How inflation is affecting Southwest Louisiana brewers

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 8:09 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Inflation has impacted nearly every purchase we make, and now, it’s also likely raising the price of your adult beverages.

Whether it’s an IPA, wheat ale, or stout, consumers’ favorite beers could cost more due to inflation and, more specifically, the war in Ukraine.

According to the USDA, Ukraine produces around 6.8% of the world’s supply of barley and accounts for 17% of global barley exports making them the no. three global supplier.

This is making it more difficult for local breweries like Crying Eagle to get the materials that they need without passing those rising costs onto their customers.

”It’s a major strain on our industry. So, other suppliers are having to create more, prices are going up, but, at the same time, dollars are worth less,” head brewer at Crying Eagle, Ryan O’Donnell said.

The rising cost of barley isn’t the only issue. More competition, and supply chain issues mean local brewers constantly have to weigh keeping the quality of their beer the same against raising its price.

O’Donnell explained that vendors are doing a good job of trying to hold costs as much as they can, but eventually something will have to give.

“We have brought in some new personnel over the last year that have really helped us streamline things in our business to help create efficiencies, reduce cost, and things of that nature. So, I won’t sacrifice quality. I’ll wait longer if I have to and make do,” O’Donnell said.

Crying Eagle said they plan to keep their prices from increasing and are also trying to bring in a diverse collection of entertainment to their location on E. McNeese St. to help shine a light on local artists during this time of economic uncertainty.