Wholesaler predicts bottled beer shortage as glass prices soar

A Scottish wholesaler has warned the UK could see bottled beer stocks fall as glass prices continue to rise.

Julie Dunn, operations director at Blantyre-based Dunns Food and Drinks, said a number of global suppliers are already dealing with glassware shortages, as prices have “jumped by 80% in the last twelve months due to rising energy costs”. 

Dunn said: “It won’t be long before the glassware shortage hits UK consumers. Our wine and spirits suppliers from around the globe are facing ongoing struggles that will have a knock-on effect. As a result, there could be less variety in the bottled beers we see on UK shelves.

“Specialist bottles and glassware hold a very important place in the heritage of the beer industry, and I expect that while some breweries will convert to cans to ensure consistent supply, others will look at this as devaluing the brand, so will inevitably pass the additional cost onto beer drinkers,” she added. 

Brewers in Scotland are taking action to combat rising production costs. Edinburgh-based brewery Vault City Brewing will switch to predominantly can-only releases from next month.

Steven Smith-Hay, Vault City’s co-founder, said: “We started introducing cans to our release schedule in January because of rising costs and challenges with availability. This was initially just for our session sours and supermarket range, but because production prices are so high, we’ve decided to make all our beers can-only from June, with the exception of a few special releases each year.” 

He said the brewery is now paying around 65p per bottle – a 15p jump on six months ago.

“If you think about the volume of beer we’re bottling even as a microbrewery, the costs really start to pile up. It’s just not viable to keep going in that direction.” 

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