NJ beer breweries struggle amid rising grain, aluminum costs

The price of beer could be on the rise, and it's not just because of the increase in grain prices. Small beer breweries are also finding that the rising costs of other items are impacting their bottom line.
“Sourcing ingredients has been a challenge, and then shipping has gone up,” says Anthony Minervino, co-owner of Four City Brewing Company in Orange.
Minervino says that other issues impacting local breweries include inflation.
“Some of the grains are up 15-20 cents a pound. So, when you’re talking hundreds of pounds per batch – it really adds up,” he says.
Other products increasing in price are the aluminum cans many beers are packaged in.
“Cans last year cost us roughly 17 cents, then 18. Right now, it’s at 21 [cents] and predicted to go up to 25,” says Brendan Drury, with Hoboken Brewing.
Drury is co-owner and master brewer. Hoboken Brewing rents some space at Four City to make some of its beers. He says that aluminum costs are skyrocketing and that a few extra cents may not seem like a lot, but his brewery goes through half a million cans per year – with plans to double or triple that amount.
“It matters. It’s a significant chunk of change and those are funds we’d love to use elsewhere,” Drury says.
Four City can make up some of the loss in their taproom, but Hoboken Brewing only does wholesale for now. Both businesses are trying to keep prices flat but fear that they may have to eventually pass the rising costs to customers.
Many small craft brewers say doing home delivery helped them survive the pandemic.
It’s not just small businesses dealing with higher costs. Some mass producers like Heineken have said beer prices could go up due to cost increases.