HONOLULU (KHON2) — Ever go to a bar and try to order your favorite beer on tap only to find out they don’t have it? Restaurant and bar managers who said supply chain issues are just one of the reasons you may find some brews hard to find.
Beer is a popular product.
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At Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room draft beer is their bread and butter, with 18 different brews on tap. But, since the pandemic, they said it’s been a challenge getting some beers in.
“There were points where it was really difficult,” said Timothy Golden, Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room co-owner.
“We regularly have Guinness, and there were times where we had to change out Guinness to something else. Just because it just wasn’t available for a few weeks,” said Golden.
He’s not alone. Ruby Tuesday co-owner Rick Nakashima said they’ve had the same issue.
“It’s a struggle. And, it’s sometimes months out before you can get exactly what you want,” Nakashima explained.
Jonathan Schwalbenitz from Murphy’s Bar & Grill said beer itself used to be very easy to come by. There was a regular supply chain, and it worked. But, during the pandemic, everything broke down.
According to Schwalbenitz, it hasn’t recovered; and staffing shortages and the fact that breweries aren’t making as much product as they used to are all contributing factors.
“So you have less product and you have less volume,” said Schwalbenitz.
“And, again, we’re Hawaii. We’re almost one of the last places that gets the beer in the country. Sometimes, even internationally, because we’re far away,” Golden said.
Schwalbenitz said it’s not just beer. It’s impacting wine and high end hard liquor.
“With the high end stuff, again staffing, shipping, etc…. So, you have less product,” he explained. “Eventually we might get some of it; we might not get it at all.”
So far, it hasn’t really hurt any of the businesses KHON2 spoke to. It’s more of an inconvenience.
“At the end of the day, you really are beholden to other factors that sometimes you have; you have zero control over,” explained Golden.
“I think that people are disappointed that they can’t get the familiar things that they used to get at their favorite places that they used to go to all the time,” Schwalbenitz said.
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But, he added that they do understand when we explain why we don’t have a product they want to order.