According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, the price of beer cans in local shops rose by 8.5 percent year-on-year in April.
In restaurants that kept the window open during the lockdown, beer became even more expensive.”Our findings show that during the covid year, i.e. from February 2020 to February 2021, the prices of the most commonly sold beers in the Czech
restaurants rose by 12 percent. This is more than in the previous two years combined,” says Petr Menclík, the director of the Dotykačka payment system, which is used by about a quarter of gastronomic companies in the Czech Republic.
A light draft beer costs an average of CZK 31.1 in April this year, and a pint of lager cost CZK 39.2, according to statistics. The dynamic increase in prices indicates that beer will become more expensive even after the loosening of covid restrictions.
“We have not increased the prices and we are not even thinking about it, for food or beer, at least until the autumn. Then it will depend on the pricing policy of the breweries,” says Karel Doubek, the director of Adria – Neptun, which owns the U Pinkasů restaurant.
“It is also important how the competition will behave. It is not possible to increase the price by leaps and bounds, but in two years I think CZK 60 for beer in Prague will be the standard,” estimates Michal Zvěřina, the owner of the Dejvická Sokolovna restaurant and U Zívalů.
Companies that offer beer in the center for less than CZK 50, can not last long with this strategy. However, the U Glaubiců restaurant on Malostranské náměstí has been holding the price of Pilsner at CZK 36 since the second lockdown.
“Fighting the price of beer is not a losing battle, but a whole war. However, there may be some exceptions where, for example, restaurants do not have to calculate rent at all because they run the business on their own, or have highly price-sensitive customers,” explains Luboš Kastner, the director of the Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises of the Czech Republic.
However, when Kastner talks about a new standard at CZK 60, he is referring to big tourist centers, such as Prague or Brno. Asides from these cities, the price will always be lower. This is confirmed by the Znojmo Municipal Brewery in its five pubs, which offer beers from CZK 35 to 45.
“We always adjust the price of our beers after a thorough analysis of all costs. If we decide to take this step, we will first inform our business partners,” says Staropramen spokeswoman Alena Váchová.