Monday, 2 March 2015

Very poor at the Peacock


         despite recent moans, this post isn't in fact, about my current financial status. I mean, it may well be in two weeks time but at present I am getting by OK. Instead, this is a post about a practice which occurs in some pubs and not others. Its a practice that I can see no justification for, and, had I not noticed, would have, at least made me marginally more poor.

Yesterday me and Tash found ourselves in Bakewell. As far as I know all Bakewell's pubs (so I am not counting the Thornbridge selling bar by the river) sell real ale, and often the best choice has been at one pub, the Peacock. As we had an hour or two to fill we went in the Peacock, based on previous experiences, and ordered a pint and a half - Peak Ales Chatsworth Gold , which is 5% I think. This came to a rather surprising £5.60 but we didn't really think about it until later.

As a guzzler I was well ahead of Tash and so went back to the bar for a quick last one and ordered a half of Peak Ales Swift Nick. This is a slightly less pale 3.8% session beer. The barman pulled me a pint, which I pointed out was not what I wanted, then he poured half into the correct sized glass and asked for £2.00 which I gave him without thinking - although I didn't know it was so weak and had been thinking it was stronger. Even so, £4.00 a pint for a local real ale is steep.

After returning to sit in the snug with Tash I figured the barman had made an error. Well, two, if you count assuming I wanted a pint. So as Tash left I went to the bar and asked, politely, how much Swift Nick was. I was told it was £3.60 a pint - they all were. I asked him, and a barmaid now as well, why he had charged me £2.00 a half and he said "because that's how we do it".

So, a drinker wanting only a hakf - maybe a car driver, someone elderly, someone who simply didn't want another pint, pays an extra 20 pence. Just for having a half. What? The actual?

With Tash waiting outside I plumped not to ask further questions of the barman, or manager or landlord, who looked very much like he wanted an argument, so I walked out, but then fumed about it for the rest of the night. People have previously claimed to me that half pint glasses cost more to wash up so you round up the cost by 5p to cover that. This is absurd. Others have told me that it is to "encourage" drinkers to have pints, like in my post here (although that isn't stated, but someone said it might be the thinking. Whatevs...).

Whichever unlikely reason you attribute its an extra tax to pay which you shouldn't have to. There is no justification for ripping off people drinking a half. If the bar person had been honest and warned me (two halves, different staff) that would have made a difference. If the price list (and there is one) records it that is marginally better, although I didn't look at it because the writing is too small. However, to just say "that's how we do it" is terrible customer service, and is neither an explanation nor justification.

I don't know what your experiences of paying extra for a half are but I'm willing to bet that you weren't told about the needless surcharge first, and also, that it didn't amount to an extra 20p on an already overpriced beer. Luckily, other Bakewell hostelries came to our rescue.

In the meantime, my advice is, don't go to the Peacock. Not even for once of their bargain £23.00 12oz steaks.....

Wee Beefy


  1. Nobody wants 5p pieces in their pocket. Horrible things. In my pub a half of a £3.90 beer is £2.

    And, yes, a half does cost you more: you're giving someone full use of your facilities that cost you so dear, and yes you have to wash the glass etc. In other countries the price of a large v small beer is invariably not based on the exact millilitres dispensed.

  2. Stanley Blenkinsop10 March 2015 at 23:04

    Work on the principles that most landlords are robbing bastards and you won't go far wrong.
    There really isn't any justification for charging more for half a pint. None whatsoever.Despite whatever weasely,misanthropic excuse they all come up with which is usually " everyone else does it. "
    Fuck 'em, that's why so many are going out of business and good riddance.