Retailers Blame Statewide Beer Shortage On New Liquor Law

Wednesday, June 13th 2018, 10:13 pm
By: Ashley Izbicki

A summer shortage is leaving beer shelves empty at liquor stores across the state.

Retailers say it’s because of the new liquor law that goes into effect October 1st.

The question is whether distributors, or brokers, are to blame.

Kwenchers Wine and Spirits currently has a sign on their bare shelves that reads, “Due to Oklahoma wholesalers, this item is currently out of stock.”

But the shortage isn’t isolated to just that store in Owasso.

“No other state is having problems like this,” said Levi Wolski.  “July 31st will be our 4th year in business and we haven’t seen this before.”

Wolski says they are hearing different excuses for the shortage.

“Anywhere from a lack of CDL licensed drivers to them trying to get rid of the 3.2 percent beer before October 1st,” he said.

Stores get their supply from distributors, who get it from brokers, who buy it from the manufacturers.

Boardwalk Distribution said in a statement:

“We continue to send purchase orders to OBI, the Oklahoma supplier for many of these beers that are not available…mainly the ‘stronger’ versions of brands that you can currently find in grocery and convenience stores.  To be clear, this does not seem to be a shortage of these brands across the country, but limited to the company in Oklahoma that represents these brands.”

Wolski says, “all we can do is kind of stay positive.  Hopefully, they get it figured out before beer drinking season is over.”