In our most recent poll, we stated that higher ingredient costs and other supplier costs have some microbreweries scrambling. These costs have risen sharply; for example, the price of barley has risen to roughly $400 per metric ton (compared to about $125 - $135 in 2005). In some cases, craft breweries can’t even get the right types of hops they need to make their beer, as these supplies have been quite limited. We asked how microbreweries should handle this crisis, and the majority of respondents had a definite point of view. Nearly 70 percent agreed that craft breweries should just pass on these costs directly to customers, simple as that. After all, they concurred, craft brews are enjoying a wave of popularity in the U.S., showing very strong growth, compared to other beer segments.
However, approximately 20 percent had a different point of view, and this group agreed that these brewers need to find ways to use cheaper or alternative ingredients and/or packaging, if at all possible. The third segment – just over 10 percent, said the best course of action for craft brewers is to cut back on production and/or limit distribution until supplier costs become more reasonable. The fourth possible answer -- Merge with larger brewing companies, as they have more bargaining clout and can better absorb cost increases – received no votes. To respond to our current poll, visit Bevinfogroup.com.