The cause is usually listed as the pandemic.  People are drinking more to relieve stress or the boredom of a lockdown.  One Idaho newspaper columnist does explain it could be worse.  Some states are knocking them back at much higher rates.  Likely because some of those places had even tighter restrictions on the public.

If there’s a positive, it drives the barley market in Idaho.  The state is the largest producer in the nation.  Last I looked. 

If there’s a positive, it drives the barley market in Idaho.

The pandemic also created a few challenges.  I do a lot of cooking with beer.  When I was in college, I worked for a caterer.  He dumped beer into nearly everything he prepared.  Some of the checkout staff at our local groceries tell me cheap beer works just as well as expensive brews when cooking.  Unless you’re looking for a specific flavor.  Scotch ales, which are often stored in oaken barrels once used for whiskies, develop a unique taste from the wood.  It’s pretty good with various beef stews I make in my crock pot.

One of the best brands of scotch ale is from a brewery in Boise.  During the pandemic it vanished from local shelves.  I wrote the company.  The next day I received a reply.  The spring lockdown stage created some distribution issues.  When those eased, business again reached equilibrium.  So the past year was a mixed blessing for alcohol sales.  But it’s not like people took up making their own bathtub gin.  Or at least not many from what I’ve been reading!

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