Beer Day Britain: which city has the cheapest beer?

By Fiona Evans
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:00 pm
Beer Day Britain celebrates all beer (photo:Adobe)
Beer Day Britain celebrates all beer (photo:Adobe)

Beer Day Britain: the UK cities with the most and least affordable beer prices revealed

All beer is not created equal - particularly when it comes to price.

If you are raising a glass this evening to our national tipple for Beer Day Britain, you may be wondering what it's costing your fellow drinkers elsewhere in the country.

And whether you're indulging in a couple of jars at home or a few pints down at your local, the disparity may be enough to have you calling time early.

Personal finance experts at Vouchers.co.uk crunched the numbers from Numbeo’s Cost of Living database to see which UK cities had the cheapest beer prices overall.

The experts also compared restaurant prices (0.5l draught) with market prices (0.5l bottle) to discover how inflation is affecting punters both at home and when out.

“As Covid guidelines have been completely relaxed for the first time in over two years and the weather is warming up, more of us will be out socialising over the summer months," said Andrea Knowles, personal finance expert from Vouchers.co.uk.

"For a lot of us, this will include trips to pubs, bars, and restaurants. However, it’s fair to say that lots of us are feeling the pinch when it comes to the cost of living. The price of everything seems to keep going up and up – and this includes your favourite tipple.

“Earlier in the year, there were predictions that pubs could be forced to increase pint prices by 50p across the UK, further hitting punters’ pockets.

"With huge inflation, supply chain issues, the Ukrainian war, and now news that CO2 shortages are also pushing up prices, the cost of a pint is getting more and more expensive.

"If prices had solely followed inflation between January 2008 and April 2022, the cost of a pint should have been £3.35. However, our research has found that this has not been the case."

When it came to restaurant prices, overall Aberdeen had the cheapest beer on tap (£3.23), followed by Dundee, Cardiff and Derby (all £3.48).

Unsurprisingly, London had the most expensive beer (£6.00), followed by Belfast (£5.20) and then Brighton, Cambridge and Guildford (all £4.97).

Cheapest restaurant beer

Aberdeen (£3.23)

Dundee (£3.48)

Cardiff (£3.48)

Derby (£3.48)

Newcastle (£3.68)

Most expensive restaurant beer

London (£6.00)

Belfast (£5.20)

Brighton (£4.97)

Cambridge (£4.97)

Guildford (£4.97)

Looking at market prices, Derby (£1.32), Coventry (£1.37), Southampton (£1.51), Edinburgh (£1.51) and Newcastle (£1.59) were the cheapest locations.

Conversely, Oxford (£2.36), Brighton (£2.17), London (£2.15), Leeds (£2.15) and Nottingham (£2.12) were the most expensive locations for purchasing beer for home.

Cheapest market beer

Derby (£1.32)

Coventry (£1.37)

Southampton (£1.51)

Edinburgh (£1.51)

Newcastle (£1.59)

Most expensive market beer

Oxford (£2.36)

Brighton (£2.17)

London (£2.15)

Leeds (£2.15)

Nottingham (£2.12)

Interestingly, when comparing the market to restaurant prices, some cities had large markups for their hospitality customers.

Restaurants across London, Belfast, Guildford, Cambridge and Edinburgh were adding between £2.97 and a whopping £3.85, all hitting the customer’s pocket at the end of the night.

At the other end of the spectrum, in Aberdeen, Leeds, Cardiff, Dundee, Nottingham, Manchester and Leicester, the price markup from market prices stayed under £2.

Smallest price increase (market to restaurant)

Aberdeen (+£1.35)

Leeds (+£1.58)

Cardiff (+£1.76)

Dundee (+£1.85)

Nottingham (+£1.86)

Largest price increase (market to restaurant)

London (+£3.85)

Belfast (+£3.26)

Guildford (+£3.00)

Cambridge (+£2.98)

Edinburgh (+£2.97)

However, price increase on its own doesn’t tell the whole story.

When it comes to the markup (percentage increase), it was punters based in Edinburgh, Coventry, London, Southampton and Belfast that were being hit the most – almost a 200 percent markup in London’s case.

Smallest markup (percentage increase, comparing market to restaurant)

Aberdeen (+71.81%)

Leeds (+73.49%)

Nottingham (+87.74%)

Manchester (+90.43%)

Leicester (+95.10%)

Largest markup (percentage increase, comparing market to restaurant)

Edinburgh (+196.69%)

Coventry (+182.48%)

London (+179.07%)

Southampton (+171.52%)

Belfast (+168.04%)

Conversely, Aberdeen, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and Leicester saw more reasonable markups, with prices less than doubling in these locations.

“Our analysis of beer price data shows that, for the most part, consumers can save money by buying beer to enjoy at home instead of heading to the pub," said Andrea.

"However, in Wales and Scotland there’s minimum unit prices in place which in some cases make it more expensive to buy booze in than to go to the pub, so it’s worth keeping legislation like this in mind.”

Beer Day Britain celebrates all beer including traditional ales, mainstream lagers, limited edition craft beer and everything in between no matter where it is brewed or who owns the brewing company.