A study carried out by the GMB union shows that the price of beer is far higher than can be justified by inflation and taxation alone, and blames the sky-high rents charged by the property/pub companies who own a huge number of pubs. It estimates that lager drinkers are charged an excess 80p, while the figure for ale drinkers is 65p. The article is here.
It's clear to me that pub companies don't really care whether a pub succeeds or not; if it fails, then they have a valuable piece of property to sell. When brewers owned most of the pubs, they needed them as an outlet for their products and it wasn't in their interest for their pubs to fail. Then came the Beer Orders of 20 years ago that by forcing breweries to sell most of their pubs created the present situation which has perhaps the most stupid business model going, one that has no incentive to succeed and which rewards failure. The Beer Orders were supported by CAMRA at the time, which with hindsight was a magnificent own goal, and another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
It's not really news, but it's interesting in a depressing sort of way to have one's opinions confirmed.
If you wish, you can find out how much beer has gone up above inflation since you bought your first pint by using the historical price converter in the right hand column. I entered the price of a pint of bitter in the year I went to college (13p in 1972); if beer had increased only by inflation since then, a pint would be £1.30 today!