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Munich breweries run out of bottles

With only two weeks left until the annual Oktoberfest, Munich breweries admit they have a shortage of beer bottles.

Brewers in Munich are asking drinkers to return their empties to help meet demand for bottles, due to a widespread shortage following a summer of high beer consumption.

Munich breweries rely on bottle returns to ensure supply, as beer bottles are cleaned and refilled up to 50 times in their life, but the returns have not been happening fast enough this summer.

Heiner Muller, of the Paulaner and Hacker-Pschorr brewery told the local newspaper Munich TZ that the situation has worsened dramatically in recent weeks, and said they do not currently have enough bottles to supply Oktoberfest, which starts on 22 September.

He told the paper: “Dear Munichers – bring back your crates. We need our empties”.

A spokesman for Hofbräu told the paper that they needed “tens of thousands” of bottles, and said they would have to prioritise production of light and wheat beers, with dark beers having to wait until the situation improves.

The brewery has told retailers that their orders will only be fulfilled in exchange for empty bottles and crates.

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