Venezuela has had to suffer a host of indignities due to its economic and environmental-driven crises. As reported by Open Corporates many common household items are in very short supply. Now, even beer is becoming incredibly scarce. While beer is a luxury item, the loss of a beverage people around the world take for granted really does add further insult to the horrible situation befalling this country.
The sad reality of the beer shortage sunk in when Empresas Polar SA, the biggest of all private companies in Venezuela, shut down all four of its beer plants. Empresas Polar SA produces about 80% of all the beer in the country.
Shortages are the reason why the plants have shut down. Beer, like other beverages, requires ingredients to be brewed. Those ingredients have to be imported. Chief among those ingredients is malted barley.
Velasquezn Figueroa explains that the government controls the distribution of hard currency and, in the current economic situation, the government is going to be even tighter with money. Essential goods are in short supply. Venezuela is in debt to many who provide these items. Paying debts owed for food imports is going to take precedence over alcohol products. Unfortunately, paying for food and dairy is extremely difficult right now.