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They're set to jump as high as nearly 4 percent next month.

Mike Pomranz
January 23, 2018

One of the biggest differences between American and British bar/pub culture is the extent to which Brits sweat the small stuff.

For instance, in the U.K., by law, a pint has to be exactly a pint of beer. It’s very common for a pint glass to hold exactly that measurement and get filled precisely up to the brim. Meanwhile, in the States, beer glasses come in all sizes and typically get filled with reckless abandon, leaving drinkers to hope that once the foam settles, they’ll still be left with a satisfactory amount. Maybe for that exact reason, American beer prices also tend to be looser, often rounded to the nearest dollar for simplicities sake. But back across the pond, the Brits usually charge a more precise amount with prices varying by as little as five or ten pence depending on the brew – and customers will sometimes notice even small adjustments in price.

So with all that in  mind, it’s easy to see how this is big news in the U.K.: Two major beer companies have announced that they’ll be raising wholesale prices by as much as nearly 4 percent. According to The Morning Advertiser, AB InBev – producer of popular brands like Stella Artois, Budweiser and Boddingtons – said it will be bumping prices across its portfolio by 3.9 percent starting next month. “We have communicated to our customers that from 1 February 2018 we will be increasing our wholesale price,” a spokesperson for the brand was quoted as saying. “The increase is part of our regular prices reviews and reflects ongoing pressure in the beer industry and the UK economy.” The spokesperson then added, “We always look to keep any increases to a minimum for our customers, maintaining an increase lower than the retail price index, despite this having more than doubled versus last year.”

Adding insult to injury, Molson Coors also announced it will increase its prices, though not as steeply. The brewing giant said its beers and ciders would see an average increase in price of between 3 percent and 3.2 percent. “At Molson Coors, we are constantly working to manage the variety of different costs associated with the production and supply of our beers,” a spokesperson told The Morning Advertiser.

To put all this in perspective, the Evening Times suggests that the increase in price could be “as much as 12p” – or only about 17 cents. Still, all that change can add up – especially if you're ordering a few rounds.