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Rising cost of goods impacting South Florida breweries

Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton on March 17, 2022.jpg
Posted at 3:08 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 17:50:44-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The rising cost of everything from aluminum to fruit might make it tougher for manufacturers to craft your favorite brew.

You may pay a bit more on your favorite tap at your locally owned brewery. Some area breweries are feeling the impacts of the supply chain shortages.

"We make beers that have been made for centuries in Belgium," said Kevin Abbott, the owner of Barrel of Monks Brewing in Boca Raton. "It's been with everything from raw materials like glass, cans, and cardboard, to really shipping, is one of the major things that has really skyrocketed and it hurts us."

Smaller brewers like Abbott are feeling it the most.

There are 373 craft breweries in Florida, and about 20 of them in our area.

Abbot says they’ve kept their prices relatively the same for customers, even though they had to absorb some more costs.

"We’re forced to move things around, move schedules around, sometimes be low on some product and move production onto something else. Thankfully we haven’t seen any loss of product in the market, but we’ve been close," Abbott said.

"All told, it is really a perfect storm where brewers are getting hit in a variety of directions," said Bart Watson, the chief economist of The Brewers Association. "Beer prices are still going up less right now on average than the overall CPI. So, brewers are doing their best to control cost. But, we are seeing prices start to go up in the February numbers. It went up about 2%, the largest monthly jump in over a decade."

Watson says it is too soon to know if or how the Russian war with Ukraine is going to affect the U.S. brewing market since both countries produce a fifth of the world’s barley. However, extreme weather conditions in North America also created quality issues with the 2021 barley crop.

"We had a barley harvest that in North America was about a third from last year. That again is raising price and reducing quality where brewers have to adjust in what they’re doing in the brewing process," Watson said.

Brewers say the most cost-effective way to drink is to cut out the middleman and buy directly from them.