Vendors struggle with rising costs for weekend festivals like NC Hops Fest

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the Southeast, but those doing the work feel like they're being hit several directions in this economy.

Some are tweaking recipes and making other adjustments as prices soar.

Werloom Honey and Meadery is going to be featured at the NC Hops Festival, and the business is footing a big bill to be part of event. The business is located in more than 300 miles away from Raleigh.

"Even us coming out here, it costs more gas now," said Ted Dunham from Wehrloom.

Brewers are trying to save money where ever they can these days, even with something as small as switching out glass bottles.

"It's a little bit cheaper. Glass got really hard to get during the pandemic," Dunham said.

The current inflation rate is the largest 12-month increase since December 1981. Energy, food and housing costs are all contributing to the spike.

It's not just the brewers who are spending differently, their customers are too.

The organizer of NC Hops Fest said tickets for this year's festival have not sold as quickly as those last year.

The event was started during the pandemic with the purpose of helping brewers who were struggling.

"We're still carrying on that tradition this year because these businesses still need that boost. They still need the sales. Gas prices are rising. The cost of products is rising. Everything is rising and this is our way of trying to help them," said Shop Local Raleigh Executive Director Jennifer Martin.

Businesses are hoping support remains on tap and ticket sales increase over the weekend.

"It's definitely much needed, especially with how many beers are in this particular area, things like this are where we hopefully do pick up some new buyers," said Sam Byrd from Bevana.
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