2 Ways Breweries ​Can Supplement Ingredient Ordering

Last year Wolf’s Ridge ​saw a lot of issues with packaging, especially cans. ​Although those problems have eased somewhat ​through 2021, now ​the Columbus, Ohio brewery is seeing problems in ingredients like grain, fruit, and other consumables​.

“​​[We’re] seeing increased lead times and drastically increased prices​,” said Head Brewer Chris Davison. ​”​We were told that containers departing from Europe used to see a fee of $500 applied to the shipment, and now are seeing fees of $1,​500 or more added.​”

That was the breaking point that forced ​the brewery’s grain suppliers to increase pricing ​by more than four cents per ​pound.

READ MORE: ​Ordering Ingredients During Growth​

​Colorado’s Ratio Beerworks has also seen some delays on ingredients.

​One of ​its malt suppliers has had a very difficult time due to shipping on getting product stateside, explained founder Jason zumBrunnen.

​”​On some occasions, we’ve had to substitute new malt varieties to accommodate​,” he said. ​”​Our distributor has worked well with us to place a longer-term forecast into effect that helps them source the right ingredients earlier than in the past.

​Davison said he is trying to stay nimble and have backup options available for some products.

​”​The shortages in fruit and puree have literally caused us to rearrange production schedules based on availability and also seek out new suppliers​,” he said. ​”​The constant OOS (Out of Stock) issues we see with specialty grain, especially that from Europe, has caused us to change recipes to accommodate non-ideal substitutes or unknown brands.​”​

​So what should breweries be doing now as anticipation of problems continues to rise?​ Davison shared a few ideas with Brewer: ​

  • ​Offer suggestions on substitutes to your suppliers
  • Increase the timelines and frequency of communications on OOS issues and delays

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