By Bill Heaney
The price of a pint has gone up by 20 cent in one County Kildare pub after Covid restrictions hit hospitality hard last year.
This comes as the Vintners Federation of Ireland confirmed that the vast majority of publicans would likely also be forced to up the cost of a pint in 2022.
They said that the rising cost of running a pub along with the aftermath of “severe” Covid restrictions has created a scenario where increasing the cost of pints for customers would be “difficult to avoid”.
The owner of Kavanagh’s bar in Naas said they have already increased the cost of pints in their pub after the pandemic brought about many unexpected costs such as transforming outdoor spaces as well as extra staff needed for table service.
Both Guinness and lager increased slightly with a pint of Guinness going from €5.00 to €5.20 and lager increasing from €5.30 to €5.50 a pint.
“We increased [the price] a little bit since Covid because we did a lot of work with outdoor spaces. We had to increase staff over Covid as well because we had floor service and we obviously weren’t taking in as much,” they said.
“Just the general ups and downs – closing, opening, closing – so to cover all that we increased [the price].”
The Vintners Federation Ireland confirmed that the rising cost of business – from energy to beer suppliers hiking prices – would likely mean an increase in the cost of booze for drinkers.
Speaking about the potential increase in the price of a pint, Brian Foley from the VFI, said: “There is a general increase in the cost of living across the board so it will be difficult for pubs and the wider hospitality sector to avoid such a scenario. Suppliers are increasing their prices while energy costs are soaring.
“The past two years created obvious challenges where pubs were closed or traded with severe restrictions, while staff shortages will continue to be a problem for the remainder of the year and will result in wage increases for experienced staff.
“The good news is that customers recognise that pubs provide a great service with a warm and friendly atmosphere, so it’s great to see people returning to them in large numbers over the past two weeks.”
Thousands of people have swarmed to pubs, bars and restaurants in Ireland since Covid restrictions lifted almost two weeks ago on January 22.
The 8pm curfew on the hospitality industry was lifted along with capacity restrictions and the end of the use of the digital Covid pass for pubs and restaurants.
At the end of February, the requirement to wear masks will be lifted, if the Government finds that it is no longer necessary to have them.
Sweeney’s Strand Bar in Claddaghduff, Connemara, welcomes you into the parlour, but you will have to pay a fiver plus for your pint.