We've been hearing for some time now that the price of beer would be going up due in part to problems with hop supplies. A fire at a major warehouse combined with less acreage being planted in hops has been widely reported. Apparently there are issues with malt supplies as well. Jeff from Blue and Gray Brewing as posted an alert that prices would be going up an estimated 20-30% next month. He's has included a letter from his supplier giving all the gory details leading to the shortage and subsequent price increases.
Okay, so some have questioned how much effect the cost of ingredients really has on the total cost of beer. But, for the sake of argument, let's accept that prices will go up. Craft beer is under-valued if you ask me. Wine lovers have no issues paying premium prices for wines. But the effect on price isn't the scary part. The issue is the supply. If the brewers can't get the hops and malts they need, they can't make the beers we love, at any price. Small brewers are going to be affected by this the most. The mega-brewers have contracts for large quantities. Who do you think is going to get served first?
Hugh Sisson over at Clipper City Brewing discusses this in his blog too. It too is worth a read.