Campaigners are warning thousands of pubs could close as landlords would need to raise the price of a pint to £20 to cover their soaring energy costs.

Tom Stainer, the chief executive of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) group, said it is not “viable” for landlords to raise prices in line with the rise in their energy bills.

He told the Daily Star the cost of a pint would have to rise to “ridiculous” amounts to match the increase in running costs that pubs now face.

Many businesses are seeing bills go up by as much as 600%.

A survey from Camra this summer found that more than half of us think the cost of a pint is already unaffordable, with Mr Stainer saying customers would be put off by a £15 or £20 pint.

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“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%,” he told the paper.

“It just isn’t viable for pubs to pass (price hikes this big) on to consumers because people wouldn’t come drink at pubs anyway.”

He said: “So thousands (of pubs) could be affected by this. And they can close – and the difference with (pubs compared to) other sorts of businesses is once a pub closes it very rarely comes back.”

The Camra chief executive called on the Government to act and support the hospitality industry by reviewing energy costs, business rates and beer tax.

His warning follows craft brewer BrewDog’s announcement it will close six pubs over its rocketing energy bills as it criticised the Government for being “clueless”.

Bosses of six of the UK’s biggest pub and brewing companies, including Greene King, Carlsberg Marston’s and Drake & Morgan, also signed an open letter to the Government, urging it to act to avoid “real and serious irreversible” damage to the sector.