Minimum Alcohol Pricing: The Return of the Pub Trade?

In whats being described as a move to curb excessive drinking the Welsh Government has announced plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol, with the price being set at £0.50 per unit, which would see things like a pint of Carling having to be priced at at least £1.15, and a 440ML can at a minimum of a £1, and your double Jack and Coke will have to cost a £1. Good luck finding those sorts of prices on a night out (if you do, share the knowledge) . However, what this policy is aimed at is to cut out the binge drinking that cheaper prices in the supermarkets lead to, I mean, whats the point in going out when you can get over 30 cans for £20, save yourself cab fare and control the music?

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But with the new policy what we could see is a resurgence of pub drinking, over the past few years, thanks to the smoking ban, and cheaper supermarket prices pubs have suffered, but if it now becomes only marginally cheaper to drink at home, will we see more people returning to pubs and clubs? Maybe. A quick survey of the pubs and clubs I frequent show that very few prices would actually be affected, (the only one drink that I found that would increase was absinthe on sale for £1, which was more to do with getting rid of the bottle than a clever promotion).

So if the policy is enacted and even the cheapest of spirits in supermarkets go up in price (a 750ml 40% spirit would have to cost a minimum of £16 regardless of quality) Welsh pubs may begin to see an upturn in trade, as it only becomes marginally more expensive to go out (not factoring in taxi’s, kebabs, outfits, entry fees and the high cost of dignity).

What Will Be The Next “In” Drink?

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As a slightly more than casual drinker, you tend to notice phases when it come alcoholic drinks which are currently the popular choice of the moment. The trend at this point in time popular opinion seems to be pointed towards Gin as the big drink of the day, last year it was prosecco, when I was a teenager it was alcopops like Bacardi Breezers, Archers Aqua, Smirnoff Ice and WKD, and a few years ago it was fruity cider over ice. So when it comes to trying to discern what’ll be popular in the coming season, alcohol is a lot like clothing, you have to speculate, and generally just hope for the best. My predictions are that its likely to be one of the following.

Rum

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Rum is sexy and kind of exotic, it has the overtones of some tropical or island paradise where the waves are lapping against the shore, and the sun is always shining. Rum makes this list as I’m starting to see some more unusual brands turn up in bars and clubs throughout my surrounding area, so maybe this is a sign.

Port

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This may be more wishful thinking on my part, but more and more people are jumping on the fortified wine bandwagon, with sales of port growing at steady levels throughout 2015 and 2016, with aged tawny port being a particular favourite, with UK sales at over £79 Million maybe, just maybe if I order a port in a bar, I won’t get looked at like some kind of a freak.

Japanese Whiskey 

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Brands like Suntory are finally starting to gain traction on the UK market in fact I saw a bottle of 12 year old Yamazaki in a bar, and admittedly it was a really trendy, upmarket (i.e expensive) bar, but it was a bar in the UK nonetheless. But what may be interesting to note, is that the whiskey market in the UK has been dominated by scotch, and that swill that the yanks have the audacity to call whiskey, with a one two exceptions (like Jamesons’s Irish Whiskey) so it would be interesting to see something new, and tasty.

Advocaat 

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To be honest this is a complete wildcard, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in real life, I mean who wants an egg based drink on a night out?