Bars are now facing a liquor shortage

FILE - In this July 7, 2018 file photo whiskeys distilled and bottled in the U.S. are displayed for sale in a grocery store in Beijing. American whiskey absorbed some setbacks but showed resilience in the face of COVID-related clampdowns on bars and restaurants as liquor sales benefited from enduring demand for a good stiff drink. Despite plunging sales from bars and restaurants, the American whiskey sector still rang up increased revenues in 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, file)

With all the stress of the pandemic, many got a bit of relief from an adult beverage. However, now there’s a liquor shortage.

Molly Wellman is a sought-after mixologist (an expert bartender) who has noticed some popular brands are getting hard to find.

“There’s shortages everywhere,” she said, while mixing a negroni. “It has gotten worse the past year and a half, dealing with COVID and everything else.”

Wellman said it’s a result of a lot of things like bars reopening, sky-high demand and supply, and delivery issues. But she is optimistic.

“It will get back on track,” she said. “It will.”

Which Spirits Are In Short Supply?

Liquor store owners said there is still plenty of alcohol so there’s no need to worry. But people might find shortages of top-shelf liquors that used to be plentiful.

Matt Spaulding, who manages a popular Kentucky liquor store, has a few empty spots on his shelves now.

“We’re seeing shortages across brands of beer, wine and liquor, but definitely with tequila we are seeing all sorts of shortages,” he said.

Brands that can be hard to find in some areas include Patron Tequila, Tito’s Vodka, Malibu Rum, and premium lines of Woodford Reserve bourbon, according to reports.

“There’s lots of bourbon out there,” Spaulding said. “But there’s lots of bourbon people can’t get right now.”

Wellman said if a bar or store doesn’t have your favorite liquor, be open to different brands.

“We still have a lot of liquor on the shelves and if you have a great bartender, they know what to do with it,” she said.

That’s advice you can tip a glass to. Just be sure to drink responsibly, so you stay safe and you don’t waste your money.

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John Matarese

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