Wetherspoons is famous for lots of things – pensioners, teenagers and carpets, to name a few – but most of all, it’s known for its cheap booze. The cheapest of booze. And the price of a Wetherspoons pint is about to be slashed even further.
Throughout November, the pub chain will roll out 99p drinks across 671 branches in England. Three drinks will be available with a sub-quid price tag: a pint of Ruddles Best, a bottle of Beck’s and a 25ml measure of Bell’s whisky with a mixer.
Due to minimum unit price restrictions, the Ruddles pint will cost £1.10 in Scotland and Wales, though the Bell’s and Beck’s will still be priced at 99p. Alcohol-free customers will be able to buy hot drinks – with free refills – for 99p.
Luckily for Londoners, the capital is dotted with a few very grand ’Spoons. There’s the Crosse Keys in Bank, with its marble columns and circular bar, the extravagantly high-ceilinged Knights Templar in Fleet Street and the splendid cream-and-gold Hamilton Hall in Liverpool Street.
Wetherspoons’ price cut comes at a time of rising costs in the booze industry. Hospitality businesses across the country have suffered from supply-chain shortages, understaffing and the current energy costs crisis. Londoners have been warned that a £6 pint could become the norm.
In recent years, Wetherspoons has had troubles of its own. Not only did the chain make a record loss of £154.7 million last year, but its lockdown-sceptic, pro-Brexit owner Tim Martin has seemingly alienated whole swathes of the political spectrum. Some particularly disappointed pubgoers have even made an app called Neverspoons to help other drinkers better support independent pubs and bars.
But maybe those people might be tempted back by 99p pints – it is, after all, about a sixth (!) of the price of a pint almost anywhere else in the capital at the mo.