The days of draught beer costing around thirty korunas are long gone. Today, the average price for a chilled half-liter has surpassed fifty korunas. The steepest prices are in Prague, where people pay almost thirteen korunas more on average. These figures come from Dotykačka, a cash register system operator, and warn of further price increases.
Significant price variations exist amongst different regions. While in Prague, draught beer costs an average of 62.90 korunas, in the Plzen Region, it comes to 53.50 Kč, and in the Moravian-Silesian Region, it costs “only” 46.40 Kč. Even in the smallest municipalities across the republic, the average price has exceeded 45 korunas.
Since 2019, according to Dotykačka, the price of draught beer has risen by more than a third. Consequently, pubs have been losing patrons for some time now. Regulars are consuming substantially less. Tomáš Korčák, the operator of U Berňáku restaurant in Olomouc, told Novinky: “The best used to drink twelve, fourteen beers. If someone drinks seven today, they are considered a hero. And young people don’t drink beer as much.”
A tax hike is expected in January, causing prices to rise even further. For instance, the price of twelve-degree beer at U Berňáku will rise from 41 korunas to 46 korunas due to increased value-added tax. “I have no other choice,” Korčák noted. Notably, some pub owners have slightly adjusted their prices in recent weeks in anticipation of the January increase.
The trend of emptying pubs, which began after the COVID pandemic, has hit rural pubs the hardest. Hundreds have closed, some are balancing on the edge of survival, and occasionally, municipalities help save them for their social role. Pubs in cities fare better, with restaurants in Prague filled during lunch and dinner, thanks to tourists and locals.
In conclusion, the price of draught beer in the Czech Republic is rising, with further increases expected due to tax changes. This has already impacted the pub culture, with fewer people consuming beer and pubs, especially in rural areas, where people are struggling to survive. It remains to be seen how these changes will affect the Czech beer scene in the long run.