LANCASTER, Pa. -- It's the latest example of the trickle-down economics of ethanol -- beer is getting more expensive.

Compared to this time last year, beer prices are up about 3 percent across the nation, according to the Labor Department. The increase marks the largest jump in more than two years.

One big reason, according to some brewers, is the rising cost of barley. A high demand for corn-based ethanol has many farmers devoting more fields to their corn crop and less to barley.

That has impacted many beer makers, including the Lancaster Brewing Company, which had to raise some prices earlier this year. The cases it sells to distributors went up 50 cents.

But the brewery said so far it hasn't had to hike the price of beer sold at its bar. But it isn't ruling out an increase next year.

"We do feel a little heat of the prices. But comparably the amount of barley in a glass of beer is insignificant. Twenty-five percent is 25 percent. But we've been able to keep control of the cost of beer," said Lancaster Brewing Company brewmaster Christian Heim.

The brewery also blamed last year's hot, dry weather for the shortage of barley.

News 8 contacted Pennsylvania's largest beer maker, Yuengling, but officials would not comment on beer prices.

Ethanol has also recently been blamed for higher, milk, ice cream and pizza prices.