Missoula running low on holiday cheer

MISSOULA, Mont. - With Thanksgiving kicking off the holiday season this week, supply chain shortages are being felt in all areas, from groceries to holiday shopping. 

The pandemic is even impacting festive holiday drinks. From the Moscow Mule to your favorite classic eggnog, liquor supplies are coming up short. 

Jeff Crouch, owner of Grizzly Liquor, said it's been a fiasco since COVID-19 hit. 

The advice this year, like most things, shop early or you may just come up empty. 

"Since COVID-19 hit, people are willing to spend a little more on that bottle," Crouch said. "They're going to drink it now rather than save it. I think people were reminded by COVID-19 that life is short and you should enjoy it. Enjoy life."

Crouch said this is the case mostly with American whiskey, and especially higher end liquors. 

With this specific liquor, it's not an issue with the supply chain, but that people are buying these higher end bottles more quickly. 

However, glass and liquor shortages are creating problems for other spirits, like English scotch. 

Crouch encouraged people to be open-minded when holiday shopping, because the missing products are unpredictable. 

"As long as you're flexible and move from one scotch to another, or one whiskey to another, we're good," Crouch said. "It's the people coming in and looking for that specific bottle for their dad for Christmas that may not be in the state of Montana anywhere."

He said the store's gone six months without some European special bottles, and is prepared to go a full year without it. 

Other products are coming in every few weeks. 

If you're looking for something special, Crouch said customers can ask store clerks. Places like Grizzly Liquor will put names on a list and call when it's back in stock. 

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