LOCAL drinkers could soon face being charged £10 A PINT, a bar boss warned this week.

Stewart Grant, owner of The Three Reasons and The George in Largs, says he is already forking out £50,000 a year to keep the lights on and warned that drink prices could rocket without government intervention to combat the energy price crisis.

He spoke out as six of the country's largest breweries prepare to pleaded with politicians for help, insisting 'irreversible damage' will be done to the hospitality industry without support.

Stewart added: "It is a massive concern.

"It is frightening and something needs to be done.

"We want people to come to the pub and save on their own costs at home - but the bills are about to become ridiculous.

"There has been talk in the industry that the average cost of a pint could rise to £10 if things keep going the way they are. We have already had to have three price increases during the past year as opposed to one.

"The trade has little option but to pass some of the costs onto the customer, and a lot of hard decisions will need to be made unless there is a support package to help."

Brian Flanagan, owner of the Village Inn in Fairlie, says the outlook is bleaker than during the peak of the pandemic - and agreed help will be crucial for businesses to stay afloat.

He said: "It is very difficult and everyone is feeling the pinch.

"We have to re-evaluate our business and look at where we can save money by turning of lights and using timers.

"Do you increase your prices accordingly or potentially lose customers by charging too much? It is difficult but we will have to cut our cloth accordingly,

"The six big breweries have a lot of pulling power and hopefully they can get action.

"Seaside towns on the west of Scotland struggle out of season and some simply won't survive.

"I would say that it is even harder now for pubs than it was during Covid.

"VAT is up to 20 per cent and there are still supply issues caused by Brexit. Costs in the industry in general are massively up.

"Then you have labour costs and wages rises. It is increasingly hard for businesses to balance the books, so any help that can be provided by the government will be welcome."