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Ordering your favorite happy hour cocktail might be a lot more difficult in the coming months, as states continue to struggle with alcohol shortages. As Best Life previously reported, liquor shortages have been plaguing parts of the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast and more states could soon be affected.
Supply chain issues are causing liquor shortages in at least four states.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in supply chain problems across nearly every industry, from furniture to household appliances. Now, the liquor and beer industries are feeling the squeeze. In particular, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, and South Dakota have been experiencing alcohol shortages.
If you live in one of the states facing a liquor shortage, your brand of choice is likely already absent from shelves. Kel Minton, a beverage director for multiple restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Axios it's "nearly impossible" to find vodkas like Ketel One and Tito's.
Casamigos tequila is also hard to come by, according to Milton. Actually, "tequila is really hard to get right now" overall, Dustin Rabb, general manager of Fenwick's in Charlotte, told WNCT. According to The Charlotte Observer, restaurants and bars can't get their hands on "almost all" tequila, including Patron, 1800, Don Julio, and Jose Cuervo.
Other states have also reported shortages of Malibu rum, Ciroc vodka, Jameson and Crown Royal whiskeys, and Woodford Reserve bourbon.
Glass shortages are keeping distilleries and breweries from getting their products out there.
In addition to production speed challenges and transportation issues, liquor manufacturers and distributors are also dealing with a shortage of glass, which is crucial in product packaging. "Glassware. Glassware is just a killer. Even if you have the product ready, you can't get it packaged," Reid Beckers, of Classic Beverage of Southern California, told Marketplace.
Glass manufacturers shut down early in the pandemic as they saw demand for their product grind to a halt. When restrictions began lifting across the U.S. earlier this year, glass producers were suddenly trying to speed up their business tenfold.
The glass shortage is affecting beer sales, too. Many bars prefer to sell bottled beer to cans because they can typically charge more for bottles. But at this point, bar owners are taking whatever they can get. "It might come to a point where that's all I have are cans, but it is what it is," Andy Lenz, the owner of the Top Hat in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told KELO.
In certain areas, cans are hard to come by, too. Mac McHugh, the general manager of Heidelberg Distributing Company, Ohio's largest beer and spirits distributor, told ABC Action News: "We can produce the beer. Our brewers have plenty of beer. They just don't have bottles and kegs and cans to put it in."