FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Similar issues that have plagued stores and suppliers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have forced changes at beer and alcohol suppliers. Regional beer wholesaler Five Star Distributing has had to make adjustments other companies across the country have made.
The president of Five Star told WANE 15 that the strain on the supply chain has made it to the beer business, by way of packaging of the product. As of Wednesday, the company was struggling most with the supply of 12 ounce bottles. There have been shortages of crowns, also known as bottlecaps, and the packaging the beer bottles are shipped in. There was a similar issue with beer cans last year.
“It’s been very tough on our retail partners because were going, as you can imagine, saying ‘we’re out of this We don’t have that. We can’t give you this,'” Stan Ziherl said. “They’ve been very very patient with us. And we adapt and change and maybe substitute a can for a bottle now or when it was a can shortage, we were substituting bottles for cans. Everybody’s been great. Everybody understands, but sometimes patience wears thin.”
Those supply chain issues have happened at various points between the production of the beer and the customer. It’s not an unusual story.
“Things are rough on the supply chain in general,” Ziherl added. “If you’ve driven by a car lot, you know what our friends in the car dealership industry are suffering from too. It’s backed up into beer now primarily with our packaging. Right now it’s 12 ounce bottles. 8 months ago it was 12 ounce cans. The supply chain keeps shifting. We see little bottlenecks here and there occasionally, not to mention the fact that with the demand for trucking and truck driving capacity across the country it’s hard to get product moving from brewery to wholesaler and wholesaler to retailer.”
A spokesperson with retailer Cap N’ Cork told WANE 15 that the company’s supply has been “pretty stable.”