Sunday, 10 February 2013

North/South Divide

I was in London yesterday. Lunchtime was spent in William IV, Leyton High Street. Standard strength cask beers were £2.45/pint and a bottle of The Kernel Double Scanns IPA 10.1% was a bargain at £3.50. The Euston Tap had a number of exclllent draught beers at £3.20/pint.

Later that evening and back in Chester the cheapest guest beer in Harkers Arms was £3.40. Checking the website of Manchester's Port Street Beer House, Double Scanns is out of stock but '#100' which is also 10.1%  and from The Kernel is listed at £6.50 per bottle.

Time to move down South?


  1. Round here we call Chester south.

  2. J.B. Priestly once wrote something along the lines of it being extremely fortunate for the Cotswolds that coal was found underneath County Durham. Similarly it is extremely unfortunate for Chester that it is not in Surreywhere it so clearly belongs.

  3. I work in London but come from Chester and return regularly and, in general, I'm always very pleasantly surprised by just how cheap the beer is back home. Here you're comparing quite possibly the cheapest pub in London outside Wetherspoons and Sam Smiths, with Harkers, which is part of the upmarket Brunning and Price chain and which is amongst the most expensive pints in Chester (though a nice pub). Next time try the Cellar Bar just a couple of minutes away on City Road. In London terms, £3.40 would be a bargain (even Spoon is approaching that now). At a gastroish pub in Smithfield last week (that would be a better comparison with Harkers) I was charged £4.40 for a 4% Harviestoun beer, which is much more typical than the prices at the William IV alas - so not time to jump on the train yet!

  4. I'm not saying that yesterday was a typical comparison of beer prices in the North and South. I did retreat to the Cellar Bar after Harkers but a pint there was £3.10, still not cheap. Chester city centre can be an expensive place to drink. The GBG listed Pied Bull was asking £3.40/£3.50 for a pint until falling sales casued a review of it's pricing. More than a few Cestriansthink they are living in an outpost of the Home Counties.That's not a compliment.
    Back home in Wirral, I'm just about to go for a few pints in the Wheatscheaf, Raby. The local Trapper's Hat beer has travelled all of three miles yet they charge £3.20/pint. Plenty of people are happy to pay it.

  5. Yes, the PSBH and a Brunning & Price pub are not exactly representative of Northern prices, and you could have got a pint of OBB in the Boot or Falcon for less than £2. But it's now pretty common for beer around here to be well north of £3 - I was grumbling on Twitter yesterday about being charged £3.20 for an (admittedly good) pint of Dizzy Blonde in a Robinson's pub in one of the leafier parts of Stockport, and there are others in their estate that are even higher.

  6. It's even north of £2 in most Spoons these days. Thank god for Tesco.