Everything You Need To Know About The 2021 Beer Shortage

And the supply chain-related hits just keep on coming. This time, the beer aisle is really feeling the effects of a log-jammed supply chain, so don't be surprised if your favorite brand is missing from the grocery aisles in the coming weeks and months.

The latest reason for the shortage is that beer-making ingredients, like so many other products, are currently snagged in the supply chain, making it darn near impossible for manufacturers to make their product. This is causing prices for the scarcely available ingredients to skyrocket, per USA Today. So, even if you're lucky enough to get your hands on that favorite brew, it's likely to cost you a pretty penny more than normal.

According to the Washington Post, all of the supply chain mayhem is caused by a perfect storm of factors, including the ongoing labor shortage, shipping problems, and so on. Brett Dunne, with the spirits company Lucas Bols, recently told The Manual that lack of manpower is the main factor, saying, "There simply are not enough people to produce raw materials, move those materials from point A to B, and there is a lack of that same manpower to move finished goods through the supply chain."

Other reasons for the beer shortage

Another reason for the ongoing beer availability problem is the worldwide aluminum shortage. Since aluminum cans are used to package everything from sodas to hard seltzers, there's a huge amount of need for them, and existing factories just can't keep up. This isn't even something we can really blame COVID-19 for either as the problem actually predates the pandemic.

The issue is even worse for small beer companies whose aluminum is supplied by Ball Corp, which is increasing their minimum order amount starting in 2022. Ball is reportedly requiring an increase per order from one truckload of cans, all the way up to five truckloads. Further insult to injury, their price is going up overall, according to Times Union. They're not the only company taking this step, either. Aluminum prices overall have skyrocketed by 48% in 2021 alone, per Bloomberg. According to the Washington Post, all of this is causing a beverage shortage of about 13% overall on store shelves. So, if you hit a standard beverage aisle (sodas, beers, etc.) 13% of the normal product will be missing. What a buzzkill, right?