Nationwide alcohol shortage impacts Capital Region

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LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The pandemic caused shortages of items like chicken wings and toilet paper. Now, you can add alcohol to the list. And the issue may have you sipping soda instead of Chardonnay the next time you go out to dine or make yourself a cocktail.

Craig Allen owns All Star Wine and Spirits in Latham, one the largest alcohol retailers in New York’s Capital Region. He says, after news reports of an alcohol shortage last week, it was like 2020 all over again.

“Kind of reminiscent of the toilet paper rush back last year with people coming in and buying spirits. Mostly liquor. [People] worried that it’s going to be gone for the holidays,” said Allen.

He says folks have been driving up to his store from downstate and even New Jersey to buy in bulk. Most looking for higher priced selections of wine and liquor.

The pandemic certainly caused an unprecedented rise in alcohol demand. Pair that with a dash of importing problems and a twist of shortages in labor and bottling materials, and the result is a cocktail that’s ultra dry and bound to leave you parched! 

But the issue goes beyond your nearest liquor store.

After labor shortages, restaurants are now facing a sober reminder that their businesses are not out of the woods just yet.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker visited several area bars and restaurants with managers and owners telling her that they are facing intermittent shortages in deliveries of wine, liquor and beer.

And it’s unclear how long the shortage will last, especially as we enter the holiday and season.

Craig Allen’s advice?

“Buy more than one of your favorite because it may not be available for a couple of months.”

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