This Bar Chain Is Facing a Major Shortage of Popular American Beer Brands
Imagine walking into your favorite bar and not being able to order your favorite brew. For the many who frequent Wetherspoon's—one of the largest pub chains in the United Kingdom—that's currently their reality.
But the chain doesn't appear to be short on U.K-made beers. In fact, two of the major brands of beer in question are both owned by American beer giant Molson Coors.
"We are experiencing some supply problems with both Carling and Coors, which means that some pubs do not have the products available," chain spokesman Eddie Gershon told The Guardian.
Before you think bar-goers just can't get enough of Coors and Molson at Wetherspoon's, know that the issue lies in the beer's delivery to the bar. As The Guardian reports, the shortage is occurring due to a lack of truck drivers.
"Like many in our great British brewing and pub sector we have been hit by the HGV [heavy goods vehicle] driver shortage," Molson Coors was quoted as saying. "While overall our availability is good, there are intermittent pockets of pressure in our supply network that are unfortunately affecting a number of Wetherspoon's pubs."
But these shortages aren't sudden—they've been occurring all summer long. In fact, the Evening Standard reported back in August that several pubs were experiencing beer shortages.
For example, the Fox and Hounds Pub in Clavering, Essex had released the following statement:
"As you may already be aware there is a well-documented shortage of beer across the UK. As a venue, we have been badly affected by this, with inconsistent beer deliveries for the past 8 weeks and no deliveries for the past 10 days."
The reason for the shortage of truck drivers seems to be related to both Brexit and the Delta variant of COVID-19. The U.K.'s Road Haulage Association recently told the BBC that the U.K. is short of about 100,000 drivers "with new recruits to the industry facing problems getting driving tests due [to] a Covid-related backlog."
In addition, the number of European Union drivers working in the U.K. has declined due to Brexit. The Guardian reported back in June that the number of EU citizens seeking work fell by 36% post-Brexit.
"We're working closely with industry to address sector challenges, which are similarly being faced by other countries around the world," a government spokesperson told the BBC. "This includes plans to streamline the process for new drivers to gain their HGV license and to increase the number of driving tests able to be conducted."
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