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Restaurants navigate beer shortages

One product in particular is struggling to keep up with demand from restaurants and beers throughout the state. And that product is beer.

ST CLAIR, Pa. — The renovations at Vito's Coal Fired in St. Clair is almost complete. But now, the owner, Vito Valenti, will have to wait until September to have everything he ordered.

And it's not just new plates and decorations. He says he's finding it difficult to get essential products on their drink menu.

“We went through situations where we couldn't get certain beers. We went through times where we couldn't get certain bourbons and certain alcohols for a while. But luckily, we're near Pottsville, so Mr. Dick Yuengling always makes sure we have Yuengling beer,” said Vito Valenti, Vito's Coal Fire Owner.

While their speciality is coal-fired pizza, the drinks served at Vito's Coal Fired play a large role in their success over the past 12 years.

“Your alcoholic drinks would be more of your profitable things you could do, so it hurts you can't get a certain product,” he said.

Valenti says this is an issue that goes beyond Schuylkill County. Restaurants and bars across Pennsylvania are dealing with the same thing.

“If someone is ordering, let's say, a Miller Light, normally we may get 3 or 4 barrels a week, but now we're only getting one of it, and then we run out. So then we just let them know that's the case. It's nothing on our end, but there's nothing we can do about it,” Valenti adds.

He says suppliers aren't able to give him or other restaurants a definite answer on why there's a beer shortage.

“They just say they're all behind. So I don't know if they can't ramp up production to really get things out on the national scale, that's what I'm mostly hearing,” said Valenti. 

Despite the shortages, Valenti says they will do what they can to properly cater to customers.

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