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Aluminum shortage increasing price and decreasing shipments of cans for breweries in Southwest Florida

Aluminum shortage
Posted at 6:51 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 18:51:05-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The nationwide aluminum shortage has breweries in Southwest Florida looking for new ways to keep their beer stocked.

From car manufacturers to construction workers, a nationwide aluminum shortage now has the price for a can of beer, going up

“We are seeing ya know, between the cost of aluminum and the cost of freight going up were looking at nearly 50% in the cost of our cans," said Kyle Cebull.

Cebull is the Owner/ CEO of Millennial Brewing Company in downtown Fort Myer says while smaller operations are having to pay more for shipping and overall cost per can.

Jen Whyte says for larger beer-makers like Fort Myers Brewing Company (FMBC),

“We’ve been shorted 600,000 cans,” said Whyte.

Co-Owner of FMBC, Whyte says the more than half a million cans missing are for their fan-favorite High Five IPA.

The High Five is an item Fort Myers brewing says comes pre-labeled from the distributor.

On Monday, Whyte told Fox 4 they will have to use blank cans to make up for the lost shipment.

"We have enough blank cans to label those and still get High Five out the door so that’s our contingency plan but the cost of a blank can and the cost of a printed can are exactly the same so if you add a label to a can that you normally would print, you're just adding additional cost," she said.

Whyte says the lack of inventory being sent out by major distributors and manufacturers is because they fell behind during the pandemic when many people were at home and were drinking.

Thankfully she says they have enough blank cans to make it through next year, a fallback that will keep them filling orders, but could eventually also raise the price for beer drinkers.

“I mean at some point, if this continues, you’re gonna have to do something,” said Whyte.

Whyte says the other additional expense to keeping so many cans in their inventory, is the cost to store those cans.

She said they have rented additional space just to store cans so that they can continue to keep up with demand.

Businesses like Millennial Brewing Company, who need to keep their prices low to stay competitive with bigger companies, it’s about pushing through the tough times.

“Realistically we dont really have a choice when it comes to the pricing to the market. We have to keep that price where it is and so what happened on our side is we are just eating that in profit. We are just losing profit by the function of the increase in the material and shipping cost,” said Cebull.

Fort Myers Brewing says they will do everything they can to not raise their prices, and for both companies, they say it’s about pushing through a time when the pandemic continues to create hurdles for local businesses.