Wednesday, July 11, 2007



My fellow Americans, we are now facing an emergency: The price of beer is going up! Just yesterday we wrote about the consequences of using sake for automobile fuel. We warned that it could happen to beer. We would be faced with the dilemma of whether to use a keg of beer to go to work or to use it for a party. We are now at that turning point in our history.

A six pack costs three percent more than it did a year ago. That’s the biggest increase in several years. If you go to your local tavern and get a cold draft beer, the increase in price is even more, almost four percent. It couldn’t come at a worst time, just when we need a couple of cold ones to get ourselves through the latest hot spell.

Of course the price of everything goes up. The cost of glass, cardboard, energy, transportation, etc. have gone up, but what has made the cost of beer increase faster than inflation is barley, which has increased seventeen percent since last year. Beer is made from malt, which is made from barley. It’s frightening.

What has pushed the price of barley up so high? Just one thing: farmers who used to grow barley are now cultivating more lucrative grains, especially corn. Why corn? Because it is used in make ethanol to be used as automobile fuel.

We have no objection to farmers’ growing crops for ethanol, but does it have to be barley? Does it have to be something that affects the price of beer? If we had any kind of government, there would be crop supports to keep the price of barley low for Americans. When Carl Perrin becomes president of the United States, you won’t see people having to choose being cheap beer and automobile fuel.

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