Guelph distillery frustrated with glass bottle shortage

A distillery in Guelph is one of many dealing with a glass bottle shortage.

"Typically we take two or three weeks to get an order of bottles," said JD Dixon, the president of Dixon's Distilled Spirits. "It's now taking six to eight months."

Adding to that, shipping costs have spiked.

The problem, in part, is that some countries have halted production.

"Production has been shut down because we're seeing lockdowns due to COVID-19 in countries like China," said Mike von Massow, a food economist at the University of Guelph. "Kind of a perfect storm of impacts that are affecting glass bottles."

And it's not just the bottles that are a problem.

Dixon's is also having a hard time getting boxes, labels and seals.

"As we speak today, we ran out of [bottle] caps," he told CTV News. "We're using our non-traditional caps to fill the void."

Dixon says the higher costs will have to be passed onto consumers.

"Our bottle went up 53 per cent in the last six months, so we can't absorb that anymore," he said. "We have to pass that along."

Experts don't expect the glass bottle shortage to be permanent, but aren't sure when it will end.

"From now until as long as Christmas, we may not be able to find our favourite alcoholic beverage, beer from a craft brewery, if that company continues to have trouble getting access to product," said von Massow.

His advice to consumers? Return your empties.

"If we have a bunch of deposit glass, alcohol bottles, beer bottles, that sort of thing in our garages, that we've been slow to return, we can help that process a little bit by getting them out of our garages and back into the system."

While Dixon's has had a tough time getting bottles, their shelves are stocked – for now.