That Glass Shortage You’ve Heard About is Real – Just Ask Wyoming Whiskey

Bourbon

December 1, 2021

That glass shortage you’ve heard about? It’s real. Wyoming Whiskey serves as an example of the challenges for spirits makers.

A shipment from their supplier that was scheduled for early June was pushed back to Oct. 11. But the distillery’s COO and co-founder, David DeFazio, said when that deadline came and went, with no bottles in sight, he got nervous.

They were then informed that the bottles Wyoming Whiskey was quickly running out of were scheduled for delivery Dec. 4. That date has since become Jan. 4.

“We are out of glass,” DeFazio said. “We have zero custom bottles left.”

And that’s where it gets tricky. When the decision was made to open the distillery, the ownership team took the time while the first batches aged to meticulously create a brand, and that brand included have custom bottles specially made. They went so far as to talk with bartenders to find out what types of bottles they specifically liked or disliked handling, which led them to their proprietary design.

“If we don’t have glass, how are we going to deliver whiskey to the consumer?” DeFazio asks aloud.

Now, the distillery has been forced to buy stock bottles. Its PR team sent out an announcement of urgent explanation, reading in part that, “As this shortage may affect what the bottle itself looks like, it is not affecting the product that the world has come to know and love from the Kirby, Wyoming-based distillery.”

The Wyoming Whiskey team, of course, is worried what consumers who aren’t aware of the details of the global supply chain crisis might get a false impression. Truth be told, the differences at a glance aren’t striking – the temporary replacement bottle is a bit shorter and has more rounded shoulders. What it doesn’t have is embossing and a neck designed for a better grip.

More important, however, is what the switch could potentially say to the consumer.

“I would say the biggest concern are the people who don’t necessarily keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on will think we’re trying to save money,” DeFazio said. “We’re not. We’re just trying to find a vessel to bring the whiskey to the shelf.”

The whiskey, he reinforces, is exactly the same as it’s always been. Each replacement bottle will have a bottle-necker explaining the switch.

“We had two choices: One, go out of stock or, two,  find an acceptable replacement that will bridge this time,” DeFazio said.

And as the news release noted, once the glass shortage is solved and the Wyoming Whiskey returns to its classic custom bottle, maybe these replacement bottles will become a collectible and a reminder of these unprecedented times we face.

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