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Supply problems may leave pubs short of beer


Supply concerns could hit drinkers

Pubs face the prospect of having no beer this week as delivery problems create new pressures after months of lockdown.

A shortage of warehouse staff and lorry drivers is affecting supplies of beer and and vital gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which are needed to pump draft beers.

The issue has been exacerbated by disruption caused by closures and coronavirus restrictions.

Colin Wilkinson, managing director of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said: “The full reopening of the hospitality sector has been hit with two serious issues: a shortage of staff availability and the more recent immediate problems facing the supply chain.

“SLTA members are already reporting delays and cancellations of orders placed with brewers and other supply chain operators and, in some instances, beer orders that have been delivered fall short by around 75%.

“In many cases packaged goods are not being delivered and we have reports of pub and bar owners travelling the length of the country to source supplies.

“We have also heard reports of the selective supply of goods by some companies only servicing certain sections of their customer base.

“The threat of strike action by delivery staff only adds to the industry’s concerns and the Scottish Licensed Trade Association hopes this particular issue will be resolved promptly.

“Added to our woes is the concern over CO2 and nitrogen gas supplies, even when we do get beer delivered.

“The last thing this sector needs is another hurdle in place in the race to its recovery.”

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