Monday, 5 March 2012

Northern beer in London

I was in London on Saturday. While my wife and daughter went to see 'Wicked' at the ApolloVictoria I strolled down the road to The cask in Pimlico. I gave wry smile as I perused the handpumps. Five were taken up with beers from the superb Liverpool Organic Brewery.

I like their beers very much, but considering that they are freely available in the pubs I visit back home I'd hoped to find a wider choice to sample. Anyway, I started off with a pint of their 3.8% Cascade. Two things stood out. £3.40 for a low strength beer is on average 70p dearer than on Merseyside. Furthermore the total lack of sparkler left the beer flat, insipid and not enjoyable. I am neutral on the sparkler issue but this showed that some northern beers are best served with a head.

If I thought that the Cascade was expensive, Organic's other beers were even more so. The Liverpool Pale Ale at 4% was £3.70 and Shipwreck IPA at 6.5% was £4.60 with Imperial IPA at 7.2% selling for £5.20. I would . The Pale Ale would probably cost the same as the Cascade on home territory and the others about a £1 per pint less.

The customers at the Cask seem happy to pay these prices but I couldn't afford to drink there regularly.


  1. A few years ago, a friend of mine drove up from Devizes in Wiltshire. Before he left he had a Wadworths 6X, and from the pub he could actually see the brewery. He reached Southport in time to buy another pint of the same beer - 200+ miles away from the brewery and cheaper than he'd paid in Wiltshire.

    1. But incomes in London, depending on exactly what and where you are measuring, are 50 to 100 per cent greater on average than on Merseyside. So a beer that's only 25 per cent more expensive is, in relative terms, cheap. And you can guarantee that the Cask is paying massively more in terms of rent, council tax, wages and so on than any pub in Merseyside would be.

  2. Incomes 50 to 100% greater in London! It's not third world up here you know. I'm a Quantity Surveyor and salaries in London are about 20% higher for similar jobs. Because tax is taken at the full amount of the extra pay that gives a maximum of 15% more disposable income. Mortgage and commuting costs are much greater in the South East. It takes me fifteen minutes maximum to drive to work costing about £3 a day in petrol. My disposable income should be higher than many Londoners so I'm happy here with beer under £3 pint

  3. critch the brewer.....

    lpa and cascade are 65 quid a firkin shipwreck and iipa are 85 quid a firkin.....plus the dreaded vat of course....

    b.t.w. martin one of the most expensive (per sq ft)punch tenancy pubs in the country is in liverpool (volunteer canteen , waterloo.....)

    birkonian, thanks for the kind words on my beers....