This isn't a rant about the cost of that lovely stuff, but a little anecdote about comparative costs.
Now it is rare, for me at least, to see the same beer on cask and keg in the same pub. Thus it was on my return home to Manchester after a very good trip, that I nipped into the Euston Tap for a last London pint. Now I like the ET for many reasons and I'll mention them elsewhere. I ordered a Summer Wine Oregon on cask. I love their beers. It was superb and was presented in spot on condition and at the correct temperature, despite I am sure, me being the first to try it that day. It was a very reasonable £3.50 a pint for a 5.5% beer. It was so good that I immediately wished I had ordered a pint of it. Perusing the beer list as I waited for my train, I noticed what appeared to be the same beer on keg. Same name, same strength. Price? £5 a pint.
So there you have it. The cost of having your beer in keg is an extra £1.50 a pint in this very fairly priced establishment. Possibly not typical, as others aren't so decent in their pricing, but maybe the margin of difference remains?
I didn't try it. Why would I bother paying a premium for such a beer, when I already had a perfect beer for less? I ordered another swift half and went off for my train.
Now I am sure that someone will tell me Summer Wine Oregon isn't really cask conditioned etc. etc. I don't care. It was superb and not freezing and gassy.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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