- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thought the coronavirus pandemic was bad enough? States are considering ways to ration their liquor as pandemic-related shortages hamstring suppliers trying to keep pace with demand.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board last week said it would limit customers to two bottles of certain items, including Hennessy Cognac, Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Patrón tequila, for the “foreseeable future,” according to NPR.

In North Carolina, customers are seeing “out of stock” signs where some of their favorite products used to be.

The state ABC Commission told TV station ABC11 it is working with a new delivery and warehousing business and there have been hiccups, on top of supply issues that are impacting other places.

Vermont, Ohio and New Jersey also are reporting shortages, according to NPR.

Liquor producers are combating supply-chain problems that have become common this year, with producers struggling to find glass and other supplies.

Importers are seeing higher prices, while deliveries are hampered by a dearth of truck drivers.

NPR said many liquors take a while to make so producers have to anticipate demand.

But the pandemic caused demand for alcohol to surge, as many people stayed home and had little else to do.

Then, supply problems emerged as society tried to reopen and made it hard to satisfy ongoing demand.

Virginia’s liquor commission published a list of products that are in “very high demand” but will be restricted due to their popularity and limited supply.

“In order to make these products available to as many customers as possible, Virginia ABC is limiting the purchase of these products to one bottle per customer or license number per day,” it says on its website.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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