WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The beer industry is experiencing a new challenge, a high demand for the product, but not enough imported beer to go around.
“We have a shortage of some key high demand packages that people really like,” said National Beer Wholesalers Association Chief Economist, Lester Jones.
Jones said many distributors switched to canning beer at the start of the pandemic to avoid major losses in revenue due to having to remove stale kegs. Despite their efforts, many distributors couldn’t keep up with the high demand in retail sales as a result of many bars and nightclubs closing over the course of the pandemic.
Maggie’s Liquor Store is experiencing this shortage firsthand.
“An issue we are having with our local distributors and stuff is their either having shortages of cans, so they have the product but no cans to put it in or shortages of bottles, so they have the product and no bottles to put it in because they were expecting a normal period of sales but when the bars shut down people started drinking at home,” said Maggie’s Liquor Store Employee, Stephanie King.
King said that’s not the only problem, imports are a major product that’s been hit too.
“The Mexican breweries shut down when COVID hit so we weren’t able to get any more stuff in, we stocked up on what we could, but what we were able to stock up on we’ve completely blown through,” said King.
While there is still plenty of beer to go around, the shortage of available imported beer is impacting the beer industry.
“Mexican beer accounts for seven out of 10 imports into this country, seven out of all 10 imports are Mexican and one out of every 10 beers in total come from Mexico, so Mexico in and of itself accounts for 10% of beer that people drink,” said Jones.
King said Maggie’s Liquor Store went several months with a limited supply of imported beer, but they were able to get in some products this week and they’re working closely with distributors to determine when they can get more.
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