Craft beer drinkers may have to start paying more for their favorite brews next year, so if you fall in that category, you might want to stock up now.
Ball Corp., one of the largest aluminum can manufacturers in the country, has informed its customers that it's both raising prices and increasing the minimum order. That will put a huge strain on small- to medium-size craft brewers and distillers that don't have the liquidity or storage space of the big guys.
Currently, the minimum order at Ball Corp. is 204,000 cans, or about one truckload. Starting Jan. 1, 2022, all companies will have to purchase at least five truckloads — about a million cans. The price per can will increase by 50% for some of the company's customers as well.
Small breweries are already pinched from bars and taprooms shuttering during the pandemic, so many shifted production to retail packaging as people drank more at home. Now the squeeze will be on from that side, as well, which may lead to less selection and higher prices on craft brews in stores.