Where can you buy the cheapest pint of lager in Cardiff city centre?

We asked some of Cardiff’s most recognisable pubs for their cheapest lager, their best value-for-money pint – and how often they are upping their prices.

THE ongoing cost-of-living crisis has made a pub trip more expensive than ever.

Brits are currently paying an average of £4.70 for a pint of lager, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

So, where can the good people of Cardiff go to find the cheapest pint of lager – and what do the bar staff at Cardiff’s most recognisable pubs recommend as the best bang-for-buck beer?

We visited 11 of Cardiff’s best boozers to ask the question.

11. The Duke of Wellington

Duke of Wellington on The Hayes. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

Cheapest lager: San Miguel (£5.80)

Best value-for-money pint: Brains Bitter (£4.10)

The prices at the Duke of Wellington went up today. Barman Will Thomas said that “the prices tend to go up by around 10 to 30 pence every year”.

Yesterday, their San Miguel was £5.55 for a pint, and their Brains Bitter was £3.95.

10. The Head of Steam

Cheapest lager: Head of Steam Lager (£5.50)

Best value-for-money pint: Fug Life Pale Ale (£4.60)

Barwoman Nell Moore says that prices have seen a  “gradual increase but are definitely getting more expensive”. Their prices last went up around November 2023.

Nell said that ales are now “far more popular with students because they’re cheaper but also still have a similar alcohol percentage to lagers”.

9. Rummer Tavern

Cheapest lager: Carling (£4.80)

Best value-for-money: Guinness (£5.30)

Guinness, which has been hugely popular of late around St. Patrick’s Day, is the best value-for-money pint at the Rummer Tavern. The Tavern, which boats an ideal location just opposite Cardiff Castle, has been called a “hidden gem” by punters.

8. Blue Bell

The Blue Bell on St Mary Street. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

Cheapest lager: Carling (£4.05)

Best value-for-money pint: Guinness (£5.25)

Located just opposite Temple Bar, The Blue Bell is one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs.

Barman Eddie said that his best value-for-money pint was Asahi: “Despite being six pounds, it’s incredibly popular,” he said.

7. Old Arcade

Cheapest lager: Carling (£4.50)

Best value-for-money pint: Barry Island IPA (£4.65)

The Old Arcade is a traditional pub situated near Cardiff Market, on Church Street. The Barry Island IPA, which customers at the Arcade assured us is “lovely”, is what one of the bar staff rated their best value-for-money pint.

6. City Arms

Cheapest lager: Carling (£4.20)

Best value-for-money pint:  Birra Moretti (£5.80)

Just around the corner from Queens Vaults, on Quay Street, The City Arms is a traditional pub which has continually changing guest beers from around Wales. A member of the bar staff at the pub told us that their four for £10.50 Jager Bombs are popular with punters.

5. The Owain Glyndwr

The Owain Glyndwr on St John Street. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

Cheapest lager: Carlsberg (£4.10)

Best value-for-money pint: Strongbow original (£4.95)

Located on St John Street, the Glyndwr is known for showing sports on its 30 TV screens. A special thanks should be given to barman Edward Townson, who recommended Strongbow as the best value-for-money and gave it to us on the house.

4. The Cambrian Tap

Cheapest lager: Amstel (£4.70)

Best value-for-money pint: Asahi (£6)

The Cambrian Tap is where St Mary Street meets Chippy Alley, so it sees plenty of footfall.

Barman Flo recommended the Brains Bayside lager as another bang-for-buck pint. When asked why, Flo said “because it’s Welsh”.

3. The Borough Arms

Cheapest lager: Fosters (£3.50)

Best value-for-money pint: Carling (£4)

The Borough Arms was actually recommended to us by another pubgoer earlier on.

The barwoman Kylie said that Birra Moretti is by far their best-seller, but they’re still trying to keep prices down.

“Prices are going up week on week when we buy in from the brewery. Things just seem to go up and up,” she said.

2. Temple Bar

Temple Bar on St Mary Street. Credit: Caleb Tutt.

Cheapest lager: Fosters (£3)

Best value-for-money pint: Fosters (£3)

Although more used to serving Guinness, barwoman Beth Kyros said that Fosters definitely had the best bang for buck, but prices at Temple Bar have gone up.

“The prices last went up a few months ago by about 20p on most spirits and pints but we still have some on the £3 pint deal,” said Beth.

1. Queens Vaults

The Queens Vaults on Westgate Street. Credit: Holly Morgan.

Cheapest lager: Carlsberg (£2.95)

Best value-for-money: Carlsberg (£2.95)

Queens Vaults offers the cheapest lager on offer in any of the pubs in Cardiff’s city centre. The £2.95 Carlsberg is five pence cheaper than the £3 Fosters on sale at Temple Bar. Located at 29 Westgate Street, Vaults is on the doorstep of the Principality Stadium and is a popular spot for live sport and also has three pool tables.

So, after our in-depth session (Editor: “You mean ‘investigation'”) the cheapest pint of lager in the city centre is the Carlsberg at the Queens Vaults for £2.95.

The most expensive offering we found was the San Miguel at the Duke of Wellington, which cost £5.80, although pricier pints can certainly be found elsewhere in Cardiff.

Regardless of price, costs are rising for pubs across the country. From heating bills to wholesale kegs, pubs either have to put up the prices or pull down the shutters.

So wherever your local is, give it a visit and show some support.


Join Gethin and Caleb on their hunt to find the cheapest pint of lager in Cardiff’s city centre. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🍺💰 Video by Holly Morgan #Cardiff #beer #pint #fyp #PremiereRush

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