Why?

… is it that a Wetherspoons pub[1] can charge £1.59 for a pint of good beer, while other pubs charge more in the region of £2.59 for what is rarely as good and sometimes vastly inferior?

Their food may be a halfway-house between real food and fast food, but in any case I was too late to be eating it.  But that beer … well, tonight instead of either of my regulars there[2], I tried an unknown brew whose name I forget – dark and rich and delicious.  In comparison to other pubs, it would be good at twice the price.

[1] The one on Mutley Plain (Plymouth), being a good place to wait for my bus home.

[2]  Marstons Pedigree and Abbott.

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Posted on February 20, 2008, in beer. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have heard that Wetherspoons tend to buy beer in bulk close to its use-by date, thereby obtaining large discounts from the brewers who would rather sell it for something than throw it away. W’s can do this because of their high volume throughput, a well-developed national distribution network and a business model based on high turnover city-centre pubs. Independent (and especially rural) pubs can’t do this, they have neither the buying power nor the volume of sales to make it a viable option, so they have to pay more for their inputs (they don’t have other economies of scale enjoyed by W’s either).

    Of course, other large, high volume city centre chains could emulate the Wetherspoon model, but choose not to (just as well really, if everyone tried to buy nearly out-of-date beer then the price would rise anyway), and they make stonking profits as a result. As long as the public are prepared to pay the higher prices, they are happy to charge them!

    As far as beer quality goes, that’s largely down to cellarman training and experience. W’s recognise the importance of this, but too many operators don’t.

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