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Valley breweries could be hit by aluminum can price hike

Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 05, 2021

PHOENIX — Beer lovers could end up paying more for their favorite craft drinks in 2022.

Supply chain issues have led to an aluminum can shortage.

Additionally, distributors have changed the number of cans needed to fill an order, making it more difficult for small breweries to buy their normal amounts of cans.

"We actually have a number of sources of cans but usually when someone like Ball's Caliber makes a change, the industry tends to follow the leader," said Adam Wojcik, PHX Beer Co.'s brewery director.

"We were lucky to get a shipment of cans these last few weeks," added Wojcik.

Recently, Ball Corp., an aluminum can manufacturer, announced plans to require their customers to increase the minimum order from one truckload to five truckloads — which equal about a million cans.

Switching materials could be more expensive. Additionally, breweries may have to be more selective about which beers they can.

In Arizona, there are about 100 breweries with 120 locations, according to the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

"Oftentimes, it is a family-owned business," said Rob Fullmer, the guild's executive director.

According to Fullmer, most breweries in Arizona can't handle the new requirements.

"Ninety percent of our breweries, so 90 out of 100, could not fill five truckloads of beer in an entire year," he said.

Fullmer told ABC15 that places will have to scale back operations or increase prices.

"It's either going up in price or in some cases they're not going to do those seasonal releases that way," he said.

According to Fullmer, breweries placed their last can orders in October. He said he could see the canning problems going into the spring.