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Thread: Price vs Strength

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    Between pubs sheffield hatter's Avatar
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    Default Price vs Strength

    I've brought this forward from another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    1/2 Torrside Valour 1917 Imperial Stout 7.7% (£6.90/pint);1/3 Boutilliers/Shakespeares You Have Deaded Me bloody orange IPA 11.7% (£9/pint); 1/3 Beatnikz Republic/Shakespeares Bass Hero quad hopped IPA 6.3% (£4.80/pint); 1/3 Blue Bee/Shakespeares Wheels of Confusion black IPA 6.0% (£6.00/pint). Total £10.05.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    Generally speaking, I would regard many of those prices as outrageous even locally.
    Now, I enjoy going to pubs (and I hope the government is paying attention, before they close them all down) for many reasons: (luckily too numerous to mention here, but could be the subject of a new thread). One of them is the chance to try new beers that some of our very inventive brewers have been coming up with in the last 10 years or more. My reason for quoting my old friend Aqualung in this context is that I don't think price is relevant when the intention is to try something never experienced before; and/or the price is justified because of the strength of the beer and the time spent in the pub drinking it.

    Here's an example: tonight I went to the Devonshire Cat quite late in the evening, knowing that they have had a few special beers on this week (Sheffield Beer week). I went for Kirkstall/Yeastie Boys Slow Show barrel aged barley wine 11.5% (a beer I have had before when visiting the Kirkstall brewery tap after a Leeds Rhinos game) and Marble Decadence barrel aged ruby porter 10.5%; 1/3 of each for £7.75; then 1/2 of Beaver Town/Queer Brewing Project Saturn black IPA 6.5% for £3.90. So I spent £11.65 and was in the pub for about 80-90 minutes drinking these delectable beverages (sipping rather than quaffing, as befits their relative strengths).

    Totting up the abv's, I reckon I had the equivalent of a pint of Black Sheep Bitter 3.8%, Jennings Bitter 3.5% and Thwaites Dark Mild (Nutty Black) 3.3%. Those could have cost me between £3.50 and £3.90 a pint, depending on where I drank them (obviously not London!), but let's say around £11 for three pints, which would have taken me a similar time to drink (quaffing rather than sipping, as befits their relative strengths).

    I think on the whole I had my money's worth from those beers, and I wouldn't have argued with paying the same overall for the three (theoretical) pints in a different pub on a different occasion. Yes, I could have imbibed the same amount of, or even more, alcohol by getting three for £5 from Tesco, or some discounted stuff at Wetherspoons, or even a bottle of wine from Aldi, but this is not about getting a buzz on; it's about the drinking experience in a pub. New tastes, or old. Gentle sipping and thinking about flavours, or necking a pint. I'm not sure that money comes into it.
    Last edited by sheffield hatter; 15-03-2020 at 22:49.
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    If I go to a pub I tend to try and go through the card (dross like Doom Bore & Bass excluded). As a result price is important. In my view drinking a third or a half is not enough to judge a beer unless it's really rank. If I'd been in the Shakespeare with you I would have wanted to try all those beers but only pints. Halves and thirds are not on the agenda for me.

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    This ties in to the trend in pubs of this type to offer different volumes of beer (variously thirds, halves, two-thirds and pints) possibily according to strength or 'desirability' but mainly price. It balances out the headline price somewhat but you end up with less beer. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is less anti-social if a round is being bought!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    If I go to a pub I tend to try and go through the card (dross like Doom Bore & Bass excluded). As a result price is important. In my view drinking a third or a half is not enough to judge a beer unless it's really rank. If I'd been in the Shakespeare with you I would have wanted to try all those beers but only pints. Halves and thirds are not on the agenda for me.
    Are you sure?

    I had five beers in Shakespeare's on Friday 13th: four halves (average about 6.5%) and a one-third share of a half of the 20% Taxi Vader. Total units of alcohol 7.3. If you'd been there and upgraded each beer to a pint, that would have been about 22 units, equivalent to nine pints of Bass. You'd have set your kitchen on fire this time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
    This ties in to the trend in pubs of this type to offer different volumes of beer (variously thirds, halves, two-thirds and pints) possibily according to strength or 'desirability' but mainly price. It balances out the headline price somewhat but you end up with less beer. The only good thing I can say about it is that it is less anti-social if a round is being bought!
    I agree with you that it's hard to see what's going on when looking at a board with beers priced seemingly randomly in thirds, halves, schooners and even pints. However, beers at Shakepeare's are all priced in pints, with conversion to halves, and thirds where the beer is 6% or more. They were not selling the 20% beer in pints.

    If you're drinking in rounds, it's crazy to drink a pint of 6% or more while everyone else is drinking 4%. Why not drink a bit less liquid for the same amount of alcohol? Drinking a half of a stronger beer doesn't mean you're a wuss. And even if you're a wuss, isn't that better than doing serious damage to your liver?

