PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Distributors say because Ukraine and Russia are two of the top five grain producers in the world, the war is shooting the cost of grain up by 20-50%, thus driving up the price of beer.
L.J. Govoni, the co-owner of Big Storm Brewing Company, warns the rise in grain prices will force breweries to charge more for beer, possibly anywhere from 20 cents to $2 more per pint.
"No matter what, we’re going to make less money when this happens because we can’t pass all of it onto the consumer," said Govoni.
But grain prices aren't the only issue.
"The kegs we buy to put our beer in have gone up about 40%," said Tom Williams, president of St. Pete Brewing Company.
Williams said many breweries are still struggling from the pandemic and now they’re fighting inflation on top of it.
"If it's not been one fire to put out it's been another one," said Travis Kruger, from Commerce Brewing in Largo.
Commerce Brewing brews beer for distribution and he said the cost of beer in stores will likely be rising too.
"From last year to this year, my contracted price went up over 20%, and that’s something I’ve never seen in all my years in the industry," said Kruger.
Brewers say they’re hopeful that in the next year or two grain prices will level out, but until then, expect to pay a little more.
"It's still worth it. We like making it and people like drinking it," said Kruger. "Beer is great."