Beer shortage forces businesses, consumers to seek solace in spirits

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The scarcity of Malawi’s favourite beer brand Carlsberg has hit hard consumers and bottlestore operators for the past two months.

The development has forced some Carlsberg consumers to look for alternatives some of which are expensive.

“With the scarcity of Carlsberg beer, we are forced to take spirits although some of us do not like the stuff.

“Alternatively, we are forced to go to upmarket bars where the beer is expensive,” complained consumer, George Nyalugwe from Zingwangwa.

Nixon Maleta, who runs Pamphasa Bottlestore in Manja Township, Blantyre, said this is the second month now without Carlsberg products.

He said his business is greatly affected as they do not have the products in stock to sell to their customers.

“I do not have Carlsberg Green, Special, Petroda, Stout and even Kuchekuche. Sometimes I buy expensive beers just to keep my customers busy. Otherwise, most people come, but I do not have beers to sell to them,” he said.

Last month, Carlsberg Malawi attributed the problem to shortage of empty glass bottles, line maintenance and water supply interruptions.

“Our Carlsberg beer products are packaged in returnable glass bottles which when returned from the market are reused for packaging during production. Currently, empty glass bottles are not being returned quick enough from the market to our factories, which, in turn has impacted on our beer production,” said Carlsberg corporate communications officer Towela Pilling.

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