Beer Prices Could Be On the Rise

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If you love beer, be prepared, that cold brew may soon be costing you more. Market analysts say higher energy, aluminum and barley prices are forcing brewers to pass those costs onto you.

Many breweries in the state have already announced price increases.
And one local brewer says it's just a matter of time before the increasing cost of raw materials affects every brewery in Wisconsin.

That's because, on top of higher energy costs, late summer rains in Europe and a drought in Australia, more American growers are turning to alternative crops making quality barley for malting tough to find.

"It all goes with the commodity market so if it goes up in Europe, it goes up here and a lot of malt that we do get is European malt," brewer Tim Kelly said.

Brewers say the price increase should be mild for consumers, between 25 and 50 cents per six pack of specialty beer. But, like gas, people should expect those prices will continue to climb each year.

Still, Northwoods Brew Pub owner Larry Duss says brewers are working hard to keep their prices competitive and their customers happy.

"It went up about 4 percent for us, so that equates to quite a few dollars, but like I say you don't want to get your beer out of people's price range either," Duss said.

Duss says even though glass prices have sky-rocketed and bottling costs have jumped from two to ten cents per bottle, he's trying to make sure those prices won't affect the consumer.

Duss says the increasing supply costs will hit small companies the hardest, because unlike larger brewers, who are able to lock onto prices for the whole year, his fluctuate each month.

However, some large companies like Anheuser-Busch are still planning price hikes.