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Arkansas beer makers navigate shortages of ingredients

Beer makers in Arkansas are now having to navigate shortages of the ingredients that they use to make their brews.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — When it comes to locally brewed beers such as Love Honey, Lil Wheezy, 2nd Rodeo, and Punchy Seltzer, there's one man who has made it evident that brewing beer has always been his game.

Dylan Yelenich, Brewmaster at Lost Forty Brewing is passionate about his work and his goal is to make sure that everyone is drinking good beer.

"When a customer reaches for one of our beverages, they know what they're getting inside the can, there's not a guessing game happening, " Yelenich said.

Part of what he does day in and day out is maintaining consistency— which is something that's always required in order to make the local brews that go on the shelf.

Though sometimes, things have been out of his control.

"Just scary," Yelenich described. "You don't know what to do, there's not a handbook for this kind of stuff."

He's not the only brewmaster or the only brewery, that has seen those issues.

"Yeah, it was a little terrifying at first to start thinking about one of our biggest raw materials, was, again, coming up on a shortage," he said. "Right after we come off of an aluminum can shortage."

Earlier this summer, there was an issue getting aluminum for cans. 

Recently, Yelenich said they heard that there could be issues getting carbon dioxide, which is a crucial part of giving their beer its signature taste.

"We receive our CO2 via truck delivery because our suppliers are so close. we're very fortunate for that reason," Yelenich explained.

He added that their supplier in Mississippi had enough to cover the region, but if the railroad strike had actually happened, the supplier would've been forced to ship to other customers via truck as well, which would have caused issues for Lost Forty.

Since they were able to avoid those potential issues, Yelenich said this served as a message.

"Don't panic," he said, laughing.

He added that at the end of the day, he'll do everything he can to keep being consistent.

"To make sure that the beverages and things that we manufacture are of the highest quality," Yelenich said. "That's always the first thing in my mind."

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