Herefordshire has cheapest pint in the country

Anthony and Kate Stephens from Ledbury Real Ales.

Anthony and Kate Stephens from Ledbury Real Ales.

First published in News by

HEREFORDSHIRE’S bargain beer has been rated the cheapest pint in England by The Good Pub Guide.

The pub-goers bible surveyed pubs up and down the country, averaging out the price of their cheapest pint of ale, with Herefordshire coming out at £3.03.

Its nearest rival was nextdoor neighbour Worcestershire (£3.09), with both trailing the so-called ‘Rip Off Beer’ of the south east, where Londoners are being charged an average of £3.79 for their cheapest pint.

The reason may be Herefordshire’s blossoming real ale scene.

Ant Stevens set up his microbrewery Ledbury Real Ales four years ago, since then the number of smaller breweries and microbreweries in the county has more than doubled.

Like most smaller enterprises Ledbury Real Ales does the majority of its business locally, with 95 per cent of its trade done within 10 miles of the brewery.

This cuts down on transport costs, a saving that can then be passed on at the pump.

The benefits of keeping it local work both ways; Mr Stevens’ uses hops from Ashperton, Suckley and Bosbury, and gets his casks from Hereford’s Chris Strange – one of the country’s last remaining cask-makers.

He said: “Having been brewing for only a few years we have come into the market during a period of growth for real ale consumption.

“I am not 100 per cent sure if the price of a pint is that much cheaper in Herefordshire than the rest of the country, but it certainly is when compared to the South East and London.

“We see a downward pressure on our trade prices and yet we are having to cope with rising prices of raw materials and utilities.

“We cope with this by managing our expenses, using local produce and trying to only sell our beer into the local pub trade so keeping out transport costs as low as possible.”

With the rate at which pubs are closing slowing down on a national level – it is down to around 28 per week, from around 50 two years ago – those Herefordshire landlords that remain have become more creative in keeping punters in pubs.

Mr Stevens singled out Hereford’s The Beer in Hand on Eign Street as an example of how quality beers can draw a crowd.

He said: “A good real ale can be a pull to a pub for many people.

“You can see this is very true when you look at brand new pubs that have recently opened in like the Beer in Hand which just about only sells real ales and local ciders.

“Setting up a pub in a former laundrette, at a time when so many are closing – that’s pretty brave.

“Some of those pubs that have closed – The Bell in Bosbury, The Farmers Arms in Wellington Heath and The Hopton Arms in Ashperton for example – have since reopened.

“And we are also seeing pubs that did not stock real ale also putting it back onto the bar, which has to be down to the customers demanding it and I would say the trend in the county is to sell local beer where possible.”

Comments (6)

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9:28pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Mr.Herefordian says...

Drinks in pubs are far over priced that's why so many have closed. Pubs charge the same for a pint of squash as a pint, that's why pubs close.
Lots of our pubs sell good value food then rip us off with drink prices, if you have one. If you can afford to be ripped off or can afford it that's fine but most can't that's why pubs close, in my opinion.
Drinks in pubs are far over priced that's why so many have closed. Pubs charge the same for a pint of squash as a pint, that's why pubs close. Lots of our pubs sell good value food then rip us off with drink prices, if you have one. If you can afford to be ripped off or can afford it that's fine but most can't that's why pubs close, in my opinion. Mr.Herefordian
  • Score: 0

11:06pm Fri 5 Sep 14

oldergit says...

I know where I can buy a pint cheaper than that.
I know where I can buy a pint cheaper than that. oldergit
  • Score: 1

11:01am Sat 6 Sep 14

petet25 says...

As a regular pub go-er and keen CAMRA member I have had the enjoyment of visiting a hell of a lot of pubs over the years.

Most pubs use a local pricing system where they scout competitors prices and match/undercut them. The main pubs in Hereford that boost the average pint price down are wetherspoons and Yates. Yates have pints of ale for around the £1.95 mark, weatherspoons try to match it by offering Ruddles for about £1.85 and guest ales at £2.10.

I used to have drives to countryside pubs with the wife for a quick pint (her driving) but have noticed they charge through the roof prices. The last country pub around Hereford I went to charged £3.40 a pint (and they wonder why not 1 other person walked in during my visit).

Then you have the 2-4-6-8 number works pubs. Great food prices, almost £3 a pint though.

Smaller pubs shoot themselves in the foot by believing they won't get many customers so the prices are hiked up and remain up (even when new owners take over). When actually if the price was put down, more people would visit.

All in all, apart from Spoons, Yates and a pint for £2 at the imperial, Hereford is no cheaper than any other town I have had pints (Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, to name a few)
As a regular pub go-er and keen CAMRA member I have had the enjoyment of visiting a hell of a lot of pubs over the years. Most pubs use a local pricing system where they scout competitors prices and match/undercut them. The main pubs in Hereford that boost the average pint price down are wetherspoons and Yates. Yates have pints of ale for around the £1.95 mark, weatherspoons try to match it by offering Ruddles for about £1.85 and guest ales at £2.10. I used to have drives to countryside pubs with the wife for a quick pint (her driving) but have noticed they charge through the roof prices. The last country pub around Hereford I went to charged £3.40 a pint (and they wonder why not 1 other person walked in during my visit). Then you have the 2-4-6-8 number works pubs. Great food prices, almost £3 a pint though. Smaller pubs shoot themselves in the foot by believing they won't get many customers so the prices are hiked up and remain up (even when new owners take over). When actually if the price was put down, more people would visit. All in all, apart from Spoons, Yates and a pint for £2 at the imperial, Hereford is no cheaper than any other town I have had pints (Shrewsbury, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, to name a few) petet25
  • Score: 3

1:08am Sun 7 Sep 14

imaperson2 says...

Its cheap because it tastes like **** :-P
Its cheap because it tastes like **** :-P imaperson2
  • Score: 0

11:50am Sun 7 Sep 14

Randombloke says...

Mr.Herefordian wrote:
Drinks in pubs are far over priced that's why so many have closed. Pubs charge the same for a pint of squash as a pint, that's why pubs close.
Lots of our pubs sell good value food then rip us off with drink prices, if you have one. If you can afford to be ripped off or can afford it that's fine but most can't that's why pubs close, in my opinion.
My god victor meldrew is in form today..
Some people like me dont actually mind paying for a pint in a pub..
Its a social meeting place..Pity all the decent back street pubs are closing down tho..
[quote][p][bold]Mr.Herefordian[/bold] wrote: Drinks in pubs are far over priced that's why so many have closed. Pubs charge the same for a pint of squash as a pint, that's why pubs close. Lots of our pubs sell good value food then rip us off with drink prices, if you have one. If you can afford to be ripped off or can afford it that's fine but most can't that's why pubs close, in my opinion.[/p][/quote]My god victor meldrew is in form today.. Some people like me dont actually mind paying for a pint in a pub.. Its a social meeting place..Pity all the decent back street pubs are closing down tho.. Randombloke
  • Score: 1

12:12pm Tue 9 Sep 14

Mr.Herefordian says...

Duh.
Duh. Mr.Herefordian
  • Score: 1

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