Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What Do You Think?


At GBBF, Braustelle Amarillo Schwarz Bier, 6.5% abv, imported specially from Cologne, duty paid, (presumably at the full rate of 72p a pint as there is no reduction on imported beers*); £4.80 a pint. Kernel IPA, also 6.5% in a well known London pub, specially imported from just round the corner; £7.00 a pint. Duty paid at the reduced rate of 36p a pint.

Is there possibly do you think, that there is a bit of overcharging in one case? Or do you perhaps believe that CAMRA didn't make enough money of the Braustelle and should have been charging more?

Seems to me, if they aren't careful, what will slow any craft beer renaissance isn't about being too cold and gassy, but pricing themselves out of the game.  Or is this part of what sets "craft" beer apart and if you don't like it or can't afford it, that's just too bad?

And the Braustelle was the far classier beer.

* See Beer Nut's response. I am wrong about the duty. Progressive Beer Duty applies it seems, to imports too. Well I never. 

24 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

Sorry, off topic, but: No reduction on imported beers? Really? I'm just looking at the Finance Act 2002 and it specifically says (36B(4) here) it doesn't care where a brewery is as far as progressive duty is concerned. Why wouldn't the duty cut apply to German beer?

Tandleman said...

Not off topic at all. I stand corrected. I made an incorrect assumption that Braustelle wouldn't be registered with HMRC as a brewer attracting PBD. I hadn't bothered to look it up as I assumed, again incorrectly it seems, that this was to encourage small British brewers. Must be an EU law I suppose.

Must make all the form filling a bit awkward for our importer. Still we are very much comparing like with like now.

It's a reminder as they said in the Caine Mutiny, that in blogging like the US Navy, "You can't assume a godamm thing".

The Beer Nut said...

Yeah, it's pretty much a no-no in European law to treat local businesses differently to businesses in other member states. Though the UK seems to apply the same rules right across the board. Going back to the 1979 Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act, which the 2002 act amends, there's just beer produced locally and beer which is imported, and no distinction within or between them.

Anyhoo, yes: the price point at which beer is sold in Germany is very low compared with that in many other countries.

beermunster said...

I've been wondering that. We were out in Manchester a couple of weeks ago and went into a pub serving both keg and cask ales. They had on several cask ales, all priced around the £3 a pint mark, yet the keg beers were more like £4.80/pint. These weren't high strength imported keg beers either, one was Brewdog's 5AM Saint which is 5%.

RedNev said...

Beermunster: that is simply charging what the market will bear, and seeing that some beer bloggers assert we don't pay enough for our beer anyway, I don't blame brewers for exploiting that masochistic tendency, especially if they can present craft keg as a premium product.

It's not unlike the pricing of lager from the 60s onwards. They were overpriced because people expected to pay more for what they were told was a premium product, unlike those boring old bog-standard bitters and milds. Yes, I am aware that lagering increases costs, but I also know that most British-brewed copies of foreign lagers weren't significantly lagered at all.

Bailey said...

I don't know anything about Braustelle but I wonder if they're run more efficiently than Kernel? (Perhaps I'm being naieve, but Kernel doesn't seem like a cynical money-grubbing operation.) Suspect the cost of experimentation; and bad batches/replacement bottles (can't remember who but someone complained online and got sent seven!) is being passed on to pubs/consumers to an extent.

Steve Lamond said...

The Kernel would at least cost slightly more in terms of hops used, but not £2.20 a pint more.

Tandleman said...

B&B - I doubt that's the answer.

Sid Boggle said...

As I understand it, Braustelle is a small boutique brewpub and brewing collective. Olaf S brings their beer over - Cask has had some in the past. So presumably Olaf is the middleman CAMRA buys the beer from?

Kernel? Now a much bigger brewery, but PBD not a factor, I think. I've seen their beer on draught around London ranging from well under £6 to almost £8. Camden stuff ranges from around £3.50 to almost a fiver for the same beer depending on where you drink it? Seems to me some London bars are tearing the arse out of some beer prices.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

Seven quid a pint ?
That's a night out in Yorkshire.



















I'll see meself out.

Phil said...

I'm sure Kernel are lovely people and make exquisite beer, but those prices are taking the piss - which in turn suggests that somebody (possibly more than one somebody) is taking the piss. Or, as it's also known, "seeing what the market will bear".

py0 said...

Divide the ABV by 2 and add 1. Thats a fair price for a pint in a UK pub in 2012.

Anything higher and I might have a half just to say I've tried it and then move on to something less extortionate.

Tandleman said...

Do you mean in a London pub?

Anonymous said...

had the Kernal ipa last night in the suburbs of London £4.80 a pint so i think its the pubs making a big profit.also i dont suppose you had to pay £8.00 to get in the pub.i thought the gbbf German draught beers were unexciting and expensive although the other braustelle amarillo beer was great. cheers john

Tandleman said...

It is a big pub though. I reckon £4.80 to be a little pricey myself, but of course you got some stronger stuff for that price too.

Not sure how we could have got you more exciting German beers though. They mostly don't exist.

Anonymous said...

exciting was the wrong word.it was the usual suspects where as the American list had a lot of less well known breweries.maybe like the German brewers the guy that ordered the beer doesnt like change.cheers john

Tandleman said...

Braustelle is different but if you changed breweries you wouldn't get much difference in taste. See my forthcoming post on the Berlin Beer Festival.

Tiny Clanger said...

Which version of Kernel IPA did you have? They've got several varieties: the Citra is really good (and the Double SCCANS is something special — though for £9 a pint at Craft or the Euston Tap, it would have to be…)

Tandleman said...

That's the thing - I don't know. The board said a 5.1% citra and something else. It wasn't and the tap just said IPA. I was too shocked at the price to ask.

realalemike said...

I don't much care for the term "craft beer" whatever that means-as long as its quality cask ale I'm quite happy. I never drink keg in this country and don't see any need to-I appreciate that there may be plenty of good keg beers about, but I don't believe any particular beer is better in keg form than cask-the thought of not only drinking fizzy beer but also paying a premium for the privilege wouldn't occur to me-anything over £3.20 a pint is expensive in my opinion-I could afford to pay more for a pint but I see no reason to-everything has its price.This strange trend towards eye watering pricing (with no obvious explanation as to why) is one that we would do well to "nip in the bud", if it's not too late already....

Tandleman said...

The IPA must have been Chinook. It's the only one at 6.5% I reckon.

JohnB said...

I think the 'problem' isn't only in the bars. Have a look at some the prices the on-line retailers are charging. I did and moved on! Interestingly, Kernel were amongst the highest prices and in titchy (33ml) bottles. Buxton prices ahve shot up as well. Is there a pattern emerging?

JohnB said...

Beware the missing zero. Should read 330 ml. 33 ml would be tiny even by 'craft' standards.
Sorry.

Tandleman said...

JohnB - I think there is a pattern emerging. Quite clearly. is everyone reluctant to recognise it though?