Toilet paper back on the shelves, but is beer in danger?

Toilet paper back on the shelves, but is beer in danger?

beer o clock

With some degree of normalcy returning to supermarket shelves – as a result of restrictions on key items – panic buyers have again been out in force due to fresh fears of a lockdown.

This time it was not toilet paper that was foremost in the minds of consumers, but another Aussie essential – alcohol. People were queuing to get into bottle shops, with outlets such as Dan Murphy’s feeling the brunt of the demand.

Now, big brewers are warning that the country could run out of beer if they are not granted an exemption from mooted shutdown rules.

Australia's biggest beer company, Carlton & United Breweries, and rival Lion say the nation could run out of their beer products for months if they are included in a shutdown of industry.  And if beer was not given exempt status, tens of thousands of jobs would be imperilled, further driving up the unemployment rate, which economists predict could hit 14 per cent. It currently sits at 5.3 per cent.

Both companies have said that major breweries could not be turned off and then restarted quickly, and if they were forced to close, then it would be up to three months before beer supplies could return to normal.

“Unfortunately, you can't turn major breweries off and then quickly turn them back on,” said Carlton & United Breweries chief executive Peter Filipovic.

“If breweries are included in a widespread shutdown, we may not be able to get beer to the market for some months after re-opening.”

Brewers are also concerned about the ramifications if bottle shops are closed.

Lion Australia managing director James Brindley said Britain, Europe and the United States had all “kept retail and takeaway liquor going, and the supply chains behind them”.

Victoria and NSW premiers say only supermarkets, petrol stations, pharmacies, convenience stores, freight and logistics, and home delivery will remain operational in a shutdown of non-essential activity.

Lockdowns would also be bad news for the hundreds of craft-beer brewers across Australia.

Have you stocked up on beer and other alcohol?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    The Thinker
    25th Mar 2020
    The best beer I have ever tasted was Australian homebrew. The supplier has passed away but the money he earned from selling it as a sideline helped boost his pension.
    25th Mar 2020
    25th Mar 2020
    Oh No, not the beer! Okay that's it. Is the end, you can throw away the key now. I am actually being serious here. I know how important beer is to most Aussie guys. It is sort of the glue that keeps us joined together. I don't drink it, but I understand its importance in our society,
    Retiring Well
    25th Mar 2020
    Can't stand the stuff myself and have idea how anyone can drink it. It tastes awful.
    26th Mar 2020
    ... and all these years you've been saying what a wonderful time we've all been having drinking beer...
    25th Mar 2020
    Alida Talbot
    25th Mar 2020
    OH Dear, I use it to style my hair - and to drown snails in the garden - Best use for it
    However on a Hot Summer's day a little sip does perk you up!!
    26th Mar 2020
    Yeasty beer makes a great fruit fly bait.
    25th Mar 2020
    OH !! The humanity !!!!
    26th Mar 2020
    Guess the brewing kits will be next.
    Chris B T
    26th Mar 2020
    No work, shortage of funds coming in, already maxed out credit card, Rent/Mortgage payments, Food etc.
    Alcohol is the preference after toilet paper.
    Some have really lost the Plot, there is no light at the end of this Tunnel.
    When the light comes in sight there is a recovery period.
    The Brew Master
    26th Mar 2020
    I should be sweet, with approximately 130 kg of base & specialty malts, 10 kg of various hops and a supply of different yeasts. That equates to about 65 cartons of craft beer plus I already have about 90 litres on hand ready to drink. I did read recently where a man went on a beer only diet for about 6 weeks & actually lost weight, so there is hope for me still. Cheers.
    26th Mar 2020
    6 weeks of only beer = DEAD = weight loss.
    26th Mar 2020
    Good God!!

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