offie? Nah. I see no reason why most crafts cannot be priced at under £3.50 per bottle. Anything over this is, frankly, taking the piss and sticking the arm into us beer lovers who prefer to sup something well brewed. Many great brews can be bought for £2.50 – £3.50 so what makes things different for other brews? Why should I pay £3.50+ for a beer from the off-licence when it’s that price in the pub?
I’m not made of money and more and more now I visit certain places to peruse the craft selection only to become riled by the ridiculous prices. Is the price reflective of the new trend of crafts? Is it really production costs? Are retailers setting these prices because it’s suddenly trendy to buy a few bottles of ale? If that’s the case, then the craft scene will sadly die very quickly.
Money is tight in these times and producers/retailers need to understand that for us consumers there are fine lines between choice, desire and affordability. Simply by reducing prices, in some cases by only 50 pence, a beer becomes more appealing.
As I said at the beginning, I’m probably gonna upset a lot of folk here but que sera, sera. I want to reach out to those who feel the same as me. You’re not alone, I too am fed up with crazy pricing and unless things change, I for one won’t be buying many overpriced beers. Unicorn’s tears or not.