COVID-19: What problems will the brewing industry face in detail?

The closure of bars, clubs and restaurants will probably minimize out-of-home business of breweries for the coming months. Especially draft beer will be hardly hit.

Craft breweries which sell most of their beers in their own brewpubs will suffer most, as it is likely that those premises will be closed for weeks if not for months. Many craft breweries have started business a couple of years ago and suffer from insufficient financing. If administrations will not help out with unbureaucratic support, an increasing number of bankruptcies will be the consequence. This may also harm the brewing industry as a whole, when sales outlets decrease. Countries like Germany where breweries use to finance pub tenants will most likely have to support their clients generously.

Other problems arise from the fact that a large part of the workforce will fall ill in the next few weeks. At best, it's just a few days of absence that need to be compensated for by internal reassessment. In the worst case, there will also be fatalities. If a lot of personnel is lacking at the same time, production can be interrupted. It is also conceivable that problems may arise along the supply chain because, for example, there are no longer enough raw materials available or truck drivers are missing to deliver the goods. In several countries there are already legal regulations that entire departments or companies must be closed if only one suspected case of the coronavirus is confirmed in the company.

A third area of concern is the export business. Even if it is repeatedly emphasized that goods should still flow freely, the border foreclosures will also affect the exchange of goods between countries. There will certainly not be a complete standstill here, but a certain slowdown in goods traffic can be expected.

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