DRINKERS might normally expect change from a fiver when they buy a pint of beer in Cheltenham.
But that could soon be a thing of the past with some of the town’s trendy bars smashing the £5 barrier for some of their pricier tipples.
Staff at All Bar One, in Montpellier, are selling imported Sierra Nevada Pale Ale for the princely sum of £5.10.
Meanwhile the Tavern, in Royal Well Place, has gone one further by offering Brooklyn lager for £6 per pint.
The news has raised concerns that London prices are starting to take over in the town.
Martyn Herbert, of the Cheltenham branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “Things do seem to be getting more expensive and £5 is a lot for most people.
“These days I don’t notice a lot of difference between prices in Cheltenham and those in London.
“But some of these really expensive beers are imported premium products which are expensive because of the duty you have to pay on them.”
While not many bars in the town have crossed the £5 barrier, plenty of others are flirting with it.
At Soho Bar, in Montpellier Street, beers range from £3.65 to £4.85 a pint while at The Retreat, in Suffolk Parade, the most expensive imported lager costs £4.50.
But those who have crossed the £5 Rubicon claim they are merely catering for people’s tastes.
Luke Wyatt, supervisor at the Royal Well Tavern, said: “I think people are happy to pay a little bit more for something special. A lot of lagers have been devalued because you can get them everywhere.
“The reason Brooklyn lager is £6 a pint is that we import it all the way from a small brewery in Brooklyn, New York, so we have to include the shipping costs in the price.
“It’s very popular with customer and you can only buy it at a handful of places.”
The sentiment was echoed by staff at All Bar One, who said the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale had been a popular addition with customers.
But if you are looking for a more affordable tipple, there are still places to go.
At St Stephen’s Sports and Social Club, Tivoli Street, you can buy a pint for just £2.50.
Malcolm Cawston, club treasurer, said: “If you’re saving £2 or £3 every time you buy a pint it can certainly start to add up.”