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These States Are Now Facing a Serious Alcohol Shortage, Reports Say

A new supply issue that may affect your next restaurant outing.

After shortages of boba, ketchup, and perhaps most devastatingly, chicken, you may now end up empty-handed the next time you hit up a local restaurant and order your favorite alcoholic beverage. According to the latest reports, alcohol is in short supply in some states, and both liquor stores and restaurants are struggling to meet the demand for certain beers, wines, and spirits. 

According to NPR, states like Ohio, New Jersey, Vermont, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and others, are seeing persistent alcohol shortages due to supply chain issues. An unprecedented rise in demand, higher import costs, and shortages of both bottling materials and workers have all contributed to the perfect storm of scarce alcohol supplies we are seeing right now, the publication reported. 

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The situation has caused some states to impose rationing measures on alcohol purchases. In Pennsylvania, consumer purchases are now limited to two bottles of certain alcoholic products per day. These products include Hennessy Cognac, Buffalo Trace bourbon, and Patrón tequila, which are going to be in short supply for the foreseeable future, according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. In Virginia, the limits are at one bottle per day for certain special-edition spirits. 

In New Jersey, where alcohol sales are not controlled by the state, it is up to individual stores to limit the sales of in-demand alcohols. 

"It's a store-by-store decision… There's a couple of things that we'll limit to one bottle per customer so that we can try to spread it out as much as we can to service our customers," Joe Ringwood, the general manager of Super Cellars in Ringwood and Westwood, told News 12.

And the shortages aren't only impacting consumers, they're also putting a strain on restaurant and bar operations. According to Restaurant Business, alcohol procurement now poses the biggest challenges to restaurants besides labor shortages. 

The publication spoke to several restaurant and bar owners in the Midwest who said they were having a hard time procuring alcohols their customers were used to. Michele Fire, owner of Chicago's Tweet Let's Eat and Big Chicks, said she wasn't able to buy Absolut vodka, while a Milwaukee restaurant owner described trouble sourcing Spanish and Portuguese wines, forcing him to cut his wine list in half.

The shortages seem to be affecting the ability to find certain branded products as opposed to alcohol in general, so experts are advising patrons and restaurants to look for comparable alternatives. 

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Executive Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura