£8 a Pint?! Not in Manchester (yet!)

From backstreet boozers to some of the city's most respected independent eateries, we've managed to find pints of beer that won't break the bank.

By Ben Brown | June 21st '22

Last week the UK papers reported on pubs charging £8 for a pint of lager.

This sort of news would have anyone over the age of 50 tutting incessantly. In fact, even as a man in his 30’s I did a double-take, before realising that it’s not actually that surprising, whilst throwing another tire on the fire in my front room to keep warm.

8 quid for a pint isn’t totally unheard of. In fact, I once paid £8.45 for a pint of beer in one of Manchester’s trendy craft joints just last year. It was 10% and really, really good though – so once I’d picked myself up off the floor and had a little cry – I managed to enjoy it.

It really just seems like a Central London thing at the moment, with the average pint of beer across the UK coming in at £3.95, which is up from £2.30 back in 2008 according to new figures from hospitality industry tracker CGA, who check more than 5,500 random bars and pubs of the 90,000 in the UK.

Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the £8 pint looks to be an inevitability up here at some point, as the cost of living continues to rise, alongside inflation, fuel costs and seemingly everything else in the world. But fear not, prices aren’t THAT bad up here in Manchester yet, and you can still grab yourself a cheap pint in many of the city’s thriving independent bars and pubs.

So here are the cheapest pints in the city for you – some of which are only available on happy hours, but details are in there about those too…

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar (£3.40)

Even though we certainly don’t agree with Humphrey Smith’s insistence that his pubs remain both swearing and mobile phone free, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a cheaper pint in the city centre than at Sinclair’s Oyster Bar. A pint of Taddy Lager will set you back £3.40, but you could go for Alpine Lager which is even cheaper, but only 2.8% ABV.

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW
0161 834 0430

 

Trof NQ (£3.50)

From Monday to Friday between the prime drinking times of 4pm and 9pm, Trof have their Happy Hour where you can get a crisp pint of their 4.3% pilsner for just £3.50. They also do spirit + mixer for that price too in their happy hour, as well as selected cocktails for £5.

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YES (£3.45)

There was a time back ‘in the good old days’ when a pint of Amstel at YES would set you back a measly £2.95. Nowadays though, it’ll set you back a still very reasonable £3.45. Considering this is the price all the time, on every floor, every day – that’s still fantastic.

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Bunny & Junior Jacksons (£3)

The mint happy hour at both Bunny’s and Junior’s features a pint of house beer for just £3. It’s on every day, including weekends from 5pm – 7pm. Don’t forget that you can also get sliders for £1 and chicken wings for just 20p in here – the perfect place to ride out this cost of living crisis.

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Black Dog (£3.50)

Descend the stairs of Black Dog underneath Afflecks between 4pm and 8pm Sunday – Friday, and you’ll be greeted with a truly excellent happy hour – where you can get a pint of Amstel for just £3.50. Perfectly paired with a box of grub from Salt & Pepper and a few games of pool.

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Koffee Pot (£3.50)

One of the city’s most iconic caff’s and more recently a truly excellent evening bar spot, The Koffee Pot offer up pints of lager for £3.50 during their happy hour from Thursday to Sunday, 4pm – 7pm. It’s also worth noting that the beer garden out back is proper decent, and Birria Brothers tacos the perfect accompaniment to any cold pint.

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Twenty Twenty Two (£2.80)

Contender for the cheapest pint in the city, and right up there as the cheapest in the NQ, Twenty Twenty Two’s happy hour unveils a pint of pilsner for just £2.80! It’s available Monday to Friday, from 4pm – 7pm – so perfect for after works drinks.

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NAM (£3)

This Ancoats eatery isn’t just a fantastic Vietnamese food spot, but there’s also a great bar in here serving some really rather innovative and unique cocktails. In addition, the basement is an audiophile’s dream, with one of the best sound systems in the city and a varied calendar of gigs and events. What’s more, you can also get a pint of NAM Pilsner during their happy hour for just £3. That’s Monday – Friday between 4pm and 7pm.

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Eagle Inn (£3.50)

Blackfriars’ Eagle Inn is a phenomenal backstreet boozer, made even better with their cheap beers. Every day from 4pm – 7pm you can get your hands on ANY pint for just £3.50. I must recommend a pint of Diamond here – it’s the strong stuff and will have you feeling merry in no time.

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Credit: Manchester Pub Pioneer

Bricklayers Arms (£2.70)

Contender for the cheapest pint in the city, and up there as one of its most colourful boozers, the Bricklayers in Ordsall is truly unique, staffed by absolute saints and filled with characters most times of the day or night. It’s a JW Lees pub and so you can get a pint of Crystal in here for just £2.70.

Bricklayers Arms, 146 Ordsall Ln, Salford M5 3TP
0161 834 4699

 

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Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, and the further outside of the city centre you get then you’re more likely to get a pint for less. What this does show though is that you can still get a pint for the national average in the city centre, and we’re not completely looking at £6-8 pints as the norm (just yet). It’s also worth noting that as the cost of drinks (and food) continues to rise, prices are sure to continue to be forced upwards too.

For the city’s independents it’s becoming increasingly difficult to be competitive against the larger pub chains when it comes to price, so instead concentrate on the quality, the customer service, the experience, and knowing that your hard-earned cash is going back into the Manchester economy and not some random hedge fund manager in Canary Wharf.