For many a year people in London have had to deal with the fact that buying booze in the local pub is expensive. So expensive that you could buy two or three pints for the same price in other parts of the country. Well now they can breathe a sigh of relief, because it's no longer the most place with the most expensive pints.
Not because the prices have gone down, but because according to the Good Pub Guide, the average price of a pint in Surrey is £4.40 - 20p more than what you'll expect to pay in the capital. This is actually the first time in the guide's history that London isn't the most expensive place to buy beer, and the people who put together the guide don't really know why. Fiona Stapely, the guide's editor, said:
"We’re not sure why this has happened, but Surrey is so affluent. It’s always going to be the expensive places – either London or Surrey. It may be that we have quite a lot of little local pubs in the guide that are London locals and they’re not as expensive as some of the big pubs [in the capital] that young people go to."
I'll level with you. I don't have a clue what she's trying to say here. Does it mean the pubs they've featured just happen to make Surrey look more expensive than it is? If that's what she means, that seems like a huge oversight in the way this part of the guide operates. I've asked around and my colleagues aren't sure what Stapely means either, so if anyone can shed some light on this we'd be grateful.
The cheapest pints can be found in Yorkshire and Herefordshire, which both have an average price of £3.31 per pint. Meanwhile pubs brewing their own beer have an average cost of £3.09 a pint. Across the whole country the average price is £3.60, which is 13p higher than last year.
The guide also shows that a lot of pubs are starting to vary their services, with more and more offering things like accommodation, food, and catering services. Some have even opened up delis to sell local produce, started book clubs, and hosted conferences.
"You name it and pubs have thought of it. It's this entrepreneurial spirit that will keep pubs alive and kicking for years to come, despite all the doom and gloom around."