**FILE**Mugs of beer are served at the Thrush Tavern in Montpelier, Vt., in this June 29, 2004 file photo. Twenty-three years after raising the legal drinking age to 21, Vermont lawmakers are re-visiting the issue, despite a federal law that would punish the state by withholding highway funding if it lowers the age minimum. Convinced that existing laws aren't working, state Sen. Hinda Miller has taken a first step by introducing a bill that would establish a task force to weigh the pros and cons and make a recommendation to the legislature later this year. AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Bad weather in Europe led to a huge shortage in specialty hops that many microbreweries use for their lagers and ales, rising the costs of craft beers to lager lovers.
Nationally beer drinkers are starting to move towards the cheaper and more popular domestic brands such as Budweisers and Coors. Those big companies have locked in rates on those hops rising in cost for years.
Local, smaller brewers don't have that luxury and have to raise prices to keep revenues up
Local liquor store owners and they say the national trends are not finding their way into the Western Slope and craft and specialty ales are still selling extremely well in this area.