Mixed views from limers on $1 increase on Carib beverages

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Eric Nicholson savours the taste of a beer at Kesh Bar on Mucurapo Street, San Fernando on Wednesday. – AYANNA KINSALE

Beer drinkers in San Fernando had mixed views on Carib Brewery’s decision to increase prices by $1 on many of its products.

Eric Nicholson said he has no problems with the increase, saying the covid19 pandemic has significantly affected people’s lives.

As he took a sip of his Carib beer, he said it helps deal with the stress and other issues caused by the pandemic.

He said a beer also helps get rid of gas pains, adding it breaks gas “like a lion in zion.

“It is good for the kidney and heart too. Beers help to flush out the system. Yes there is an increase, but we have to drink something,” Nicholson said.

An unidentified patron outside Kesh Bar on Mucurapo Street interrupted and suggested that Nicholson “try drinking water instead.”

The man, who had a Royal Extra Stout, said: “It is my money I am spending, so if I feel to buy a drink I will. If not, I will not. I do not have to drink because it is not food, but I drink because it cools my head.”

Patron Parry Ramlogan said he had two beers because of a special at the bar.

“Here we can get two beers for $20. One now costs $11. I do not like that the price increased because $1 is a lot for many people.”

At Qifu Tasty Deli restaurant and bar on Coffee Street, the lone patron said he usually does not drink much.

“I just paid $10 for this one. I drink on occasions,” he said, holding a bottle in a bag.

Emmanuel Nickles, who runs Beer Central at Lord Street, said the prices remain the same despite Carib Brewery’s decision.

“For the while, I choose to still sell a beer (Carib/Stag/Pilsner) for $10. It will sell out faster too. Many people do not have money because of the pandemic.

“A case of Carib now costs $175 whereas before it was $154, so the $1 increase is a lot.”

On Tuesday, a statement from Robin Cumberbatch, Carib Brewery head of sales, said the company absorbed costs throughout 2021, even in the face of spiralling raw material and shipping costs affecting operations globally.

The increase applies to Carib, Carib Pilsner, Stag, Carib Blue, Royal Extra Stout, Coors, Heineken, Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and Blue Moon.