How Much Cheaper is Homebrewed Beer Compared to a Pub Pint?

Just how much could you save by brewing your own beer vs buying pints at the pub? It might be more than you think. Read on for more.

BEER

Mat Stuckey

9/28/20233 min read

two person sitting on bar stool chair in front of bar front desk
two person sitting on bar stool chair in front of bar front desk

Brewing your own beer at home can be a fun, rewarding hobby. It also offers the opportunity to produce great-tasting craft beer for a fraction of what you would pay at your local pub. But exactly how much cheaper is a pint of homemade brew compared to one ordered at a bar or restaurant?

Let's break down the cost difference.

The Rising Price of a Pub Pint

Over the past decade and a half, the average price of a pint of beer in UK pubs and bars has steadily risen. Back in 2008, a pint would set you back around £2.30 on average. Fast forward to 2023 and the average price has jumped to £4.21 per pint, a 83% increase (Finder UK)

Location plays a major role as well. In trendy London pubs, drinkers have been met with eye-watering prices nearing the £8 mark for a single pint. Across the country, the cost of a lager pint increased nearly 12% in 2022 alone as suppliers passed on rising production costs, this only continued in 2023 with another 6.5% increase.

For consumers, this means less value for money when enjoying a drink at the local watering hole. Price hikes have outpaced both inflation and wage growth, making that pub pint an increasing strain on the wallet.

chart showing price difference between homebrew and pub beer by the pint
chart showing price difference between homebrew and pub beer by the pint

The Affordable Alternative: Homebrewing Your Own

In contrast to rising pub prices, brewing your own beer at home can deliver huge savings per pint. According to homebrew cost calculators, the average price per pint of homemade brew is between £0.52 and £1.16. That's up to 75% cheaper than current average pub prices.

The exact savings depend on several factors:

  • Recipe and ingredients - More basic recipes keep costs down versus complicated craft styles. Buying in bulk yields better value.

  • Efficiency and yields - Higher efficiency means more usable beer per batch, lowering the per pint price.

  • Reusing yeast - Harvesting and reusing yeast saves significantly compared to buying new yeast regularly.

  • Equipment - Startup costs can be minimal with basic gear and improvisation. Fancy systems increase investment.

  • Skill level - New brewers may waste more ingredients until they refine their process. Experience brings efficiency.

Even on the high end of cost estimates, a homebrew pint still clocks in at about £1.16. Compare that to £4.21 at the pub, and you’re still saving over 260% per pint by brewing yourself.

Cost-Saving Tips for Frugal Homebrewing

For the budget-conscious homebrewer, a few tactics can maximise savings:

  • Buy base malt in bulk quantities and make use of high alpha acid hops for efficiency.

  • Start with basic extract kits before moving to more advanced all-grain recipes.

  • Reuse yeast harvested from previous batches instead of buying new each time.

  • Take advantage of used equipment deals through homebrew clubs or online exchange groups.

  • Rinse and reuse bottles; clean and store hops properly between uses. Avoid waste.

With some economical practices, it's possible to reduce the cost per pint closer to that £0.50 floor. And you’ll still end up with fresh, high-quality beer made just how you like it.

Enjoy World-Class Beer on a Budget

While pub drinkers face ever-rising prices, homebrewing allows you to produce beer on a budget. With the average pint costing just £1 or less to produce, the savings versus prices charged in bars and restaurants can exceed 250%. That makes homebrewing an extremely cost-effective way to enjoy great beer.

Next time you pull up a stool at your local pub and wince at the tap price for a pint, remember that you could be enjoying the same quality beer for a fraction of the cost simply by brewing it yourself at home. The power to take control of your beer budget is right at your fingertips.

Want more homebrew tips and information? Head over to the Brewpedia blog now!