GO
Loading...

*Gulp* — Are Beer Prices About to Go Up?

A little bit of an alarming headline out of the UK this week: “Beer prices to surge.”

Jack Andersen | FoodPix | Getty Images

The price of a pint is about to jump to 4 pounds (US$6.30) there due to poor harvests in Europe and the Russian wheat crisis, the London Telegraph reported.

So, *gulp* — what does this mean for beer in America?

First, you’ll be relieved to know that most of the hops and barley used in the U.S. comes from North America. So, unless European brewers start ordering from the U.S., the issues over there shouldn’t have much of an impact on prices in the U.S.

Now the bad news — U.S. beer prices are up 2 percent year to date, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. And Harry Schuhmacher, publisher of the Beer Business Daily, said they’re going to go up again in September.

That’s due to two reasons: 1) Inflation in consumer beer prices (CBI) has lagged the increase in producer beer prices (PBI) in the past few years, and 2) Consolidation.

“[N]ow, brewers in the U.S. are much more consolidated and are putting profits over market-share gains,” Schuhmacher said.

In fact, the two largest brewers, AB InBev and MillerCoors already have price increases planned for the U.S., he said.

But Chris Ericson, owner and brewmaster of the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, said it won’t be a steep increase.

“I think what we’ll see is a little bit more of a creep up in U.S. beer prices,” Ericson said. "I don’t see any dramatic spike.”

Still, both he and Schumacher agree that it’s a pretty good time to be a beer drinker.

“I think it’s an unbelievable time to be a U.S. beer drinker,” Ericson said. “You’ve got a lot of good choices — and a great value,” he said.

In the words of Homer Simpson: Mmmm … Beer.

Clarification: The two percent rise in beer prices this year is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An earlier version of this story cited the source as the Beer Institute.

Questions? Comments? Write to us at ponyblog@cnbc.com or drop a comment below.

More from the Pony Blog at
ponyblog.cnbc.com.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
ABI
---
TAP
---

Featured

  • Will Ferrell took the Class of 2003 on a wild verbal ride, touching on everything from the Berlin Wall to that guy voted most likely to eat nachos in his car – and even managed to fire an assistant in the process! “You're about to enter into a world filled with hypocrisy and doublespeak, a world in which your limo to the airport is often a half-hour late. In addition to not even being a limo at all; often times it's a Lincoln Towncar. You're about to enter a world where you ask your new assistan

    From business titans like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to celebrities like Stephen Colbert and Bono, here are 12 of the best graduation speeches of all time.

  • Math and science guys (and ladies) crushed it on the best jobs list this year. They are in demand. *HIGH FIVE!*

  • Few things unite us like complaining about our jobs. Think you have one of the worst? Click ahead for the 10 worst jobs for 2014.

  • On the best jobs list, STEM careers dominate—High-five, math and science guys!—and the worst can be summed up in one word: Timber!

Contact Pony Blog

  • Cindy Perman is a writer at CNBC.com, covering jobs, real estate, retirement and personal finance.

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

Humor