A nationwide shortage of a particular kind of aluminum is taking its toll on Maine breweries.
The Portland Press Herald reported that aluminum can manufacturers have seen “unprecedented demand” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aluminum Association of Washington, D.C. said that consumers who are spending more time at home prefer canned beverages because they are easily storable, and manufacturers who are already operating at capacity have “no quick or easy way to increase production.” With keg sales to restaurants and bars down, Maine breweries fear they will lose business if they can’t maintain a supply.
Small state brewers are more likely to have their orders delayed or canceled, but even the state’s larger local breweries are concerned about maintaining their supply. According to the national Brewers Association, almost all aluminum cans used by American brewers are made in the United States, but the metal often comes from Canada, on which a 10 percent tariff, reimposed by President Trump on Aug. 6, is also contributing to the shortage, the Press Herald reported.
The national Brewers Association is urging brewers to consider other types of packaging and some local brewers are purchasing bulk orders and splitting the orders up among competitors or working with mobile canning companies to keep the beer rolling, the Press Herald reported.