An article on Kyodo News Thursday reported a possible shortage of beer in Kanto due to damage caused by the March 11 earthquake. All three brewers, however, told Tokyo Times that "shortage" is perhaps an inappropriate term, as there is plenty of pre-earthquake stock
Major brewer, Sapporo, suffered damage to operations in Sendai city and Chiba Prefecture, and says that it is working on the problem. "We are having trouble with ingredients and also need to repair two of our factories. This means we haven’t been able to meet orders since the earthquake on four of our beers. However, we do have stock from before the earthquake."
A representative for Asahi Beer told Tokyo Times: "We are still having problems at one of our factories and we do not know when operations will be resumed. This means we have had to cancel orders. This does not mean there is a shortage though, there is still plenty of beer available."
Kirin brewery, meanwhile, said in a statement on March 14: "The main damage occurred at the Sendai Plant, where all facilities sustained damage including the collapse of four beer storage tanks, while the tsunami has affected product stocks. At present, operations at the Sendai Plant are suspended, with no date for resumption of operations envisaged as yet. The Toride Plant also suffered damage to some facilities, including damage to sections of the beer storage tanks and the plant building, and we envisage that some time will be needed before operations can resume."
The three brewers confirmed that both canned and draft beer was affected by the earthquake.
All three breweries, meanwhile, delivered the same message: There’s no need to panic buy as there is still plenty of stock, and people are working around the clock to resume operations.