Britain’s Booze Culture – The Pub Fights Back
BBC News tonight carried details of Wetherspoons‘ plans to reduce the price of a pint of beer to 99p, bringing in-pub pints back to their 1980’s levels. The anti-alcohol groups are understandably concerned but is the cost of a tipple in the local boozer a real factor in Britain’s Booze Binge culture ? Traditional pub attendance has dwindled with increasing costs of food and drink in most establishments. So, for hard-pressed landlords, these reductions are surely welcome. But will it really bring the louts back onto the streets ?
Some say the louts have never left the pub. In any event, if people want to get irretrievably drunk then these price levels will make little difference, given that supermarket booze pricing is already relatively low. Binging is more of a social problem than an economic one, and much less a feature of pub drinkers than shopping malls, off-license shops and clubs. The pricing reductions will hopefully revive the social pull of the local boozer such that families and the elderly will be tempted back into the saloons and reinvigorate a British tradition which has been far from alive and well.