Chain Reaction: Booze blues at liquor stores thanks to supply chain issues

Chain Reaction: Booze blues at liquor stores thanks to supply chain issues

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- Supply chain issues are impacting your trip to the liquor store.

Around 40% of hard liquor in the united states is imported meaning it’s likely harder for you to find certain tequilas, rums, vodkas, and whiskeys on store shelves.

The issues are even affecting production at Indiana Whiskey in South Bend.

“Our bourbon, our rye whiskey, and some of our blends. We make everything from grain to glass,” Eric Klepper said, Brand Manager and Distiller at Indiana Whiskey. “We have to be a little more strategic as far as the production schedule and we don’t carry as many raw materials on hand as we’d like.”

So far, there’s still product to sell at the local distillery. They make and age the whiskey themselves but that’s not to say they haven’t seen their fair share of challenges.

“Even a lot of the things that we get right here in Indiana, the cost has been up 50 to 60 percent and some of that we can absorb but at the end of the day it’s not something that’s super sustainable,” Klepper said. “Even from US based firms they might be getting their supplies internationally so it trickles down for sure.”

At Indiana Whiskey the motto is ‘Great Whiskey, Honest Price’ so, no prices haven’t gone up but Klepper tells me it’s a possibility in the future if supply chain issues and inflation persist.

It’s all caused by a few pandemic-related things. Glass shortages are a part of it as well as higher prices for packaging and labels. There’s also a truck driver shortage which means it takes longer to get products to their destinations and more demand at restaurants and bars.

If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s possible your favorite drink won’t be on store shelves. If that does happen, Klepper has some advice…

“Just asking your favorite liquor store if they can carry a certain brand they’ll have a lot more insight on their own supply chain issues as far as getting it to them. With us personally, coming in to the distillery is the best place to find it right now.”

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