The Pub Beer Price Index

Image of beers

As specialists in holiday rentals, we know first hand how important price is for most people when choosing a holiday destination, both in terms of transport and accommodation. Understanding the cost of goods and products on the ground is also fundamental – there’s no worse feeling than arriving at your destination and discovering things are more expensive than expected. A cold pint of beer on holiday is a wonderful thing, but it might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth if it costs the earth. This thought led us to the realisation that the price of beer is a pretty good indicator of how expensive a place is.


With this in mind, we decided to put together a Pub Beer Price Index to show how much a pint costs in 30 top cities in the UK and in the 50 most popular holiday destinations for British tourists. The results show which places pull the priciest pints, and where you get the best value for money at home and abroad.

UK Map - Top 5 - Beer Index UK

In the eyes of the world, Britain is the home of the pub, and for visiting tourists pubs provide a portal into an authentic part of the nation’s cultural fabric. Indeed, at their peak in 1577, it is estimated that there was a pub for every 200 people, possibly or possibly not providing a source of inspiration for a youthful William Shakespeare. Nowadays, there are just over 40,000 pubs in the UK, working out at around one for every 1,666 people.

The pandemic has been especially hard on pubs, many of which are local institutions with histories dating back centuries. Over 380 pubs have closed down permanently, while lockdown-related closures meant up to 87 million pints of beer were poured down the drain, enough to give each adult in the UK 1.97 free pints, or fill 19 Olympic swimming pools if you prefer.

2021 has been the year of the staycation and a chance to see the best of Britain, with 62% of Brits planning to spend their main holiday on home soil, up from 50% in 2019. On top of this, pubs were able to enjoy the bump of Euro 2020 even with reduced capacities; an estimated 13 million pints were served on the day of the Euro 2020 final alone, including 7.1 million pints during the match, working out at around 1,000 pints per second.

But for some people, staycations don’t suffice and the pull of the continent is too strong to resist. If you’re travelling abroad, perhaps you’ll partake in the firmly established tradition of a pre-flight tipple at the airport. There aren’t many more eye-catching sights than an airport pub filled to the brim with thirsty Brits, knocking back the first pint of the holiday as the sun comes up over the runway.

Most airport drinkers hope it will be the final pint of British prices, and that their wallets will get some welcome respite once they reach their destination. Happily, this is true for 76% of the locations featured in the index.

To carry out the study, we first looked at the top rated pubs in each location in the UK, taking the price of a pint of the cheapest lager as well as the prices of a pint of popular lager and a dark beer.

Next, to gauge what is on offer at the cheaper end of the market, we found the prices of the equivalent drinks at Wetherspoons pubs in each location.

With this data, we were then able to work out the average price of a pint in each city, and to calculate how much it would cost to buy 6-pints and 3-pints in every UK location.

Following this, we identified the top rated pub in each of the 50 foreign holiday destinations. To allow for equal comparison, we found the price of the cheapest pint of lager and the prices of a pint of popular lager and dark beer in each place.

The result is an index of beer prices that compares pubs in the UK and around the world, revealing where you do and don’t need deep pockets to have your fill.

Data legends UK Results

UK Ranking

Cities - Top 5 - UK Cities

International Ranking

World Map - Top 5 - Beer Index Global
Cities - Top 5 - Global (2)
Data legends International Results


City selection – 30 British and 50 International tourist destinations

The Pub Beer Price Index analyses and compares the price of a pint of beer in 80 locations popular with British tourists. 30 of the top British towns and cities were selected according to size and media research on domestic tourism, in addition to the top 50 most visited holiday destinations for British tourists according to outbound tourism statistics. The final index shows the prices of different types of beer in a range of UK and global cities.


  • Cheapest Lager (Pint)
  • Popular Lager (Pint)
  • Popular Dark Beer (Pint)
  • Average Price of a Pint
  • Average Price of 6-Pints
  • Average Price of 3-Pints


Top Rated Pubs

The pubs in the Top Rated category were selected for their popularity on rating and review sites, with the following sources used to identify the top rated pubs in the UK and abroad:

  • Three Best Rated (UK-only)
  • Tripadvisor
  • Google reviews (4-star rankings or more, going from highest to lowest)

For price representation, a sample of 2 pubs was taken for UK cities and 1 pub for global cities.The pub names and rankings are available on request.


Beer Price Data Collection

The price of a pint of beer in Top Rated pubs was accessed by analysing drinks menus and/or contacting pubs directly via social media. In the case that a pub did not have a menu and/or did not answer on social media, we moved down the top list until a pub with the required information was found.

Beer Profile

For the purpose of this study, we selected two types of draught beer:

Lager (e.g. Stella Artois, Heineken)
– This sample was then categorised into the following subtypes: Cheapest Lager (the cheapest on the menu) and Popular Lager, which represents the top-selling beer brands that have global reach (e.g. Amstel, Budweiser, Heineken, Stella Artois, etc.).
Popular dark beer (e.g. Guinness)

Prices and Quantity

Prices were collected in the local currency and converted to GBP. The beer quantity and unit sizes were collected in local measurements and converted into the equivalent of a British pint (568ml).

UK-specific – Wetherspoons

It would be remiss to carry out a research study of British pubs without including Wetherspoons, a chain renowned for its low prices with almost 1,000 pubs in every corner of the UK. To allow for like-for-like comparison, prices for the same beer profiles mentioned above (Cheapest Lager, Popular Lager, Popular Dark Beer) were collected for Wetherspoons pubs in every UK location. The Cheapest Lager represents a single sample of the cheapest Lager available, while the Popular Lager category takes into account the combined average price of a pint of Carlsberg, Heineken and Stella Artois.

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