Friday, 28 June 2013



    I was in the Sheffield Tap the other day having a quick one before meeting a friend, and wanted a pint to see me sated whilst I waited.

Recently I'd opted for a pint of one of the excellent Tapped Brewing Co beers whilst there. Because they are very good, whilst also sensibly priced. Most Tapped BC beers average £3.00 a pint, broadly comparable with the Rutland nearby. Other prices, though, seem to get a bit silly. With Tapped being a rather good brewery with great hop forward (but balanced) beers in their repertoire, one wonders how that might impact on the sale of guest beers.....

I always thought the Tap guest beer policy was based on " this is rare so you will pay more" given the absurd premiums applied - the fact that numerous below HSBD beers have still been ridiculous in price can only be explained by either the pub taking the piss, the suppliers taking the piss, or the "novelty value of ales" being exploited. As a case in point, on that occasion I spotted Dark Star Porter, which I craved.....

One of the great improvements to the Tap is the willingness of staff to inform you when a price is, ahem, higher than you could reasonably expect. The beer was (following a check on the brewery website) 5.6%. It was £4.60 a pint. With this information available, I politely declined. The barman informed me "Yeah, Dark Star beers are very expensive".

Well, irrespective of whether I think that is sufficient justification, or correct, I later met Fluffy and regaled him with the tale - and he had bought the same beer the night before at the Ale House Sheffield for £2.80 a pint. And Steve the Beermeister regularly finds their beers good value at around £2.50 to £3.50 a pint in Hastings in super expensive Sussex. So, erm, WTF!?

Given the above its interesting to consider how the Tap's guest beers may fair in future. A not unusual beer at well over £1.50 above the going rate is unlikely to sell, so given the excellence and sensible pricing of the in-house beers, I wonder whether the pricing policy might backfire?

Wee Beefy.


  1. Dave in Thailand28 June 2013 at 02:48

    Retail price to the end user/you is affected by other factors besides cost of the product alone though. I can't imagine its been cheap to restore so beautifully the rooms within The Tap, and the firm may be unable to absorb these costs with any reserves of cash. Just a point worth making. You're right though, The Tap could be absurdly expensive even when I was there...

  2. If you consider Dark Star a novelty in Sheffield you need to get out more. The reason they charge more is they have a 'captive' audience.

  3. That does sound ridiculously expensive, especially for Sheffield. Having got around the country a fair bit I have realised we live in a cheap beer city, for the most part.
    The Rutland Arms is also too dear, £3.60 for their own IPA! They seem to have missed the point about affiliation with a brewery and I'm not surprised the Tap has gone the same way. No doubt they encourage each other.

  4. Now then. Thanks for your comments. I take your point Barraharri, but then the answer proffered is disingenuous - not, that Dark Star is expensive, but that ancient Victorian rooms are. I would, however, accept that as a justification, if only it could be provided. Other Dave - well, I've never personally seen Dark Star Porter anywhere - although, I concede my ABV guesstimate may be awry. And Paul, you are correct, although the beers bought by the Rutland, as far as I know, are done so as a deal between Blue Bee and a separate franchise, i.e, they are not supplied by anyone who might be involved in the brewery.