Troubles in (BEER) paradise! Shortage of beer bottles! A 40% increase for the cost of beer bottles!

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1 year ago

There was an article in the newspaper this morning which did catch my attention. The war in Ukraine does impact all sectors, and apparently also the beer sector in Belgium. So yes even sectors you don't immediately link to the drama going on there.

It appears that there could be a shortage in beer bottles! At least in Belgium. The reason for this is that one of the major beer bottles factories is situated just outside Kiev. And due to bombardments of the Russian the factory is heavily damaged. Add to that one of the major glass factories used to produce beer bottles is in Russia, which isn't allowed to export the glass anymore due to restrictions.

We also need to understand that a beer bottle factory needs to run 24/7. This has to do with the fact that the glass oven does need to have a constant feed a liquid glass, if this doesn't happen the glass oven will burst. That is also the reason that it is tough for other beer bottle factories to scale up! There are just producing day after day the same quantities of beer bottles. The glass oven just wants to have a constant flow!

So far no shortage is foreseen for the Belgian market. This is because when you do buy a beer bottle in Belgium, you also need to pay a deposit of €0.1 for the bottle. You do get this back when you do return the bottle. So most bottles are re-used.
But also here only 70% of the bottles are returned. Bottles do break or are just thrown away! Due to this potential shortage the price for beer bottles also has increased from €97 for 1000 bottles towards €135 for the same amount of bottles.

For sure beer brewers who do have a lot of export could get into troubles. Beer which is exported is a bottle which will never return. So for each 1000 bottles of beer they do export they need to purchase 1000 bottles. I know common sense :)

I do think that 95% of the beers I do drink do have a deposit on the bottles, the only exception probably is Desperado!


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1 year ago