My pregnant friend Elaine misses beer. A lot. So she’s on the non-alcoholic variety, Paulaner and Beck’s being the tipples of choice.
Last Thursday, I joined her and lovely husband Kieran for dinner at Cortina’s in Dundrum. Why, she asked, was a bottle of non-alcoholic Paulener, which has no excise duty to be paid, still a hefty €6?
She’s right, of course. A bottle of non-alcoholic beer should cost no more than a soft drink. I don’t mean to single Cortina’s out; in most pubs and restaurants it costs at least the same as an alcoholic beer. Often more. Is this an open and shut case of egregious overcharging, or is there a fair reason why the permanently and temporarily teetotal are being fleeced?