DABC: Stock up now in case of liquor shortage this holiday season

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – If you plan to toast the holidays with your favorite liquor or spirit, you’d better actually plan.

That’s because a well-documented series of supply-chain issues is affecting Utah’s liquor supply — just in time for the typical holiday spike in sales.

“It has been a little rocky over the last couple of months,” said Cade Meier, deputy director of Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“There’s ships off the coast trying to get here, there’s warehouses that are clear full, but we’re having difficulty trying to drive the product. All those things can affect the supply chain,” said Meier.

It’s not just a shortage of truck drivers, he says. There’s also been supply issues for those who bottle the beer and liquor — materials like glass, cardboard and even cans have been sometimes difficult to source.

The DABC warehouse, Meier says, is plenty full. But DABC is some 30 positions short in terms of staffing, and so having enough people working is also an issue that could lead to early store closures on some days.

The bottom line? Although Patron Silver bottles are limited to one customer per visit — Patron shortages have been documented across liquor stores nationwide — Utahns shouldn’t expect similar rationing on other products. At least that’s not in the forecast now. But, Meier says, the best thing you can do now is to buy early.

“I always encourage people to shop early, that way you ensure you get what you’re after,” said Meier.

“To get in there and get the items you’re looking for, avoid potentially long lines — avoid these potential shortages that could come up.”

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