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Beer Supply Could Dry Out As Pubs Shut And Panic Buying Takes Hold

Australian brewers are concerned if stricter lock down measures are enforced during the coronavirus pandemic, the country's beer supply could soon dry up.

As beer fanatics know, it takes weeks for a good beer to brew.

That's why brewers are concerned that if they're forced to shut down, the industry could suffer and Australia's beer supply could dry up.

Carlton & United Breweries chief executive Peter Filipovic told the ABC it could be months between reopening and beer returning to the shelves if they were shut down under lockdown restrictions.

"Unfortunately, you can't turn major breweries off and then quickly turn them back on," he said.

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Panic Buyers Turn To Stockpiling Grog During Coronavirus Pandemic

Bottle shops will not shut under new restrictions, but that didn't stop Australians from swarming liquor stores to stock up in the latest episode of panic buying brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

While pubs and clubs have been forced to shut down, bottle shops are still considered an essential item under stage one of the partial shutdown.

That didn't stop Australians from flocking to bottle shops to secure supplies, as panic buying took hold across Victoria and New South Wales.

Shoppers were seen loading slabs of beer and bottles of wine into their trolleys and filling carparks on Sunday night as confusion mounted over what constituted as an "essential service".

A customer service employee at Cellarmasters, which represents BWS, told 10 daily "things are mental" due to the pandemic.

"Sales are higher than Christmas and suddenly I'm not worried about my job anymore," he said.

But things remain stark for workers across pubs, clubs and licensed venues, which have been forced to shut down over new social distancing measures.

The government has urged people not to replace a drink at the pub with gatherings at home and keep 1.5 metres from others.

A NSW brew took out the title of this year's favourite Australian bevvy. Image: Getty

Lion, the company which operates Toohey's, Hahn, and Little Creatures is working with hospitality customers that have been forced to close.

"Lion will take back [full] unused kegs at no cost or charge and offer customers a credit," Lion Australia managing director James Brindley told ABC in a statement.

"We will be working closely with our retail customers as the situation evolves to ensure the hundreds of thousands of beer-drinkers around Australia are informed as to their responsibilities when it comes to social distancing and preventing the spread of COVID-19."

Rival Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), which is behind Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Crown Lager, also warned consumers to drink safely during what is an uncertain time for the brewing industry.

"In the coming days and weeks, if you are enjoying a beer CUB asks that you please do so in accordance with the rules and advice of governments and their Chief Medical Officers."

Do you have a story tip? Contact Eden at egillespie@networkten.com.au