UK beer shortage; 75% of ordered stock missing

Rachel Hellon
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

Pubs and restaurants across the UK faced a beer shortage around the crucial August bank holiday weekend due to worker strikes. Around 1,000 drivers from GXO Logistics who are responsible for 40 per cent of UK beer deliveries went on strike over pay. causing a crucial supply line to go down. Pubs situated in England and Scotland have reported 75% of the stock missing in orders being delivered, with Scottish pub group mor-Rioghain warning businesses "will go bankrupt this week and next week because of this distribution chaos"

This comes at a time when delivery networks up and down the country are already struggling to keep delivery drivers on the road amid Covid and Brexit pressures. Although the nationwide strikes have now been suspended following an improved pay offer from the company the shortage has not.

Food and drinks deliveries still aren't running at full capacity and due to rising gas prices even local breweries have been effected. As crucial plants producing Co2 have been forced to shut down due to high cost of gas necessary to produce Co2 used by breweries to add the fizz to larger, beer and cider. Smaller breweries have only just started to recover from the pandemic and many are struggling to keep open.

Although the delivery shortage has somewhat subsided the lack of Co2 is already being felt by smaller breweries producing keg, canned and bottled beer which relies more on Co2.


Hospitality has remained constantly on the front line, and suffered a lot of damage to the industry throughout the pandemic. It's no wonder the need for a Minister for Hospitality was raised to parliament with 209,984 signatures. Although the government recognises the importance of the UK's hospitality sector with a number of support schemes already having been in place, we are yet to see the ball rolling for the Minister for Hospitality and finally see a change and support that businesses need to survive through this difficult period of time.

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