PoundPubs will sell beer for £1

Updated: 

Man drinking traditional pint of real ale beer.

Forget George Osborne's measly 1p off the price of a pint, a new chain of PoundPubs will offer half a pint for £1 and a pint for £1.50. Soon you could get 'more round for your pound' across the UK.

But is it a good idea?

PoundPubs

The chain will have lager, cider and bitter on sale at this price, and hopes to breathe new life into the beleaguered pub industry - which is currently selling pints for an average of £3.18.

It's the brainchild of Mike Wardell, a director of Here for Your Hospitality, which also has a 10-strong chain of traditional pubs. He is hoping to open its first PoundPub in Stockton on Tees shortly - if the council approves his application, and if the pubs are successful enough, he will consider broadening the reach of the discount chain.

The pricing policy has already been tried at one of his pubs in Manchester, and if the Stockton pub is a success, this could be his next venue for the discount brand. The aim isn't to bring in anything radically different to the high street, just to source the alcohol cheaply, concentrate on making money at low margins and eliminate unnecessary costs - like satellite TV.

Worries

The proposal has its critics. There's a chance it may fall at the first hurdle, because according to the Northern Echo, some figures on the Stockton-on-Tees council are worried that a discount pub could lower the tone of a town centre they are spending a fortune on improving.

Some campaigners are also worried that the pricing policy will encourage binge drinking. Alcohol Concern has highlighted that alcohol is more affordable than ever - and around 65% more affordable than 30 years ago. It also highlights that the number of alcohol-related admissions to the NHS is rising quickly too. They are so concerned by the trend that they have repeatedly called for the government to take action.

Defence

However, this isn't the first pub with a policy of selling cheap beer. In 2009 JD Wetherspoon ran a 99p beer promotion, which raised debate and increased the chain's sales, but didn't cause the feared carnage on the streets. Wardell has also pointed out that the pricing policy is no different to many working men's clubs, which haven't caused untold harm or caused a public outcry.

He told the Daily Mail that if people just wanted to get drunk, surely they would pay 40p at the supermarket rather than go to a pub where they wouldn't be served if they were thought to be intoxicated.

And he told The Mirror: "It is hugely popular and successful, and customer feedback has been fantastic. We are responsible retailers, and this is about giving value for money to working people."

But what do you think? Would you visit a PoundPub? is it a good idea?