Hawaiian breweries are battling shortages of everything from barley to carbon dioxide

KIHEI (HawaiiNewsNow) – From infant formula to beer, supply chain challenges are delaying products and inflating prices.

Like so many businesses, the brewing industry is also facing shortages of everything from barley to carbon dioxide.

“If we could produce more, we wouldn’t be out of stock,” Maui Brewing Company CEO Garrett Marrero said as he strolled through his brewery in Kihei. It is the largest craft brewery in the state.

“This facility in total is about 85,000 square feet,” he said.

Marrero has the space to meet the high demand for its product, but that’s only part of the equation.

“We buy barley from as far away as Europe, in the Midwest, in Canada. Millions of pounds of various types of malted barley each year. Getting it is one thing,” Marrero said.

“You may not have a shipping container to ship it to, and then once it arrives at the port in a container, is there room on that ship? And then when it arrives at the dock, is there someone to unload this container? »

There are giant piles of empty cans in his brewery waiting to be filled.

“We are up about 40% since the start of the year. We could increase a bit more because the demand is definitely there, we haven’t just been able to build up those stocks,” Marrero said.

It’s not just beer.

Supply chain disruptions have even forced Marrero to remove some items from its food menu.

“There’s definitely been times over that past, I’d say nine to 12 months, where it’s like, ‘I’m sorry, we’re out of chicken wings, we don’t. .’ Or we had to cut the steak off the menu because we couldn’t have steak, even if we buy locally it would be held up on the dock somewhere,” he said.

Whether it’s restaurants or stores, consumers are seeing the impacts.

“Certainly everything we buy in grocery stores is more expensive. Everything from cereals, bread, milk and especially gasoline,” said Jesse Blais, a resident of Kula.

“The cost of the chest has quadrupled. Chicken wings multiplied by eight. So of course the prices have to go up,” Marrero said. “It’s a straight equation. If your costs are going up, then prices have to go up.

Supply chain issues have also forced Marrero to raise some menu prices.

But not yet on the beer.

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