Brewer to raise prices by 7p a pint

Some beer prices may rise after a major brewer confirmed it was increasing wholesale prices to publicans.

InBev UK said it would raise prices by an average of 7p a pint from 2 February.

The company, which brews Stella Artois, Tennent's, Castlemaine, Boddingtons and Beck's, said: "Difficult market conditions, increased commodity prices and a tough economic climate exacerbated by recent record rises in beer taxation meant that during the last year we faced numerous cost increases.

"While we have absorbed these increased costs where at all possible, we are one of a number of brewers who have unfortunately had to pass some of those increases on to our customers."

The move comes at a time of declining beer sales and pub closures, widely blamed on the credit crunch and the smoking ban.

It will be up to publicans to decide whether to pass increases from brewers on to their customers.