How Will You Deal with Increasing Beer Prices?

Have you heard? The price of craft beer is expected to rise quite a bit over the next year—and for the restaurants and bars that base a lot of their business on craft beers, a price hike can be devastating. Here are the main facts you need to know about the impending beer shortage your establishment may have to deal with in 2015. 

Barley is in short supply

It’s true. One of the main ingredients in beer, barley, is in short supply this year. According to this article, 2014 was a terrible year for barley farmers because of low rain, low acreage, and low temperatures. Because of these factors, the crop has hit an all-time low, both here and in Canada. With reduced supply and ever-increasing demand, barley prices are expected to skyrocket this next year… and that will raise the price of your beer significantly, if it doesn’t put your favorite breweries out of business. How will you prepare your customers for bottle sticker shock? 

Your best beers may soon be on the black market

A black market for beers? This is so odd that you know it’s got to be true. While a black market makes beer sound exciting and risqué, what it actually means is that prices will also rise on the limited and seasonal batches that are such big sellers in your establishment. Holiday brews make up a large portion of the craft beer market at this point, and most bars and restaurants find them to be top sellers. How will you break the news to your customers that you don’t have this year’s seasonal selections because you can’t afford them? 

Other countries may make better offers for craft beers soon

While America still leads the world in the craft-brewing industry (with San Diego acting as the Craft Beer Capital of the World), other countries are starting to figure out that even if they don’t like brewing craft beer, they should be drinking it. Soon, American breweries will start considering worldwide exports, and a lot of their “excess” beer will be going to markets like China and Japan. If your restaurant or bar isn’t willing to pay top dollar for the brews you used to get for less, you won’t be able to keep those in stock for very long. How will your customers react to the news that their favorite beer is now only available in Asia? 

Closing thoughts

No matter what pricing trends affect your establishment, you can be assured that 2015 will offer a severe market upset for America’s craft beer market. If you start thinking now about how you can adjust to higher prices, lower availability, and a global beer market, you can be ahead of the curve when these complications start to actually affect your menu.