BrewDog Backs Minimum Pricing
BrewDog were the first company to publically back the Scottish Governments proposals for a minimum price per unit alcohol policy. As the proposal looks set to become reality not just in Scotland but also in the UK we feel the step will only help get more people drinking great quality craft beer. In addition it will be a further nail in the coffin of the industrial brewers who are becoming more and more out of touch with beer drinkers in the UK.
The plans will accelerate the changing dynamic of beer purchasing. We can move on from the totalitarian reign of thieves and pimps who sell corporate brews to good men who soak it up like vermin, blissful in their ignorance.
Beer consumption at home has now overtaken beer consumption in the on-trade in the UK. When people drink beer at home, overall, we feel they are looking for a more premium experience than they would be in the cut and thrust of a busy bar environment.
The new minimum price of £0.50 per unit for Scotland and an anticipated £0.45 a unit for the rest of the UK will not affect any craft brewers pricing (Punk IPA currently retails in the off trade for around £0.90 per unit equivalent).
The proposals will mean that the multi-national corporate hammerheads no longer allowed to discount their liquid cardboard to embarrassingly pathetic levels it will act to level the playing field in the off trade. Craft brewers can’t, and shouldn’t, discount their beers and sustain losses. With less of a price differential now in the off trade between industrial and craft beer it will be far easier for the consumer to trade up to awesome craft brews.
Sure you will still be able to buy beer for less. But if you want it to taste of hops and malt, not silicone and cardboard then it costs a little bit more.
The average monolithic lager is brewed with roughly 12 kilos of malted barley per barrel, the average craft ale (like a 4.5% pale ale) is brewed with around 25 kilos per barrel. At BrewDog, our average beer is made with over 40 kilos of malted barley per barrel. On average we use 25 times more hops as an industrial brewer to make one barrel of BrewDog beer. A lot more beer for just a little bit more money.
Irresponsible beer mega- conglomerates have previously relied on the off trade as the mechanism to grow their brand with no regard at all for their impact on society and it’s most vulnerable members. This also served act as a barrier to craft beer sales as they used all the dirty pricing tricks in their armoury to keep small and successful craft brewers out of the market place.
With every other sector of beer sales are falling, craft beer is gathering more and more momentum. We fully believe that once people taste amazing craft beer they will not go back to paying a little bit less for a massively inferior industrially brewed beer.
We are proud that the Government has taken this bold step which will help our society overall and also get more people drinking great craft beer. Both are very lofty and worthy objectives in our view.
Those stupid little corporate freaks think they got us fooled with their tasteless, mindless, visionless crap.
Walk tall, kick ass and learn to speak craft beer.
- Firstly, it won't turn people on to craft beer. Why? Those buying heavily discounted beer in supermarkets such as your C***ing or other spurious beverages such as the jakey's favourite purple liver muncher will not, in general, have the taste for a craft brewed beer. Secondly, it won't affect those who already enjoy craft beer as it is by definition a premium product. I bet loads of us take advantage of being able to buy a bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo from Tesco at something like £2.15. You could not buy that in a independent beer shop/offie at that price. Saying that I buy Budvar from my local offie at £1.79 (500ml) and Sainsburys, Morrisons et al sell at £2.00 plus. That's odd! Thirdly, pricing by unit will not tackle and could not tackle a binge drinking culture. The clue is in the word "culture", an ever evolving social construct. That needs a whole battery of medical, sociological and psychological pros going at it but it still would probably not make a penny's worth of difference. I am a psychologist.
People will still be able to preload on relatively cheap alcohol saving their hard earned pennies for when they get to their pub of choice to be faced with heavily discounted drinks promotions or they may go out earlier. It could actually boost the on trade's profits.Grahamf429.11.2012
- Urgh. That picture of all the mass produced lager. Just bloody awful!!! Andy29828.11.2012
- Time to get allgrain homebrewing. It really is easy when you get into it. I can make 20 litres of it for less than £10 and is tastes as good if not better than any craft beer. mico28.11.2012
- Difficult issue! Can see both sides of the argument. One hand, it does seem harsh on the loads of folk on lower incomes who are causing no problems. And yes, its gunna hit alcoholics hard, but that being said, these are no real reasons to allow brewerys and supermarkets to continue supplying folk with ridiculously cheap alcohol and feeding the problem. Ideally the government should balance things out a bit by taking a % of the increase of income from the supermarkets and making pubs cheaper places to visit. jamie cowie28.11.2012
- This change will not affect the price of a pint in pubs. This change only affects the price of many beers sold in super markets.
Therefore those people drinking pints of industrial brew lager will still drink this in many city center bars and pubs.
It may push more people towards craft beer, but only in the supermarket environment.
On the point people make that we we should be doing more to help alcoholics. There is plenty of freely available help for alcoholics on the NHS.
The problem is not the lack of opportunities for help, the problem is these people don't want help because it's too easy for them to get drunk when they can buy 2 liters of Tesco Value Cider (4.2% ABV) for £1.99.
