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Something that's really become noticeable through 2 weeks of not drinking is the cost of beer. In case you were wondering, I pay for all my beer at Kilverts, just like the staff as well.

Apart from my own savings, I think beer is getting to a stage in Hay on Wye where it's just too expensive to drink.

There are many factors that come into play when pricing ale - obviously the cost of the ale, other overheads - rates/mortgage/staff wages. But final tweaking can be made by considering other, possibly not so obvious factors.

How many beers do you have on? Since demand for local cider and perry has grown, we've taken an ale off and made the pump available for guest ciders/perries, leaving us with 5 ales. Turnover is fine, and no beer is getting wasted. If it was, I'd either have to reduce the number of beers available, or reduce the price with an aim to stimulate more sales.

But if a customer has only got £10 to spend on ale, is it better from a landlord's point of view that they only have 3 pints or 4 pints? By reducing the price, your not going to get any more money from them - indeed they may still only have 3 pints. If they do have 4 pints, your then making more work for yourself (racking/changing beers more often) but for less reward.

Another factor is pricing in other pubs. Do you compete on price, by being 10p cheaper than the other pubs, or do you look at them and think actually, our quality and range is better than all theirs, and this list of awards proves it, so we'll make sure we're 10p more expensive than all those.

It's where I struggle a bit - and also why I think I fit in with the brewing crowd so well - mentality. For someone like me, looking at the final tweak as described above, I want to take into account what's affordable - what I think a pint is worth and that I'm happy to sell it for. I don't particularly care about the other pubs - I keep an eye to see if they are doing anything exciting, but pricing it's mainly about this pub.

My dad on the other hand, is an accountant, and any excuse to charge the highest possible price he will. And this is one of the areas I'm really struggling with at the minute.

I don't think a pint of ale is worth the amount we're charging for it - and the fact we're cheaper than other pubs in Hay doesn't excuse that.

This is a huge thing hanging over me - I know all to well how important it is to have enthused and knowledgeable staff. And I'm not at the moment.