Beer shortage

Australian beer drinkers fear dry summer as Coopers faces restrictions

Jan 7, 2004 - Australian beer drinkers are threatened with a beer shortage as the thirsty summer season begins. Coopers Brewery in Adelaide, the third largest brewer, had to temporarily suspend brewing last week after a gas plant fire on New Year's Day threatened energy supplies to two states.


While limited brewing has resumed, publicans said they were concerned they may not be able to keep up with drinkers' demands. "I'm quite worried, to be quite frank," Rising Sun publican and owner John Osborne told ABC radio

Coopers, one of Australia's oldest producers, could face brewing restrictions until March. The brewery entered 2004 with low stocks because December sales were up 18%.

The idea of having to get through the summer without a drop of the amber nectar is horrifying enough in Australia to have inspired a hit song. A Pub with No Beer, recorded by the late Slim Dusty, lamented: "There's a-nothin' so lonesome, morbid or drear, Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer."

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