Craft Brewers Facing Crunch Time

April 19, 2022
Craft and other small breweries are being hit hard by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, with closures on the rise.

Craft and other small breweries are being hit hard by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, with closures on the rise.

During the first three months of the year, some 53 craft breweries have closed down, according to statistics from the Brewers Association quoted by CNN. That’s up from 42 in the same quarter last year, although it doesn’t match the pace of 2019, which saw more than 300 closures.

Small brewers are grappling with supply issues, including for barley and wheat, markets for which have been severely disrupted by the war in Ukraine. In addition, most of them are dealing with a shortage of aluminum cans. Labor and transportation are other problems.

Part of the problem is that many breweries were kept afloat by government stimulus money, which has dried up.

“One hiccup, one bad delivery, one missed equipment, one bad batch, and you can be at risk,” a Texas craft brewer told CNN. “People are getting by, but it’s not clear sailing right now.”

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