A shortage of canned beer looks like its on the horizon leaving many Michigan breweries scrambling to make sure their production facilities can at least produce their product in bottled form.

Why the shortage? Many reasons abound but the lack of on-premise sales through taps and sales of kegs thanks to restaurant and bar shut downs due to the Covid-19 crisis is the biggest culprit, with beer lovers having no other choice but to empty beer shelves at local grocery stores. The rush for aluminum cans to accommodate those increased sales put a real crunch on the availability of aluminum cans.

“The market was trending toward cans, and Covid just exacerbated it because people want bigger packs in lighter packaging, so cans just really took off,” said Larry Bell, founder and president of Bell’s Brewery, Inc.“Plus, nobody sells seltzer in a bottle, do they?” - MLIVE

The aluminum can shortages does involve some quick thinking adaptability for a lot of Michigan brewers whose product normally is seen on store shelves in can form. Bells Brewery for instance will be selling on store shelves their popular Hopslam exclusively in bottled form for the first time in years.

“It just makes sense to cover our butts and put Hopslam in bottles. We need to make sure we have enough cans for Oberon and Two Hearted for the rest of the year,” Bell said. “If consumers would consider switching some of their can purchases to bottles it would help every brewer in the country, and especially the small guys that don’t do bottles,” - MLIVE

So if you notice a lack of your favorite beer in canned form and more in bottled form, you'll understand. Looks like the trend to bottles will continue throughout 2021 too.

“We’ve seen a lot of (breweries) transitioning back to bottles if they are able to do so,” said Tim Wille, craft brand manager at Alliance Beverage Distributing in Grand Rapids, who works with close to 40 breweries. “Those that are unable to transition back to bottles are being put in a tough situation.” - MLIVE

The future of aluminum canned Michigan beer is certainly unpredictable now and many breweries will adapt by going overseas and beyond to attain their canned beer needs, others, might not be so lucky.

Thanks again Covid

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