Pissed for a quid

by Beer

Britains are paying less at the supermarket for beer than they are paying for cola or water.  You can get legally drunk for less than a quid.  Some are saying that this is fueling Britain’s “binge-drinking crisis”.  Of course this criticism fails to note that cola is cheaper than water as well.

uk supermarket beer

Anarchy in the U.K. - all for under a quid! (Image by Andrew Coats)

The reason is that three major markets, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, are in the midsts of a beer price war.  Beer is so cheap right now due to the price battle that the stores are paying more in taxes than they are charging for the beer.  Financial experts calculate that the stores are losing 8p per can.

There is some suggestion that there is a link between price and consumption.  When the beer is cheaper, people drink more (in other news – the sky is blue). In Finland their consumption went up 11% when the taxes were lowered 40%.

Many groups claim that the lower prices will encourage many to drink more, including children (is it because their milk costs more than beer?).

Professor Mark Bellis, the UK’s leading adviser on alcohol, said: “Of 15-year-olds, nearly two-thirds have drunk in the past four weeks, and around one in seven of those drinkers consumed enough to vomit.”

Supermarket spokesmen have pointed out that most of the alcohol purchased were part of the normal household shopping.  A Sainsbury spokesman pointed out: “The vast majority of our customers who buy alcohol do so as part of their regular, large grocery shop”.

It is illegal to sell to anyone under 18 years of age in the UK.

Don’t miss anything

New articles are out regularly and new videos come out every week. Make sure you subscribe!

Credits and Links

  • none



DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!