Trouble is brewing in the local beer delivery sector, as bars are forced to slash their beer menus because deliveries have slowed to a trickle.
This weekend was our first taste of post-COVID restriction bar-hopping after last week’s big deal June 15 reopening, and we hope everyone had a great time Friday and Saturday night and then sleeping 'til noon the following day. But all is not well at your newly reopened bars, particularly the smaller ones. KPIX reports that bars are running low on several brand names of beer, as infrequent beer deliveries are becoming more and more of a problem.
At one of SF’s oldest bars (and former Prohibition speakeasy!) Elixir, general manager Shea Shawnson told KPIX that he used to receive weekly deliveries from one beer distributor. “That two weeks recently went to, 'Our delivery window is every month.'” Shawnson said. “So that’s four weeks of beer that I have to store.” And a bar that size simply doesn't have the refrigerated space to store an entire month’s worth of beer.
Golden Brands, one of the Bay Area's major beer distributors, has made some unwelcome changes to its delivery schedule and small bar owners in San Francisco are hopping mad. https://t.co/3nYWSgoCsQ— KPIX 5 (@KPIXtv) June 21, 2021
This is not a so-called “no one wants to work” situation, but instead a supply chain problem with one major distributor called Golden Brands. The problem is that Golden Brands supplies so many bars and restaurants that a problem with their delivery schedule causes ripple effects all over the San Francisco retail alcohol landscape.
The beer brands most likely to disappear from your favorite bars’ menus are the bigger labels. “All the big ones, Miller, PBR, Modelo, Corona,” St. Mary’s Pub owner Maria Davis told KPIX.
For now, about 80 different bar owners — all of whom use Golden Brands as a supplier, all having the same supply problems — signed onto a letter of complaint to Golden Brands, asking for more frequent deliveries. But it remains to be seen whether that will be ignored, or whether these combined complaints will result in real change.
“I can’t wait to have a Miller High Life,” Davis told the station. “I’m trying to be the Erin Brockovich of Miller High Life.”
Image: Marc E. via Yelp