Rising cost of living to hit beer lovers in the pocket

Jacob Johnson
Source: 1News

The cost of living crisis is trickling down to beer, as brewers prepare to increase their prices from next Friday.

The excise tax on alcohol is going up by 6.9% in line with inflation, the biggest increase in 30 years.

It comes as beer makers are already dealing with skyrocketing costs.

"It's literally every aspect of manufacturing", says Joseph Wood, president of the Brewers Guild of New Zealand and co-owner of Liberty Brewing.

"So receiving goods, whether its our ingredients or cardboard or things that we put the boxes on... energy costs have gone up, the whole lot."

Even the price of carbon dioxide, which helps keep the beer fizzy and foamy, has gone up after the Marsden Point refinery closed in March.

For a lot of the smaller breweries, that means it now has to be sourced offshore.

And that's not all.

"It's your hops and your barley and obviously those kind of things but you've also got plastic wrap-on pellets, which is up 20%," says Dylan Firth, executive director of the Brewers Association of New Zealand.

"The overall freight cost with petrol increases have gone up... aluminium prices doubled in 2021, so the cost of cans became extremely important for consumers."

Fortune Favours founder Shannon Thorpe says his beer prices will be going up "about that 8% mark".

"It's the biggest increase we've ever done, but at the same time it's just clawing back all the price increases we're facing."

It's not just the craft breweries though, even the big players like Lion and DB Breweries, which make up about 70% of the market are having to adjust.

"Due to these increases we will raise the list prices of our packaged products by 3.9% in mid-August," says DB Breweries in a statement.

"Its quite a difficult market," says Firth. "Consumers are looking to spend less money, yet we're seeing these costs heaped onto businesses."