The email landed in Rich Vandenbergh’s inbox like a thud. On November 18, as he scrolled through the message, a creeping sense of worry settled in, then dread. He swore after he was done reading.
The founder of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in New York was one of many breweries that received an email last month from Ball Corporation, the largest can supplier to the beverage industry in the United States, informing them of order requirement changes that could greatly impact many small-to-midsized breweries that use the manufacturer for printed cans.
Citing impacts from the novel coronavirus pandemic and a surge in demand across nearly every beverage category, starting on the first of the year, the Colorado-based company said it will require non-contracted customers to increase its minimum orders of printed cans from one to five truckloads per SKU, or individual brand, starting January 1, 2022.