Consider the beer can. Lightweight, easily recyclable and, much to the consternation of small, craft brewers, in short supply. The seemingly ubiquitous aluminum can will, thanks to a major supplier’s inability to keep up with demand, experience a price hike that has already impacted small breweries like Telluride Brewing Company.
Earlier this year, Ball Corp., the world’s biggest aluminum can manufacturer, which is based in Broomfield, Colorado, let small breweries know that it could no longer keep up with demand. The pandemic, which shuttered taprooms around the state, led breweries to shift more toward canning, as craft beer loving customers were forced to imbibe at home. That shift proved durable and as summer arrived — canned beer’s biggest season — demand did not abate. Ball Corp. sent word to non-contract breweries like TBC, that they would no longer fill orders of less than one million cans, and that on-site storage was no longer an option. That was not good news for small breweries.
TBC co-founder and head brewer, Chris Fish, explained his company’s decade-long relationship with Ball.