supply chain, inflation causing shortage issues – WPXI

PITTSBURGH – A new problem is under consideration for breweries.

Scott Smith, owner of the East End Brewing Company, says the biggest problem in the supply chain is the shortage of cans.

He has to buy cans outside the country, which is very rare.

“It was brutal trying to find a container to put our beer in,” Smith said. Smith shared what caused the shortage during the pandemic.

“The can-making capacity in the United States is limited, and when everyone was shut down, there was a big shift from draft beer to packaged beer,” Smith said.

Another problem is inflation.

Smith says they see early signs that costs could rise for malted barley, one of the main ingredients in beer.

“And you really need barley to be able to make beer,” Smith said. “I think it was a situation combined with supply chain issues with also difficult weather seasons, so a barley supply shortage is looming on the horizon, as if we don’t need any another challenge ahead.”

He says the shortage is coming at a bad time as the weather warms up and he expects business to pick up.

“At the end of the day, if this continues, we will have to raise the prices of our beers. We have no choice but at this time we are bearing this additional cost,” Smith said.

Smith hopes to keep his beer prices unchanged through the summer, but that could change.

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