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Milton Brewery tackles price hikes by stockpiling malt

Milton Brewery is juggling mounting costs by buying up extra malt each month to avoid being stung by further price hikes.

Brewery owner Richard Naisby explained to Reuters that he had saved himself about £2,000 (US$2,480) by buying as much malt as he could fit in before his supplier raised prices in January.

Naisby, whose brewery is based in the east of England, said: “Things are going through the roof. Malt’s gone up 40% to 50%.”

Now, to avoid the costs while he juggles inflation and his energy bills, he revealed that his warehouse is full of pallets stacked high with sacks of malt, fundamental for brewing enough beer for the next year.

Formerly, Naisby would order the grain when he needed it, but said he knew he needed to make a quick plan to try to stave off the impact of price increases across his business.

Speaking of juggling all the price hikes, Naisby, who also runs three pubs near Cambridge, said: “Cumulatively of course that’s very, very difficult for us to withstand,” and explained how he has been forced to put up his prices by 7% over the past year, but still finds himself, like many small business owners, not big enough to negotiate better rates from suppliers.

Five miles from Milton Brewery is one of Naisby’s pubs, The Haymakers where he sells Milton’s flagship beer Pegasus alongside a pizza menu. Last year he revealed how he sold pizzas for £13 to £14, but now he said that each of them cost nearer to £15 to make because of a 50% jump in the price of tinned tomatoes and explained how the price of everything is going up, forcing him to reconsider how to manage all of the spiked increases.

Naisby, who employs about 40 people in his pubs and four at the brewery, said: “We can’t pass on all the price rises and certainly not immediately” and admitted that he has even taken to doing small, local cask beer deliveries in his old Morris Minor rather than in his delivery van to cut down on fuel costs. He added: “We’re just looking into every single aspect of the expenses that we incur to try and make a living.”

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