Sunday, 19 October 2014

Unrealistic Expectations

As I sit in wetherspoons having a diet coke, I'm thinking. I really wanted to write something positive about Wetherspoons as I love it but half of what i want to say is negative.

The thing is, when they announced their craft taps of Brewdog This. Is. Lager. And Devil's Backbone IPA I was excited, and to be honest I'm still excited about there being something I'm guaranteed to drink on tap in any wetherspoons I go into. I mean, This. Is. Lager. Is a fucking stupid name but it has everything I want in a Pilsner. Devil's Backbone IPA isn't what I expected but it's delicious nonetheless. Sure, it doesn't have buckets full of hops in it but it's still delicious.

What doesn't excite me, strangely enough, is the prices. Youre probably thinking "what the fuck. How are you not excited at £3 a pint?" And I'll tell you why...

It gives people unrealistic expectations of the price of decent keg beer. See, I was excited when I was expecting both these beers to be around the £4 a pint mark... That would make it close enough to both wetherspoons prices and craft beer bar prices. Selling a beer like the brewdog lager at £3 a pint is going to make people expect that anywhere they go, good beer on keg can't be that much more expensive.

The problem is that so many people use wetherspoons as a comparison on price. If they see a beer on cask at £2.40 in wetherspoons they're going to expect it to be no more than £3.40 on cask in a regular pub. It's the pound rule. It doesn't just work for wetherspoons but for any service... Tesco are selling a sandwich for £2 so you expect it to be £3 in an independent shop.

Now people who aren't craft wankers are going to see "craft lager" or "ipa" on keg in a regular pub and be like "hang on a fucking minute... Why is this £5 a pint when I can get something similar in spoons for £3?"

So will spoons convert people to good keg?

Yes, but only in their own pubs due to presenting unrealistic expectations.

Nate 

9 comments:

  1. You've just explained the J.D. Wetherspoon 'modus operandi' as far as I'm concerned. By buying big and working on lower margins they're able to undercut other pubs massively and make it seem like they're a rip off. In many cases they're not, they're selling at a price required to sustain and hopefully grow a business and earn a living at the same time.

    It's good for beer in general that Wetherspoon are stocking these products, it'll raise awareness, get people out of their comfort zone and trying something new, maybe setting someone off on a beer journey of their own. You're right, of course, they're creating an unrealistic expectation of price but they're doing it deliberately in an effort to put the competition out of business. It's just business.

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    1. To be honest Matt, I genuinely don't believe that wetherspoons want to run anyone out of business. They know they're not going to be any real competition because if it weren't for them, their regulars would be more like tins of beer at home. I see your point though.

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  2. I think the Wetherprice is probably reasonable for something that is ultimately produced on a large scale by relatively big breweries for national distribution. It's the sort of thing I'd expect to cost 30-40% more elsewhere, which I guess is a variation on the '£1 rule'.

    Pliny it ain't, nor are they importing something from a tiny micro in Oregon and selling that for 3 quid a pop.

    As for the beers.

    DB isn't bad and I'll have it if I'm stuck in a Spoons with no cask beers I need or want. An alternative to the Sixpoint cans.

    TIL is exactly what I expected from Brewdog. Not as good as 77 lager, and, as always, they're babyfucking cunts for not making in available in cask.

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    1. Aye, that's it. They are doing good, I'm not questioning that. Maybe my point should have included the fact that brewdog sell their own beer for vastly more than someone else

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  3. You do have to wonder sometimes whether simply Spoons are right and others are wrong. My Spoons is selling bottled Punk for £2.50. Across the road it's £5. The massive price difference isn't easy to explain or justify.

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    1. The bottle prices seem a bit more understandable as you wouldn't expect to pay much more than retail

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  4. Hmm, I reckon paying much more than £4 a pint for a relatively mass-produced keg craft lager or IPA in a non-Spoons pub would be a bit of rip-off.

    Spoons' two craft keg beers are priced similarly to the premium lagers like Heineken which tend to be about £1 a pint more elsewhere.

    And I've seen others complaining that they're so much dearer than the cask!

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    1. I suppose that depends on where you're drinking - I'm regularly in pubs where you'll find something brewed on a similar size and scale at close to £5. I've gotten used to it.

      No doubt a lot of the CAMRA wankers are complaining at the price, and the fact that they can't use their vouchers.

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  5. So lets get this right. You are a consumer and you want the price to be higher? Soft lad.

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