It’s five o’clock somewhere – and people who come home from work might want to have a beer to relax.
But the craft beer industry is a little worried: an aluminum can can become scarce.
That’s just another ripple effect from the pandemic.
At the height of the pandemic, breweries – including the CraftHaus Brewery – had to change their business models overnight.
That meant more canned beer for roadside pickup and less draft beer as the tasting rooms were closed.
“It shaped the candemie,” said Wyndee Forrest, co-owner of CraftHaus Brewery.
She says they fill 4,000 aluminum cans a week.
Last month almost half of their beer was canned.
“We were consuming faster than ever,” said Forrest, who is also president of the Nevada Craft Brewers Association.
Now supply is struggling to keep up with demand.
“The interruptions in the supply chain go beyond cans. Almost everything brewers currently use in the brewhouse is either hard to find or the price is rising, ”said Bart Watson, chief economist for the national Brewers Association.
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“If you have a perishable product in your tanks ready to be packaged, you had nothing to put in,” said Forrest.
CraftHaus Brewery had to adapt by removing the covers from existing cans and re-labeling them; Forrest says it’s “like throwing money down the drain”.
They also used every available size.
“I went from 32 (ounce) to 24 (ounce) because I found that, and we had to retrofit the machine, the Crowler machine, too,” said Forrest.
As breweries pay more, beer drinkers pay more.
The owners of the CraftHaus brewery say they are considering raising draft prices.
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“Carton, CO2, truck and shipping – small breweries are hit in many different areas so hopefully we’ll see them innovate, spin and thrive, but it will be a challenge for small breweries even as COVID wears off,” said Watson.
The wine and spirits industry also suffers from a shortage of glass bottles.
Brewers expect the challenges to continue into the next or even the following year.