Empty shelves? Aluminum can shortage due to COVID-19 pandemic impacting local beer distributors

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — You may not be able to find your favorite beer the next time you shop because the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a nationwide shortage of aluminum cans.

For local beer distributors, that means some of their shelves are empty.

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As beer and soda consumption shifted from restaurants to homes over the last few months, aluminum can manufacturers are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand.

“I’ve worked here for probably 19 years, and I’ve never seen it this consistently busy over time as it is right now. Like, we are busy every single day,” said Buzz Knepp, owner of Steel City Beer in Sharpsburg.

One brand in particular, Coors Light, is hard to find in stock at many local distributors.

In the meantime, aluminum can-makers are ramping up production. Some are building new factories to meet the demand.

However, Knepp said while he may now have certain favorite brands of beer at some point, there is no shortage of beer.

According to the Can Manufacturers’ Institute, the can industry is working 24/7 on meeting the unprecedented demand of aluminum cans.