The Charlotte Observer
Stores, restaurants, bars feel impact of global distilled spirits shortage
During the coronavirus pandemic, liquor sales spiked at Mecklenburg County ABC stores. And now that businesses like restaurants and bars have reopened without restrictions, demand is surging putting a strain on the distilled spirits supply chain.
In Mecklenburg County, ABC stores and restaurants and bars are feeling the impact of that shortage in available liquor bottles. Here’s are a few things to know:
WHO’S BEING IMPACTED?
Anyone who purchases distilled spirits, from consumers at retail shops to restaurants and bars that sell cocktails, will find limited availability on some liquor bottles.
WHY IS THERE A SHORTAGE?
It’s a global supply chain issue, according to officials with state and county ABC boards. Like other industries across the country, such as meat, glass and aluminum, the liquor industry is experiencing tight supply and high demand resulting in shortages.
WHICH LIQUORS ARE HARD TO FIND?
Restaurants and bars say almost all tequila is difficult to stock, including Patron, 1800, Don Julio and Jose Cuervo. Vodkas include Tito’s, Ketel One and Ciroc. The shortage also impacts rum like Malibu, and whiskeys from Jameson to Crown Royal.
WILL BOTTLE PRICES GO UP?
No, the North Carolina ABC laws provide a uniform pricing structure to protect against price gouging and untimely price hikes.
WHEN WILL IT END?
There is no answer. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on supply chains with fewer workers causing transport and factory shortages, as well as making it hard to find materials like glass for bottles. Mecklenburg County ABC Board CEO Keva Walton said as more is known, customers will be notified.
So for now, be patient and try something new.