The potential threat of an alcohol shortage has become a major cause for concern. Across the country, states are starting to face issues related to temporarily not being able to access some of their favorite beers, wines, and spirits due to limited production and distribution. Many are questioning whether their favorite alcohols will remain available, and if not, what will replace them.

Beyond the basic availability of beer, wine, and spirits, there are other potential causes. These can include disruptions in the supply chain caused by events like pandemics, climate change, international trade disputes, and more. As the prevalence of these issues grows, so does the possibility of an alcohol shortage facing the country.

What is Causing the Possible Alcohol Shortage in the US?

There are many factors that are contributing to the potential shortage of alcohol in the US. Here are just a few:

  1. Pandemics and Other Global Events – Not since the days of Prohibition have people been unable to access the same types of alcohol as previous years. Now, with pandemics on the rise, and efforts made to slow current ones, production, distribution, and consumption all have been disrupted.

  2. Climate Change – Changes in the climate can also lead to short-term alterations in the alcohol production and distribution process. Increased temperatures can cause fermentation process failures, while droughts restrict water supply needed for production, altering the availability of alcoholic beverages.

  3. International Trade Disputes – Potential alcohol shortages could also arise due to trade disputes. Due to the increased tariffs, producers and distributors may be unable to access the materials necessary for production, resulting in limited amounts of certain alcoholic beverages being available.

  4. Taxation and Legal Restrictions – Government-imposed taxes and legal restrictions also present a potential hurdle to obtaining and consuming alcoholic beverages. Suddenly, a spirit may be completely off the market due to taxes imposed, or laws regarding sale or consumption suddenly changing.

  5. Rising Demand and Limited Production – Lastly, the demand for alcohol has increased over the years. While production has remained stagnant and some production processes have encountered difficulties, the demand for liquors and other spirits have been on the rise, leading to a potential shortage.

States Most Vulnerable to An Alcohol Shortage

Alcohol shortages can vary from state to state. With the current state of the country, the following states are most vulnerable to an alcohol shortage:

  1. California – California’s robust agricultural sector and increasing demand for craft beers have been among the reasons for the state’s potential alcohol shortage. The drought and increased demand for various agricultural products have affected the brewing industry, as well as the state’s wineries.

  2. Vermont – Vermont is also starting to feel the strain of an alcohol shortage. Producers are struggling to keep up with the growing demand for craft beer, whiskey, vodka, and other spirits. With the current state of the industry, craft breweries are likely to be the first to feel the effects of an alcohol shortage.

  3. New York – New York is one of the country’s biggest markets for alcohol, but it’s also facing a potential shortage of beer, wine, and spirits. Production delays and disruptions in the supply chain due to pandemics and international trade disputes have been among the primary causes of the shortage.

  4. Texas – As one of the biggest beer and spirit producing states in the country, Texas has seen an influx of demand for these products. While production has been mostly able to keep up with this demand due to the size of their industry, Texas is still experiencing some shortages.

  5. Oregon – Oregon is another state that has experienced an influx in demand for alcohol, but has also been unable to keep up with growing production limits. Producers have adjusted their production process, but it has not been enough to combat the consumer surge.

What Can Consumers Do to Prepare for a Shortage

With many states potentially facing an alcohol shortage, here are some tips for consumers to prepare:

  1. Stockpile Now – If you have a favorite type of beer, wine, or spirit, it’s a good idea to start stockpiling now. Since supplies may become limited, it’s best to stock up now before shortages start occurring.

  2. Consider Other Alcohols – It’s also a good idea to explore different types of alcohols. For instance, if you’re a beer drinker, you can look into other types of drinks like wine, spirits, and ciders.

  3. Check Potential Shortage Warnings – Keep an eye on potential shortage notices to see what spirits are affected by shortages. Signs of potential shortages will include a decrease in availability in stores, or limited production for particular types of alcohol.

  4. Support Local Drink Producers – Supporting local producers not only helps keep production lines moving, but it also helps local communities. Supporting local beverages can ensure that local beer, wine, and spirits are available in the near future.

The potential alcohol shortage is a serious issue facing the United States right now. From international trade disputes to climate change, the entire industry is feeling the effects. Consumers should be prepared by stocking up on their favorite drinks, exploring alternatives, and supporting local producers in order to ensure that everyone has access to their favorite beverages in the near future.