Nationwide aluminum can shortage could impact local breweries

Avondale Brewing. (Source: WBRC file video)
Avondale Brewing. (Source: WBRC file video)
Published: Jul. 25, 2020 at 10:19 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Aluminum cans are in high demand because more people are choosing to drink from home during the pandemic.

“When your draft beer is not being used for four months, that creates a little bit of an issue, so everyone kind of scrambles to try and re-adjust,” Avondale Brewing Company Marketing manager Taylor Lander said.

During the pandemic, Avondale Brewing Company saw an increase in to-go sales.

“Our to-go sales definitely saw an increase and our sales in the market for canned products saw a significant increase as well due to the lack of draft,” Lander said.

Due to canned beer increases like the one at Avondale Brewing Company, Lander said there is now a nationwide shortage of aluminum cans.

“If Pepsi and Coca-cola are seeing issues, then these small breweries, there’s so many of us, and it will eventually trickle down and affect us,” Lander said.

Avondale Brewing Company marketing manager, Taylor Lander, said because of can shortage, breweries can’t put out new beers

“So whatever you have in the market, is what is in the market and coming out with something new, a new bar code basically, may have to wait,” Lander said.

Lander said the shortage could potentially be a problem for local breweries.

“Our to-go sales are mainly in aluminum cans so this could greatly affect our ability to sell beer to go,” Lander said. “Regardless if you’re big or small or somewhere in between, it could be a pretty big issue for breweries.”

With less cans in stores, Lander said breweries miss out on marketing opportunities.

“Anything out in the market is a marketing tool for your on site business, and anything that people drink on site, you hope they turn around and find that brand in the market, so it really goes both ways,” Lander said.

Lander said it is not just canned beer taking a hit. She said it could trickle into soda cans as well.

One major factor is the coronavirus and changing habits related to it. Beer that would have ended up in kegs at restaurants and bars has shifted, along with other kinds of alcohol, to being sold in retail stores and through online channels and consumed at home -- often in cans. The boom in pantry loading in the spring has compounded the problem by throwing brewer supply chains out of whack.

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