In 1989, the average cost of a basic pint of lager in a British pub was just over one pound. Last year that stood at 2.8 pounds sterling. Now the British Beer & Pub Association is warning that soon could be headed to as much as four pounds a pint.
The BBPA blames the forecast increases on poor barley harvests in eastern Europe and Russia and a whopping 26% increase in beer duties over the past two years.
Britain is bracing for hefty across-the-board price increases on everything from gasoline to bread. Russia's wheat failures and the resulting export ban, blamed on drought, have sent world prices soaring. Higher taxes on petroleum are predicted to see gasoline prices climb steadily through 2011.
While the Cameron government plainly cannot be held responsible for Russia's wheat collapse, it is in the crosshairs for the mess Tony Blair left in embracing all things American, including casino capitalism. I still don't know how he's going to get past the beer thing.