    Or is it just me?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    Are you sure?

    I had five beers in Shakespeare's on Friday 13th: four halves (average about 6.5%) and a one-third share of a half of the 20% Taxi Vader. Total units of alcohol 7.3. If you'd been there and upgraded each beer to a pint, that would have been about 22 units, equivalent to nine pints of Bass. You'd have set your kitchen on fire this time!
    I would have passed on some due to the price and especially the 20% one as I suspect it was probably far too sweet.
    I didn't set the kitchen on fire but managed to burn my arm on the oven rack due to my hopeless inability to make sense of a clock!
    I also tried (on a different day) a pint of an 18% dark Mikkeler beer. They were both keg and £6.00 a pint over five years ago now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    I've brought this forward from another thread:






    Now, I enjoy going to pubs (and I hope the government is paying attention, before they close them all down) for many reasons: (luckily too numerous to mention here, but could be the subject of a new thread). One of them is the chance to try new beers that some of our very inventive brewers have been coming up with in the last 10 years or more. My reason for quoting my old friend Aqualung in this context is that I don't think price is relevant when the intention is to try something never experienced before; and/or the price is justified because of the strength of the beer and the time spent in the pub drinking it.

    Here's an example: tonight I went to the Devonshire Cat quite late in the evening, knowing that they have had a few special beers on this week (Sheffield Beer week). I went for Kirkstall/Yeastie Boys Slow Show barrel aged barley wine 11.5% (a beer I have had before when visiting the Kirkstall brewery tap after a Leeds Rhinos game) and Marble Decadence barrel aged ruby porter 10.5%; 1/3 of each for £7.75; then 1/2 of Beaver Town/Queer Brewing Project Saturn black IPA 6.5% for £3.90. So I spent £11.65 and was in the pub for about 80-90 minutes drinking these delectable beverages (sipping rather than quaffing, as befits their relative strengths).

    Totting up the abv's, I reckon I had the equivalent of a pint of Black Sheep Bitter 3.8%, Jennings Bitter 3.5% and Thwaites Dark Mild (Nutty Black) 3.3%. Those could have cost me between £3.50 and £3.90 a pint, depending on where I drank them (obviously not London!), but let's say around £11 for three pints, which would have taken me a similar time to drink (quaffing rather than sipping, as befits their relative strengths).

    I think on the whole I had my money's worth from those beers, and I wouldn't have argued with paying the same overall for the three (theoretical) pints in a different pub on a different occasion. Yes, I could have imbibed the same amount of, or even more, alcohol by getting three for £5 from Tesco, or some discounted stuff at Wetherspoons, or even a bottle of wine from Aldi, but this is not about getting a buzz on; it's about the drinking experience in a pub. New tastes, or old. Gentle sipping and thinking about flavours, or necking a pint. I'm not sure that money comes into it.
    Totally agree with all of that, I wouldn't dream of paying say £12.00 a pint whatever the strength but would, and have paid £4.00 for a third of something that took my fancy on several occasions, often turning out to be my beer of the week, I think my days of drinking 12-14 pints volume on a day out are long behind me now. personally I quite like the 2 thirds measure where available for above session strength beers, I know its not cheaper in real terms, just seems like it.
    Last edited by Mobyduck; 16-03-2020 at 05:46.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I would have passed on some due to the price and especially the 20% one as I suspect it was probably far too sweet.
    ...but you would have been wrong:

    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    The beer is very dark and treacly, with a hint of elderberries on the nose. The mouth feel is almost gloopy, but the surprise is that the beer is hardly sweet at all. The dominant flavour is umami, reminiscent of marmite, presumably because of the yeast, with hints of bonfire toffee. I forgot to ask how much it cost, but in a round of three halves coming to £13.45, I would guess it was around £8 for a half.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sheffield hatter View Post
    ...but you would have been wrong:
    Maybe a pint would have become sweet.
    One thing that annoys me is how many places charge the same or very similar prices for something quite weak as something a lot stronger. JDW have abandoned their Premium price scales for guest ales and now charge the same for all guests, although their may be local exceptions. It must be even more annoying for those who won't go near stronger beers. Batham's have got it right having frozen the price at £2.45 of their weak 3.5% mild for several years now. The stronger 4.3% Best has soared to £2.95. There should be a price difference between low and high abvs without pubs just using it as an excuse to ratchet up the price of stronger beers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I would have passed on some due to the price and especially the 20% one as I suspect it was probably far too sweet.
    I didn't set the kitchen on fire but managed to burn my arm on the oven rack due to my hopeless inability to make sense of a clock!
    I also tried (on a different day) a pint of an 18% dark Mikkeler beer. They were both keg and £6.00 a pint over five years ago now.
    How about a pint of 4.3% Landlord at The Carpenters Arms - £6.00 take your fancy?

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