Currently bar, restaurants and wholesale shops at Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang are running out of stock. Beer in some shops are not available and it had been long that they did not get it from suppliers while in some shops are running on low.
The tight supply is likely because of a combination of trends that have been bubbling up in the past few months due to past nation-wide lockdown and current lockdown in Phuntsholing. This has led to the increase in price.
Though beer that usually would have been consumed on premise at bars, restaurants more numbers, control of social gathering decline the consumption. Yet, consumers of breweries is now being packaged to be drunk at home or only bar keeping less customers which consumption is not indicated as decreasing. People fond of drinking are irked with beer inflation.
Sangay who wants to buy beer for rituals complain of price hike. He went from shop to shop asking for price in Lobesa town. “The price for beer has increased in all shops,” he said.
Thinley from Bajo town share similar stories. He said that beers are not available in all shops where it was available before. He said, “The price for the can beer has increased.”
In Bajo town the price for can beer tray has increased from Nu 200 to Nu 280. Per can it has increased from Nu 55 to Nu 70.
In Khuruthang town, dealers who makes more income says there are less supply of beer. Shopkeepers in the town borrows from one another.
For a 11,000 beer case, now it cost Nu 850-900 now. It was Nu 680-780 previously.
An owner of T.P Enterprise at Khuruthang, Tshering Peldon said that now the price for beer in the town has increased since the lockdown. “We use to buy beer from Thimphu, Phuentsholing or Gelephu but now it is hard to get beer,” she said.
Speaking to Bhutan Times, Tshering Peldon said that though customers complain of beer inflation, customers still come in large numbers in search of beer.
The owner of Damber Kumar General Shop cum Bar at Lobesa revealed that the price for beer has increased. The reason he admits is less unavailability of beer. “We have no supply of beer since lockdown,” he told.
When asked if the shopkeepers are reaping the benefits of low supply marked up prices, they said “absolutely” it isn’t.
More than half a dozen restaurant and bar owners who spoke to Bhutan Times revealed that their profits are usually slim even after the high prices of drinks.
Meanwhile, public who comes for shopping in these towns are also complaining of price hike in other items.