Are wet-led pubs back on the rise?

The British are known for many things, and pubs are certainly one of them.  Pubs used to be where you would stop on the way home from work to have ‘a quick one’ or a refreshment break or friendly catch-up on the weekend. I am not sure when the change took place, but for too long pubs have become food-led establishments. Have the tides turned, and are wet-led pubs back on the rise?

The Wharf
Left to right, Jason, Rhys and myself behind the bar at the now-demolished The Wharf, in Cardiff Bay

As several recent headlines indicate, wet-led offers may be back on the rise. Whilst many of us like a drink, the UK’s appetite for dining out is not where it has been in recent years. Could it be because we are going back to traditions, cooking healthy homely food from scratch, rather than convenience?

We are still a boozy nation, a recent report says that drinkers in the UK get drunk more often than anywhere else in the world, about once a week on average. On the up though, is community boozers. Successful businesses are adapting to their customers and are focusing more on drinkers, rather than what dishes are on the menu. There has been a rise in Bottomless Brunches, and even though food is served the emphasis is on the drinks you can have with it.

Also, with the rise of popularity in gins, craft beers and rose not being exclusively aimed at women, businesses are promoting what brands they are serving, or how they are being paired. How often do you notice on your favourite bar or pub social media, more drink images?

The average pint rises by 86p

We still drink, even though beer prices have steadily risen. According to the Office of National Statistics in May 2009 the average cost of a pint of lager was £2.81, but as of 2019 it as £3.67, a rise of 86p. A study commissioned by Austell Brewery’s Proper Job IPA found that 1 in 4 Brits, who drink beer, were unhappy about the cost of a pint. The same survey also discovered that the perfect pint should have a head of 9mm, served in a ‘proper’ pint glass at 5.30pm on a Saturday, in a beer garden with a partner.

Stolen pub glasses

I could never admit to stealing glasses from my local… (especially after what you about to read). Customers pinch around £186m worth of tableware from pubs and restaurants every year.  Glasses are the most commonly taken item. One in three of us, take at least one. (Come on you know you need a pair!)

Costs add up to businesses over time and remember not all of these establishments are big multi-million pound corporate institutions. Replacing stolen items is an irritating extra thing to remember to do. There can also be serious implications for premises licencing conditions. Many licences contain prohibitions on ‘drinks in open containers’ or ‘glasses’ being taken from the premises. If it is used in a crime away from the premises and it is linked back, they can end up on the wrong side of the law, either by the police or environmental health officer.

 

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