The beer breweries in Germany have to face the fact that there will inevitably be gaps in the supply chains. Now producers fear that this could lead to delays in products. And this, when the industry has just been able to record an increase in beer sales again.
The good weather and new freedoms boosted the consumption of beer
After a low in sales of draught beer, German beer producers have recently experienced a significant upswing. Both well-attended beer gardens and full terraces as well as popular shooting and folk festivals boosted the production of beer in recent weeks. Michael Huber, managing director of the Veltins brewery, explained this with the presumed pent-up demand of people to attend events after the lockdown.
People would feel the urge to want to go outside and enjoy socialising. Not only did they attend events more often, they also stayed longer than in the years before the restrictive Corona pandemic. This has resulted in higher than expected beer consumption, especially at events. Benedikt Meier, spokesman for the Association of Private Breweries in Munich, had also noticed this. Women and men would like to go to the beer gardens again, and in some places even more could be done in view of the turnover.
Lack of staff also continues to cause difficulties for restaurateurs
At the moment, it is not the supply problems, but rather the long-standing search for staff that is throwing a spanner in the works for pub operators and thus also for brewers. The lack of staff starts in the kitchen and extends to service staff. Michel Hollmann of the Altbier-Brauerei Bolten in the Lower Rhine region complained about the same thing. The staff shortage seems to be recovering only with difficulty or not at all. Many employees had looked for other work opportunities during the Corona crisis and now prioritised working hours more. These are now simply unattractive for many employees in the catering industry.
The loss of Russian gas supply poses a challenge for breweries
Niklas Other is convinced that sales of draught beer will continue to rise. The editor of the industry magazine “Inside” reflected that unsaleable beer has become a problem for breweries due to the repeatedly extended lockdown. In order to minimise the damage, bakeries had produced beer bread. After the reserves had not been replenished for several months, beer brewers in Germany did not start filling their barrels again until May 2021.
However, breweries in Germany are also increasingly concerned about the issue of gas supply. Now that the Federal Republic has decided to become independent of Russia with regard to gas supplies, many companies fear enormous disadvantages. According to Holger Eichele, if alternatives are not offered promptly, a blackout could occur in the industry. The head of the German Brewers Association is also worried about important business partners such as glass producers. About two-thirds of the breweries in this country are uncompromisingly dependent on a gas supply.
First breweries take preventive action against closure
A lack of glue and labels could also lead to the end of many breweries in the near future. Those responsible at the Veltins brewery have spent around 30 million euros on such items as a precautionary measure and have even rented warehouses for this purpose. For fear that short-term orders in large quantities could soon no longer be successfully processed.
The first steps have already been taken by the private brewery Oettinger, which plans to close its site in Gotha at the end of this year. Employees in production and logistics will be affected by this plan in Thuringia. The company justifies this measure with losses in beer sales.