Needless to say, we at AMERICAN PUBLIC HOUSE REVIEW enjoy a pint of fine ale from time to time, and then perhaps another. Lately, we have been taken aback at the diminishment in our pocketbooks by an evening of raised glasses, lifted spirits, and shared journeys. There is no question about it; beer prices are going up. There are several reasons for this unfortunate, upward turn of events. First of all, at the risk of being accused as a “Captain Obvious,” there are the transportation costs. Along with the rising cost per barrel of oil, the shrinkage of dollar value, and the tremendous increase in the trade of oil futures as a commodity , there is a shortage of diesel fuel. Diesel requires the highest quality of “light, sweet crude” which goes for the highest prices of all raw oil. The worldwide demand for refined diesel fuel has increased tremendously due to the explosive industrialization of China and the economic rise of much of the third world.
Secondly, but just as importantly in regard to beer prices, there is a worldwide grain shortage. Because of bad weather in Europe, and because every farmer in the U. S. with an available acre is scrambling to grow corn, there is a severly reduced supply of barley and hops; the essential crops required by the brewmaster. Rice, which is an important ingredient in the beer of Anheuser-Busch, one of the biggest brew-boys of all, is also being rationed at the distribution level because of extremely low worldwide supplies.
Last but not least, the cost of aluminum has been rocketing upward. Again, you don’t need Captain Obvious to tell you how this factor can affect the cost of your favorite draught or can of suds.
We, here at the magazine, are not going to give up our pints anytime soon, but we may be nursing them longer and finishing up with a “half.”
Posted by Ed Petersen, Creative Director of AMERICAN PUBLIC HOUSE REVIEW.