By: Royce Jones
SPRINGDALE (KDKA) – As if there haven’t been enough shortages of supplies during the pandemic, demand for beer is reportedly causing an industry-wide shortage of aluminum cans.
At the Leaning Cask Brewing Company in Springdale, PA, the seating may be limited but canned beer is in abundant supply.
The coolers are stacked from top to bottom with sours, IPA, and pale ale.
While some small and big brewers cite shortages of aluminum beer cans, the supply is hopping there.
Joshua Lipke, Owner, Leaning Cask Brewing Company told KDKA, “If it is actually a thing that’s out there right now, the only thing that I can attribute it to is the fact that we’ve had the industry package so much more beer-to -go because we can’t really rely on our in-house systems.”
Lipke said people who are grabbing beer-to-go are indeed buying more cans than bottles.
“Glass hasn’t been very popular in the craft beer community in the last couple of years,” said Lipke.
But what is it about cracking open a can that makes people go crazy? The owner said some consumers believe, “glass is not nearly as recyclable.”
Jackie Smith, a beer enthusiast, who was enjoying some cans of craft beer at the Springdale brewery said she agrees, cans are better for recycling and said, “that’s one of the reasons we started brewing our own beer so we could save on packaging.”
Lipke said some people prefer cans because light transmission to beer can cause problems and spoil the beer. He also said, as more people head outdoors, they prefer cans because glass is less durable.
The Leaning Cask owner said he’s not too worried about a can shortage.
His distributers are still stocking them.
But when and if they don’t, he said a financial problem may be brewing for local beer brewers.
“It could be an entirely new set up which is extremely expensive so it’s not just a quick change over of the vessel and you’re good to go. It’s a complete overhaul of the equipment,” said Lipke.