Thursday, August 13, 2009

Has Ossett Got It Wrong?

Yesterday, whilst drinking in the Rat and Ratchet, I was surprised to see something that had been staring me in the face for quite a while. Let me explain.

Several months ago, Ossett stopped using Taylors as a regular supplier of beer to their pubs, I assume this was a management decision at the brewery, not one made arbitrarily by the landlords themselves. As a result, one stopped seeing 'Landlord' on the bar in Ossett pubs, being replaced by Fuller's 'London Pride' - at least it was in the Rat.

Normally it is a beer I tend to avoid, not for any particular reason, it is just that it is fairly common and I tend to go for something a bit out of the ordinary, plus I am not over thrilled by the taste. When there was nothing on the bar yesterday to whet my appetite, I thought I may just venture towards the 'Pride' and give it a go. I thankfully saw the error of my ways before I ordered, noticing on the chalkboard that it was priced at £2.55 (a 4.1% beer!), and stepped back in amazement.

I know all the arguments about paying a premium price for a premium product but this was a little over the top, even for Ossett. I have no idea how much 'Pride' they sell, but at this price, I would think not very much. In fact I don't recall ever seeing any sold. I assume they must sell some otherwise it wouldn't be there but surely someone must realize it's a little overpriced compared to other things on the bar.

This is not meant to be a criticism of Sam who does a good job at the pub and has made it into a haven for cider drinkers with a range of interesting and changing ciders and perrys, and though I don't drink them I have always heard positive comments. The food there is also coming on in leaps and bounds under deputy Rob's watchful eye. My concern is that is that their core product is beer, and if they are not careful they may have customers voting with their feet and heading to places with cheaper alternatives (of which there are several locally) - and that would not be in the pub's or the brewery's best interests.

16 comments:

Tom said...

Wow - I had to read this a few times to make sure I'd got it right. Amazed to find there are places in the UK where £2.55 is considered way too much for a pint.

Where I am (Birmingham) I'd be pretty chuffed to find somewhere charging that... I need to move!

Anonymous said...

Seen quite a bit of it sold in the Rat but it's a bit of a luxury item around here. Get to the Commercial in Slawit for their house beer from Empire at £1.90 - great value for a really lovely pint!

Northerner said...

The campaign for cheap ale strikes again! Come on...that's at least 60 pence cheaper than it would cost in London. £2.55 is not too much for a pint of 4.1% beer these days. Apparently the supermarket sells cheap beer if you don't want to pay for cask conditioning...

Anonymous said...

Fullers is expensive - fact. You should always support local breweries and thereby help keep their prices reasonable.

Will said...

Doubt Ossett have a lot of choice in what they charge for the stuff. Can see it disappearing just like Taylors during this recession. On the flip-side I wonder what Fullers are charging for Ossett at their pubs?

Leigh said...

Leeds view - we have plenty of £2.55 pints - i'd be surprised to see one below £2.30 nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Northerner - my job if in London would pay 20% more, so these are London prices!

Festa said...

Friend of mine who lives in Canonbury (near Islington) sent me a text the ther day his local which has been shut for probably 2 years reopen after a massive refurbishment Golden Best & Landlord on the bar at £3.90. Not sure if that is the GB or the LL but either way seriously expensive.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that beer in West Yorkshire is often cheaper than in other parts of the country, my complaint is that pro rata, Fullers is more expensive for its strength than any other beer on the bar at the Rat.
However, should my comment about price attract those who pay more, why not try a visit to the up and coming beer capital of the world, and see what us Yorkies have to offer
Timbo

Anonymous said...

Fullers beers cost per firkin a significant amount more than beers from local brewers, more than 20% more in many cases, so you could say it is quite cheap really. I think Fullers/Gales beers are 10p above the standard ABV prices in Ossett pubs

Anonymous said...

What does a little over the top, even for Ossett mean?

This phrase caries negative connotations that I can only assume is a pre exsisting opinion of the brewery.

Timbo said...

I was not intending to make any detrimental comments about Ossett's pricing policy,in general.That is entirely a matter for them. Whether I agree or disagree is irrelevant, my comment was purely in respect of the pricing of 'London Pride',in one pub in the Ossett empire.
I drink regularly in Ossett pubs and as far as I am aware I have no 'pre existing options' of the brewery.
My comments were not meant to be critical in general, just in the specific case I have highlighted. If it has caused offence I apologize, I am just concerned that Ossett drinkers may vote with their feet should this become the rule rather than the exception.

daveyravey said...

Ossett Brewery have always charged a premium on Fuller's, as they did with Taylor's before. In my opinion Pride is better than Landlord.
I don't drink it very much though......because of the price! Now London Porter, I drink every time when it's in, whatever the price. Somethings are worth spending money on.

Anonymous said...

Fullers London Porter on at the Rat today.

£2.80 per pint :)

Sam.

Timbo said...

Didn't dare blog that...!!! Timbo

Anonymous said...

It just lasted until the Sunday.
Sam.