Aluminum can shortage forces Providence brewery to scale back, slow beer production

Business News

PROVIDENCE R.I. (WPRI) — Supply chain issues are impacting all kinds of local businesses, including breweries.

Long Live Beerworks owner Armando Dedona said an ongoing carbon dioxide shortage has made brewing difficult.

“We use that for carbonating beer mostly that’s where the bubbles come from,” Dedona explained.

But it’s not just a lack of carbon dioxide that’s impacting the brewing industry.

Gary Richardson, executive director of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, said aluminum cans are also hard to come by.

“Aluminum, all of a sudden, became very difficult to get in large quantities,” Richardson said.

Dedona said suppliers have told him the aluminum factories are currently shutdown, creating high demand and low supply.

“Everybody’s model went from partial draft, to partial package, to just package aluminum cans, so the larger companies ate up majority of the aluminum can market,” Dedona said.

Prior to the pandemic, Dedona said his Providence brewery was receiving approximately 12 pallets of cans per month. (Dedona said each pallet contains about 5,800 cans.) Now, the brewery is averaging about six pallets.

While things appear to be getting back on track, Dedona said the shortage did force them to slow down and scale back production at one point.

“We went from packaging what we wanted to packaging what was available,” Dedona said.

During that time, Dedona said his brewery was relying on re-fillable growlers to make up for the low supply of cans.

Dedona anticipates that the construction of new aluminum facilities over the past year will bolster the supply chain. He hopes things will be back to normal by 2022.

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