Distillery deals with supply shortages; Owner orders six months in advance

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EL PASO, Texas – Dry Point Distillers in Las Cruces has been dealing with supply chain disruptions since last year and it’s putting a strain on their operations.

Chris Schaefer, owner operator of Dry Point Distillers, said he started noticing the disruptions in supplies like raw materials and bottles in fall of 2020.

“I called my bottle supplier and asked for a shipment of bottles. Usually it was about six to ten days and they told me it was going to be six or five weeks.” Schaefer remembered.

Since then he decided to start ordering his shipments ahead to make sure he is stocked up.

Schaefer distills some of his liquor in house, but several of his branded whiskeys are outsourced from an outside distillery.

Not only does he order the bottles six months in advance, but also had to order whiskey ahead that he will not be able to bottle or sell until 2024.

“They just sent me a notice as of October 1 of this year, all shipments of glass will have an extra 10 percent fee,” he explained, “10 percent when I’m ordering $7,000 worth of bottles is kind of a lot.”

These shortages are putting a financial strain on him, especially having to purchase materials in advance, but he says he doesn’t want to raise prices for consumers.

“We’ve been absorbing some of these hits,” he said, “community has been behind us for more than four years and we want to keep that bottle of vodka at $18.”

As a member of a Distiller’s Guild, Schaefer keeps in touch with other distillers across New Mexico. He said they are all “in the same boat.”

Not long ago, Schaefer shipped 40 cases of bottles to Albuquerque to a distillery that was severely lacking.

“They weren’t going to get bottles until January,” he said.

Schafer added that now is a good time to think about supporting local businesses, especially ahead of the holidays.

(KTSM and Karla Draksler contributed to this report.)

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