THIS week I feel duly obliged to highlight the price of your pint; a perennial and popular topic of conversation in our local drinking dens, I am sure you will agree.

This often thorny issue was brought to my attention last week, with a survey conducted by the Good Pub Guide 2018. A survey that revealed the average regional price for your beery beverage.

Surprisingly, London was no longer the most expensive place to buy a pint. Knocked off its lofty perch by neighbouring Surrey. Yes, one of the home counties now ‘boasts’ the most costly regional average price - at an eye watering £4.40 a pint. The capital’s average being £4.20.

Closer to home, Lancashire, at £3.50 a pint; was deemed to be a fair-priced region - and I reckon that may have surprised a fair few who are reading this article. But should it?

Our breweries and pubs are simply being ‘pummelled’ by a collection of costs. For a start, the spiralling business rates are a major factor.

Some pubs are facing a hike of 100 per cent and in some cases, more than 200 per cent!

The duty on beer is extortionate too. You will pay about £1 (inc.VAT) on a pint costing £3 at the pump. The Chancellor’s decision to increase duty on beer for the first time in five years was a triple let down for breweries, pubs and customers alike.

Ever-increasing costs in the drinks industry; higher wage bills due to the national living wage increase last year; and a hike in the inflation rate are all contributory factors that are reflected in the price of your pint.

Here in East Lancashire we are very fortunate when it comes to average beer prices.

You will find a pint costing £2.5 to £2.70, very common. However, it frustrates me when you still witness some beer drinkers baulking at these prices; evidently giving the impression they choose ‘value’ over quality.

I fully appreciate that the price of a pint can fluctuate across the bar counter - and from pub to pub. However, I think there are some pub-goers who do not fully appreciate the amount of expense, time, effort and skill that is required to brew and dispense a pint of beer.

Brewers and pub licensees work long hours for, in many cases, small profit margins - in order to satisfy and quench our thirsts.

I can understand a few raised eyebrows on some of the average prices quoted above. However, here in East Lancashire, a £3 pint of beer, in tip-top condition for example, represents good value, in my opinion . And I hope discerning beer drinkers in the locality will agree too; after reading this column.