Tom Stainer, the chief executive of real campaign group CAMRA, says the increase in energy prices will cause running costs at pubs to increase by 500-600%, putting an enormous amount of establishments at risk of closure.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Star, Stainer said: “How much would 500% be on a £5 pint - you’re talking ridiculous amounts of money, 15 or 20 quid for a pint.”
“What you can say with surety is you can't possibly pass on these energy increases, and you can't increase the pint by 500%.”
Stainer’s comments come as trade bodies renew their call for Government help in dealing with soaring energy costs, which threatens to put thousands of hospitality businesses in jeopardy.
“Businesses need help, and they need it now. There must be an energy cap for businesses, particularly for SMEs, perhaps based on the number of employees,” according to Colin Wilkinson, managing director at the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
A survey conducted by BigHospitality' sister title The Morning Advertiser last week found that more than 70% of pub operators do not expect to make it through the winter without Government intervention.
Nearly 80% of publicans also said they could not afford the increase in energy costs.