Czech breweries have stopped filling new kegs and are stashing unused ones in refrigerated cellars to keep them fresh as they seek to limit the damage from pub closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Nobody knows when the pubs will reopen,” said Petr Kofron, manager of the Pilsner brewery in Prague, owned by Japan’s Asahi.
“Most neighboring countries took the same measures and shut their pubs so export has shifted into bottles and cans,” he told Reuters. “Bottle lines and cans are running at full tilt. We hope our customers buy bottles and cans while they are at home.”
Lucie Tkadlecova, co-owner of the Uneticky brewery outside Prague, said production has plummeted to zero and sales to not much above that level since the government shuttered pubs in the middle of the month.
“We tried to contact big supermarkets and e-shops but they are all overwhelmed with the work of selling products they already have,” she said. “If this goes on much longer we will have to throw beer away.”