London Is No Longer the Most Expensive Place for a Beer in the U.K.
Consider it either good news for London or bad news for the rest of the United Kingdom: For the first time in the 36-year history of its annual report, the Good Pub Guide has determined that London is no longer the most expensive place in the U.K. to get a pint. Instead, those looking to get gouged on beer prices will have to travel about 25 miles southwest to nearby Surrey—the new holder of the unfavorable title.
In general, according to the Good Pub Guide, the average price of a pint has risen by 13 pence in the past year to £3.60. Needless to say, the cosmopolitan mecca of London still had a higher average price per pint than that: £4.20 to be exact, making it the second most expensive place for a beer. But for the first time ever, the county of Surrey took the crown, with an average beer price of a whopping £4.40. Both areas saw price increases: Last year, pints in London averaged to £4.08, while Surry had a significantly cheaper average of £3.75.
Meanwhile, those looking for the U.K.'s cheapest pints will want to start heading north: The English counties of Yorkshire and Herefordshire tied for the most affordable tipple at just £3.31 per pint. Yes, that's still about $4.30 in US currency, but you have to keep a couple things in mind: First, you don't tip on beers in the U.K. And second, a British pint is 20 ounces instead of the American 16 ounces. So overall, it's not a bad deal. (Technically, our ounces are slightly different than theirs too, but let's not worry about that.)
As to why Surrey suddenly became so pricey, even Fiona Stapley, the editor of this year's Good Pub Guide 2018, wasn't positive. "We're not sure why this has happened," she told the Guardian, "but Surrey is so affluent. It's always going to be the expensive places—either London or Surrey. It may be that we have quite a lot of little local pubs in the guide that are London locals and they're not as expensive as some of the big pubs [in the capital] that young people go to."
But for beer bargain hunters, here may be your best tip of all: The guide found that pubs brewing their own brands were significantly cheaper with an average pint price of only £3.09. So if you want to save, go to the source.