Beer drinkers scarce around Port of Spain after price hike

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday


Hector Knolly points to the bottle of Carib beer he was drinking at Universal Bar on the Western Main Road in St James. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

Limers are not happy with the rise in prices from the Carib Brewery. Some are saying they will be switching to hard liquor as a way of keeping within their budget while liming.

Newsday visited the Universal Bar in St James, Port of Spain, where only two patrons were drinking beer.

Vashti Samlal of Diego Martin said, “I am not a beer drinker, I love my rum.

“But I do find it ridiculous that they chose such a time to increase the price. They know establishments are suffering and cannot operate at maximum capacity. This will be a deterrent for people to come out and contribute to the economy. If there are (fewer) patrons, how will bar owners pay wages?”

A bartender reaches for a cold beer from her well-stocked refrigerator at Universal Bar on the Western Main Road in St James. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

Hector Knolly, who was liming in St James, said, “It feels like I’m getting robbed. The price from the brewery went up, but I’m sure the bar is selling stock they bought last year. Why should I have to pay more for old stock? A fresh price should mean fresh beer!”

On Ariapita Avenue, a man who identified himself only as Nicholas, said he has to consider the extra cost per round, as it’s hardly likely that he’d be buying one beer while liming. He said, “By the time you buy two or three rounds for the group, your money done and pocket empty. This is just going to make more people turn to hard alcohol like puncheon to save money.”

A man purchasing beers at the Universal Bar on the Western Main Road in St James. – Photo by Sureash Cholai

A downtown limer, Ayanna Douglas, said, “I deserve shares and specials, not raised prices.”

But one bar owner said he is not too concerned about the price increase, and expects a regular crowd at his bar, as before. He said, “People like to drink and lime. They don’t care about the price. Once the place and the lime nice, they will keep coming.”