A minimum price per unit of £0.45 would see this bottle of cider go up to £3.80. Not a huge jump but it would be an additional deterrent to cut back their drinking and seek out the help that is already available to them on the NHS.johncolemanuk28.11.2012
- I'm with you for the most part, but the prong of this government attack set to spear bargains like Marks & Spencer 'Dine in for £10' and similar schemes does nothing to help the consumer or to stop idiots drinking as much cheap garbage as possible. M&S actually have a few decent wines (really) and a couple of not bad lagers. We should be free to sell combinations of food and drink like that without falling foul of the law. Suzanne Kelly28.11.2012
- Alot of the negativity is aimed towards the impact on alcoholics and subsequent impact on profits for the large retailers. However I think most people are forgetting that for an increasingly price conscious and quality conscious young consumer this news only bodes well for the craft industry as a whole. Fortunately we live in a society where help for alcoholics is widely available, if they want the help then take it. We can't complain about a nanny state here because people sober or not must live and die by their decisions. Addiction begins from a sober state. Tom Law28.11.2012
- This will be another example of government intervention penalising the moderate majority while the problem drinkers will work around it. As already mentioned once it fails to make any impact we could easily be stuck in a spiral of increasing minimum unit pricing. Just look at the beer duty escalator. Which incidentally means I donít think we are going to see consumers returning to pubs anytime soon, regardless of what the off trade prices are.
Last time I was in Scotland I was amazed to be told new licensing laws meant I couldnít buy a round of drinks in a hotel bar by paying cash, cards not allowed. Get used to this sort of killjoy nonsense spreading across the UK. Itís like the 19th century temperance movement all over again.
In any case I donít think most hard pressed punters are remotely interested in paying a little bit more for a premium product. Theyíre happy enough drinking ropey beer and wine as long as they can get a bit drunk with their mates after a long week.
- I think it's clear why those of us who appreciate craft brewing would support minimum alcohol unit pricing.
Perversely, as our Sweedish poster notes, my experience in Norway too indicates that taxing the alcohol at penal levels, benefits better beers. The prices are high generally sure, but premium beers are therefore at a relatively "less higher" price. There are therefore many more in the market.psybertron28.11.2012
- Please look to norwegian alcoholpolitics and the effect it has for craft brewers before backing a proposal this stupid. AndersH28.11.2012
- All I hope is that the cheap beer going up and becoming priced similar to an average beer does not mean that the average beer goes up to near premium beer prices, thus meaning retailers see fit to put premium brews up even more. You guys seem confident this is a good thing for hopheads but we will see. I will be keeping a close eye on the price of premium beers and am expecting the worst. Your quick to slate corporate breweries but UK PLC is the biggest corporate body in the UK, I can't help but wonder where this extra money goes as well. Finn28.11.2012
- Hopefully it'll get folk off their arses and back into the pubs. Rorybone10028.11.2012
- at we need is not more cheap lager so yeah, minimum pricing is ftw Erik28.11.2012
- A fact not considered is that the corner shops will be able to compete with the big supermarkets so hopefully the asdas will not make as much as people presume. Colin Adams18.05.2012
- http://www.boozebeatsbites.com/2012/05/booze-minimum-pricing-what-will-it.html NateDawg2718.05.2012
- The idea of stopping binge drinking and raising the health of the public is nonsense. Someone who has £20 for their weeks shopping and has an alcohol addiction will instead of spending £10 (for example) on booze and the rest on food will just spend £14 (for example) and the remainder of the money on food actually decreasing their health further! Alec Wallace17.05.2012
- If we break it down to bare numbers, so a can of 'pish' is £1 and a bottle of BD is £1.50. If the price of the 'pish' increases to £1.50 (through whatever means), do people really think the supermarkets will still charge £1.50 for BD?
I'm happy to be proven wrong by supermarkets dropping their cheapest own brand crap, or not realigning all their booze prices when the price for lowest common denominator moves, but I can't see it.blah17.05.2012
- I can see where you are coming from here, but isn't a likely outcome that the big name beers remain exactly the same in terms of quality but become more expensive (and hence profitable). The minimum price per unit provides the convenient excuse that "it wasn't us who put the prices up, it was the government" - people will still continue to buy what the adverts push at them regardless of price and nobody really wins, even if proper brewers and beer drinkers don't lose. TotalDave17.05.2012
- As you say Punk is almost double the minimum pricing level so if people are going to have to double what they are going to pay for crap beer they'll not going to quadruple it for for a decent one.
I have to walk past alcoholics in the street every morning on my journey to work and this means they'll just commit more crimes to pay for their fix. They need support not higher prices.
And plus, it's probably against EU law to set minimum prices.Tim17.05.2012
- I like the principle. However, I do have concerns about where the control will lie for the price / unit and the motives that might dictate future increases. Fairzo17.05.2012
- I agree with your view on the effect this will have on craft brewers but you completely ignore the fact that this is nothing more than a further stealth tax on the poorer members of society.
But what happens when research shows that the minimum price has had no effect on our society's drinking problems?
Obviously the minimum price is too low. I know, let's put it up to £1, that will work.
This is the start of a slippery slope and will only help to fill the coffers of the large retailers. I want no part of it!Ade17.05.2012
- The other side of minimum pricing is responsible drinking.
Cheap beer (= crap beer) = guzzling, whereas craft beer = savouring the flavour and taste. As with anything you get what you pay for.
It may help some to come to appreciate craft beers for what they are - something great to drink, rather than cheap alcohol to pour down your neck and get hammered.
Of course the latter is still going to happen, but it will cost more. For less enjoyment. Or is that a point of view?Growf17.05.2012
- it's the start of the beginning , the beginning of the end of pish beer \m/ \m/ noonzer17.05.2012
- Swedish taxes on alcohol are based on the amount of alcohol, not on the price of the product. Therefore, medium-cost beer is only moderatly more expensive to the consumer than almost-no-cost beer. As a consquence, you won't find very much bad beer in Sweden. Hopefully, you'll get similar effects. Sveedish17.05.2012