How To Get Creative During Aluminum Can Shortage

While can manufacturers are working to keep up with the unprecedented demand for cans, breweries are having to get creative in what they do, whether it’s altering release schedules, skipping over seasonals or trying to push kegs and draft over cans.

Brewer asked a couple of breweries what they’re doing in this time when they can’t get the amount of cans they need to keep up with demand and when some smaller breweries aren’t able to get cans at all.

Ska and Oskar Blues have both been rewrapping cans with new labels over printed cans to deal with the shortage.

“You’re always going to have some inventory of some cans that you’re either long on or you might not be using for a while or you used for a seasonal,” Ska’s co-founder and president Dave Thibodeau said. “But the next season hasn’t rolled around yet, and you still have the cans left. So there’s all these reasons you might have that you’re not using them immediately.”

So that sparked an idea to just rewrap them until Ska can get the cans it needs from manufacturers.

“We had beer in tanks and we were waiting for our cans to come from our supplier,” Thibodeau said. “Suddenly, we can’t get the cans and we’ve already brewed the beer. And so we were allocated to about a third of the beer that we knew we were going to be able to sell. Suddenly, we had to make up for that.”

So they started to label the cans they already have and will continue to do so until they can get what they need from their supplier again.

New Realm was actually able to stay ahead of the game when they predicted the shortage coming ahead of time.

We have a great supplier and we discuss the can supply chain with them all the time,” said Mitch Steele. “Because of this, we saw this coming a few months ago and secured what we think is adequate supply to get us through until inventories get back to normal. It’s a very real situation and it’s troubling for a lot of brewers. Not only are cans in short supply, but lead times for printing or sleeving have almost doubled.”

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