Shortage of aluminum cans forces Providence brewery to cut beer production


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PROVIDENCE RI (WPRI) – Supply chain issues impact all kinds of local businesses, including breweries.

Long live Beerworks owner Armando Dedona said a continuing shortage of carbon dioxide has made brewing difficult.

“We use it to carbonate beer, that’s where the bubbles mainly come from,” Dedona explained.

But it’s not just the lack of carbon dioxide that’s impacting the brewing industry.

Gary Richardson, executive director of the Rhode Island Brewers Guild, said aluminum cans were also hard to come by.

“Aluminum all of a sudden became very difficult to obtain in large quantities,” said Richardson.

Dedona said suppliers told him aluminum factories are currently closed, creating high demand and low supply.

“Everyone’s model has gone from partial blank to partial packaging to packaging aluminum cans, so large companies have consumed the majority of the aluminum can market,” said Dedona.

Before the pandemic, Dedona said her Providence brewery received around 12 pallets of cans per month. (Dedona said each pallet holds about 5,800 cans.) Now the brewery averages about six pallets.

While things seem to be getting back on track, Dedona said the shortage forced them to slow down and cut production at one point.

“We went from packaging what we wanted to packaging what was available,” said Dedona.

Meanwhile, Dedona said her brewery relied on refillable growlers to make up for the low supply of cans.

Dedona predicts that the construction of new aluminum facilities over the past year will strengthen the supply chain. He hopes things will get back to normal by 2022.

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