Beer will drastically get more expensive

Czechs must prepare for another sharp increase in the price of beer. According to the president of ČMSMP, Michal Voldřich, the higher costs of energy and raw materials needed to produce beer, such as malt and hops, will be reflected in the price for consumers.

“The expectation that prices will rise by 10 percent by June is confirmed,” Voldřich said.

Most breweries have already increased prices during the spring, with a pint of pilsner typically selling for around CZK 50 and even the cheapest beers in microbreweries exceeding that price.

Further price increases can be expected at the end of the summer when many breweries will have to accept less favorable tariffs when their contracts with energy suppliers expire and, at the same time, start brewing beer from this year’s harvest.

These will also be considerably more expensive as farmers’ input costs have risen. 

One of the essential items, alongside energy and fuel, is fertilizer. Therefore, farmers have fertilized less this year, according to the ČMSMP chief.

In addition, if the current drought persisted, the harvest of malting barley and hops would be significantly smaller, which would also be reflected in prices. Overall, the harvest could be up to a third lower than last year.

The Czech-Moravian Association of Microbreweries does not want to estimate how much the price of beer for the final consumer could increase. “For example, the price of malt could rise by up to twice as much, from which the price of beer can be inferred to some extent,” Voldřich said.

Neither the large breweries nor the Czech Association of Breweries and Maltsters, which brings them together, comment on the expected beer prices nor reveal their business strategy. Unofficially, however, even their representatives admit that the assumptions of the ČMSMP are realistic.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic also hit small brewers before the energy crisis. Some thirty out of five hundred enterprises closed down during the crisis.

The head of the microbrewery association expects that other microbreweries are yet to be affected by the effects of the pandemic.