Production cutbacks due to COVID-19 pandemic causing draft beer shortages

Production cutbacks due to COVID-19 pandemic causing beer shortages

Another ripple effect of the coronavirus pandemic could affect your weekend plans. Now COVID-19 could mean you can’t get your favorite beer at the bar.

A lot of brewing companies have been cutting back production due to the pandemic, forced to dump out barrels of draft beer.

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“It’s a lot to to say goodbye ... we work hard to make up beer, make it taste right and be perfect in the keg. So, when it sits idle for that long you have no choice but to say goodbye,” said Scott Smith, owner of East End Brewing Company.

Scott said his business heavily dialed back on producing draft beer after seeing a drop off in demand, so they have shifted production to mostly canning.

That draft beer cutback is then affecting suppliers like Vecenie’s Distributing in Millvale.

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“Draft beer sales, we’re probably at 20% because almost all our draft sales (and) keg sales are through restaurants and taverns,” the owner said.

The shortage goes full circle, impacting bars and restaurants too. The House of 1,000 Beers in Warrendale is now having trouble getting their more popular draft beers, like Yuengling and Blue Moon.

Employees there told Channel 11 some customers have even turned away and left the restaurant because they didn’t have their favorite beer on draft. They said the restaurant industry is slowly drying up, just like their beer taps.

However, there is some good news. East End Brewing said it has seen an increase in whole sales, selling canned beer in six packs and cases, as more people are drinking at home or buying beer at grocery stores, gas stations and breweries.

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