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Cheers! Shropshire beer is the cheapest in the land

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Beer prices in Shropshire are officially the cheapest in the UK.

The price of beer across the UK differs by more than £1 a pint – with Shropshire and Herefordshire having the cheapest drinks.

A pint in Shropshire costs less than £3.40, compared with £4.44 in London, the most expensive area for pub-goers.

The average pint of beer across Britain has increased by 9p over the past year to £3.69, according to the new edition of the Good Pub Guide.

Pubs brewing their own beer are cheaper, selling a pint for £3.26, the research found.

While a pint in Shropshire and Herefordshire will cost on average £3.37, drinkers will typically cost people in Staffordshire £3.40, Yorkshire £3.42 and Northamptonshire £3.44, said the guide. The average cost of a pint in Wales is £3.48.

The most expensive were London at £4.44, Surrey and Hertfordshire at £3.97, Berkshire and Sussex, both £3.93, and Kent at 3.88.

Harvest

While prices in Shropshire are relatively cheap, the price of a pint has risen sharply in recent years. And there are fears that prices could jump again this autumn because of a difficult barley harvest.

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Gin and whisky could also be affected by difficulties caused first by the Beast from the East and later from the heatwave.

Experts are predicting a 30 per cent drop in the amount of barley that has grown this year compared to last year.

Fiona Stapley, editor of the Guide, said pubs had faced rising costs over the past year – including more expensive raw material, increased business rates and rents and higher staff wages.

She said: “We should all be supporting our local pub, because how boring would high streets be with just coffee shops?”

The Guide, now its 37th edition, is published by Ebury Press, featuring more than 5,000 pubs following pub-goers’ recommendations, backed up by editor inspections.

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