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Drought Puts Higher Draught Prices on Tap

Posted November 13, 2007

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— The drought across much of the country is helping push up prices of ingredients used to brew beer, and industry observers said that could lead to higher prices at the neighborhood bar by early next year.

"Malting barley and hops are both going up in price," said Brad Wynn, co-owner of Big Boss Brewing Co. in Raleigh. "Things have come together at a bad time."

In addition to the drought, the supply of barley and hops has been pinched by a push for alternative energy. Many farmers have switched their crops to corn for ethanol production.

"As the price shifts on to us, it's got to shift to our customers also," Wynn said. "We're all going to pay another buck or two for a six pack (or) 50 cents for a 16-ounce pour."

Jeff Mickel, general manager of the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium in downtown Raleigh, which serves beer from every microbrewery in North Carolina, said he expects a $2.50 pint will soon jump to $3.

"The increase that we're expecting to see is going to be significant," Mickel said. "It has a definite impact on our business and how much beer we're going to sell."


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  • JuanGrande v3.0 Nov 14, 2007

    So much for the old saying of "Conserve water, drink beer"

  • BUCKEYEnNC Nov 14, 2007

    That's it! With everything else we have to deal with (war, illegals, drought, traffic, taxes), now the price of beer is gonna go up!!!! What's next? Clinton in the Whitehouse?

  • Capt Mercury Nov 14, 2007

    I'm a brewer of that fine beverage myself. The cost of the raw ingredients for most major beers in the US is small compared to the cost of distribution, and most importantly, advertising. Local brews are a different story. If the Bud-Miller-Coors cartel raises prices significantly, you're being ripped off.

  • strolling bones Nov 14, 2007

    ahh so europe had a bad crop...i didnt understand why us drought would matter since they import most of it.

  • Like that Nov 13, 2007

    Yes, you missed it. 'draught' and 'draft' are the same thing. 'Draught' is how the British do it and 'draft' is how Americans do it. They are even pronounced the same! Learning never ends :-)

  • gopanthers Nov 13, 2007

    I'm a little confused with the Title. What is a "Draught"?? So call me stupid and slap me upside the head. I thought Beer on Tap was Draft. Am I missing something here.

  • blackdog Nov 13, 2007

    ...it seems the word after saltine......is blocked. I eat 'em all the time....

  • blackdog Nov 13, 2007

    ...but will the price of saltines and pretzels go down...?...

  • Hans_Dieter_Peter Nov 13, 2007

    Well at least we don't have to worry about "budwiser" (if you have had the real stuff from the Czech Rep, you know why I say "budwiser") or any of the other mass produced "beers" of the US to go up in price. I'm pretty sure they just head the back of a barn and bottle whatever liquids come out of the animals... Maybe they put some hops in it, but then again...

  • jahausa Nov 13, 2007

    We need to get Al Gore on this STAT.