Will Glasgow pubs be affected by the beer shortages?

Pubs in Glasgow could be affected by a possible beer shortage, following a warning from the Scottish Licensed Trade Association.
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What’s happening? The trade body warned that deliveries to pubs had been cut back or even cancelled in the last week, while there have also been issues facing suppliers of CO2, which is used to put the fizz in beer.

Why are deliveries being cancelled? Greene King, which owns Belhaven, said that labour shortages were having an impact on the whole industry.

Will Glasgow pubs be affected? The company, which owns pubs in Glasgow including Armstrongs, the Scotia Bar and Molly Malone’s, said: The issue of labour shortages is widespread and having an impact on the whole industry. We are working closely with our distribution partners to find a resolution to continue providing the excellent service we pride ourselves on to our loyal customers.”

Crawford Brechin, owner of The Botany at 795 Maryhill Rd, Glasgow said: “Having been through my fair share of business challenges over the past few decades, I can safely say that a shortage of beer and crisps is a worrying one for any bar.

“It’s clear that this recent shortage has labour issues at its heart, but I have a lot of empathy for the draymen who have lost their jobs, breweries should be doing more to provide some form of contingency for workers, especially with the furlough scheme giving them breathing room, it all seems a bit like a kneejerk reaction.

“We’re already feeling the impact with shortages of vodka, Bacardi and other spirits, wine seems to be ok though and, crisps we’ve plenty of as they come from our local cash and carry.

“We have ABK Bavarian lager, Birra Moretti and Weihenstephan and an extensive range of IPA on draught and wines by the bottle and the glass so you won’t go thirsty.”

However, not all pubs will be affected. Bon Accord said that it carries enough stock and will not be affected, however, it also warned that it does not know whether it will be affected in the long term.

The Laurieston also said that it was still receiving deliveries and had not been affected.

How big is the problem? Colin Wilkinson, managing director at the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland that it was a ‘catastrophe’.

He said some deliveries were falling short by around 75 per cent, adding: “But now we are hearing it from our members all over the country, and particularly the whole order being cancelled.

“We are hearing it is a shortage of drivers and warehouse staff.”

Speaking to GlasgowWorld, Stephen Montgomery, Scottish Hospitality Group added: “Given all the pressures that our industry is already facing following lockdown restrictions, a broken supply chain is an utter disaster. So many businesses have been hit when they’re already down.

“We know one major brewer sent a blanket email at 7pm on Thursday night informing venues they wouldn’t be getting their Friday delivery.

“Another was able to deliver me a few kegs but then it was a mad dash to cash and carry outlets, and other areas for some bottled beers, spirits and wines to see us through.

“Piling this stress onto the already existing anxiety of recruitment, the pingdemic, debt and HMRC starting to knock on business owners’ doors, this is beginning to push people over the edge.

“We have been left with little to no margin for error in keeping our businesses viable, which makes it all the more important that Westminster and Holyrood do all in their power to help us through.”