The UK is on the brink of a bottled beer shortage, a drinks expert has warned.
Beer is the most popular booze in the UK – and we spend around £7.1billion a year on it.
More than half (53%) of this happens in our homes, rather than pubs , bars and clubs.
But supplies of bottled beer could be hit by rising energy costs, experts say.
The increased cost of energy means glassware prices jumped by 80% in the last 12 months – and that means stocks of glasses have plummeted.
The warning comes after beer experts in Germany said the country could be facing a glassware shortage this summer, with their small and medium-sized breweries expected to bear the brunt.
And it is only a matter of time before the shortage is felt within the UK’s beer industry, according to Dunns Food and Drinks, a wholesalers who sell booze to other shops.
Dunns Food and Drinks operations director Julie Dunn told the Manchester Evening News : “It won’t be long before the glassware shortages hits UK consumers. Our wine and spirits suppliers from around the globe are facing ongoing struggles that will have a knock-on effect.
“As a result, there could be less variety in the bottled beers we see on UK shelves.
“Specialist bottles and glassware hold a very important place in the heritage of the beer industry and I expect that while some breweries will convert to cans to ensure consistent supply, others will look at this as devaluing the brand, so will inevitably pass the additional cost onto beer drinkers.
“We sell a huge amount of beer from Germany, so I would expect us to feel a fairly seismic hit in the very near future.”
Some brewers have already taken action by swapping to cans, not bottles.
Edinburgh-based brewery Vault City Brewing will switch to predominantly can-only releases next month.
Steven Smith-Hay, the company’s co-founder, said: “We started introducing cans to our release schedule in January because of rising costs and challenges with availability.”
Smith-Hay said the company are paying approximately 65p per bottle currently – which is around 15p more than six months ago.
If this was not enough bad news for beer lovers, yesterday The Mirror reported Brits could go without pints this summer as brewery workers plan strikes.
Punters are at risk of spending the summer without a pint in hand after unions voted to take action over a pay row.
As temperatures soar, walkouts are planned at Budweiser’s main site where Bud, Stella Artois, Boddingtons and Becks are all brewed.
This could mean as the country enters its first summer in years without the threat of Covid looming, it could be done without a pint in hand.
GMB union said that they had been pushed into the strikes by bosses.
Stephen Boden, GMB organiser, said: “The last thing these workers want to do is jeopardise beer supplies just as the hot weather kicks in.
“But they’ve been pushed into this by bosses essentially slashing their wages during a cost of living crisis.”