The Aluminum Association reported that the beverage can manufacturing industry has seen an "unprecedented demand" for cans "prior to and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic."

So let me get this straight. After dealing with The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of the spring and early summer, we went right into The Nationwide Coin Shortage, and now it's time for another entry in the Big Book of Why 2020 Sucks:

The Aluminum Can Shortage (That's Not Really A Shortage, Except For Some Brands Of Drinks Some Of Which I Don't Even Really Like).

Granted, the title is a bit lengthy, but what can you do?

In a nutshell, here's the deal with the aluminum cans. Due to a combination of pandemic-related factors (including lockdowns, restaurant and bar closures, and the number of people who have been working from home) canned sodas, beers, and other drinks have become ridiculously popular, and neither can manufacturers nor the aluminum industry were prepared for this kind of sales surge.

Cases in point:

In doing some research for this, I happened upon this fun fact from

The first aluminum cans required what was known as a “church key” for opening the end of the can prior to consumption. As legend has it, the inventor of the pull tab, Ermal Cleon Fraze, found himself without a church key while on a family picnic. He resorted to piercing his beer can on the fender of his car, and in the process lost much of the can’s contents. Fraze, who owned the Dayton Reliable Tool Company, set about devising what would become the pull tab—an aluminum tab attached at the rivet that, when pulled, would come completely off the can. In 1975, Daniel Cudzik of Reynolds Metals invented the “stay-on tab.”


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