Local News

Drought Puts Higher Draught Prices on Tap

Posted November 13, 2007 5:55 p.m. EST
Updated November 13, 2007 6:55 p.m. EST

— 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."