Colorado’s craft brewers are stuck with the tab as global can shortage shakes up beverage industry |

Colorado’s craft brewers are stuck with the tab as global can shortage shakes up beverage industry

Breweries, cideries and amateur cooks are spending big and getting creative to combat the supply crunch

Shannon Najmabadi
Colorado Sun

Talbott’s Cider Company used to package its hard cider mimosas in colorful cans purchased for 12 cents each from a Westminster supplier. But a monthslong supply crunch has forced the Palisade cidery to get creative: Now, the cans come blank from Korea and are wrapped by hand in a waterproof label — more than doubling the cost.

It’s a struggle going on all over Colorado as breweries, cideries and home cooks have scrambled to find new suppliers of aluminum cans and related materials due to soaring demand and an international dearth of the lightweight metal containers. The scarcity has increased costs that in some cases are passed on to consumers.

Manufacturers say the pandemic dovetailed with a growing preference for infinitely recyclable aluminum over plastic bottles, and a booming enthusiasm for canned hard seltzers. Breweries and cideries, meanwhile, abruptly shifted to cans — over kegs — for survival when the coronavirus shuttered bars and restaurants, prompting people to drink more at home.

Steve Findley, executive director of the Colorado Beer Distributors Association, said brewers have felt the pinch.

“My members carry all the major brands — Miller, MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch imports and also crafts — and we are seeing a lot of out-of-stocks lately,” Findley said.

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