National Can Shortage Threatens Beer Industry

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Photo Cred: Ian Steele

Well, we probably could’ve seen this one coming. With nationwide restrictions on alcohol operations of all shapes and sizes, many breweries, taprooms, bars and more have gotten the green light to begin to-go sales. Breweries in particular have scrambled to find new avenues of to-go beer, the most convenient and consistent of which falls to the aluminum can. Many breweries have bought can-seamers or full-blown canning lines to start off-premise distribution, which has greatly tightened the availability of cans.

Ball Corporation, well-known and long-utilized, have felt the squeeze. You know Ball, they’re the ones that make those glass jars your mom put jams and jellies in, which you probably stole in your teen years to stem the potent aroma of your herbal remedies, whatever that may look like. They are also one of the foremost producers/suppliers of aluminum cans in the nation, but still, they have been struggling to keep up with demand. The corporation pointed to a particular shortage in 12 oz slim cans, as a result of the skyrocketing popularity of hard seltzers.

In response to the squeeze, Ball Corp.has utilized their well-established global network of manufacturing to support customers in the US; they have also begun construction on two new production facilities. According to statements made by the company’s communications director, they have also worked to increase efficiency in production at all 16 of their US plants. The two new plants are set to be constructed in Glendale, AZ as well as a currently unreleased location somewhere in the northeast.

With these actions in place, Ball is set to greatly increase their production and supply. Time will tell how critical this situation gets, and some breweries (especially on the small end of the craft scale) may have to look elsewhere for to-go packaging.