Although beer production in Mexico is supposed to have been shut down, creating a beer shortage and driving beer prices through the roof, one company is continuing to brew brands such as Corona and Modelo.
But the beer brewed by Constellation Brands is not ending up in the hands of thirsty Mexicans. All of its production is destined for the United States.
After the government shuttered breweries in early April, deeming beer production a nonessential activity, supplies in the country are running low and at least 25 states report shortages.
Last week, convenience store chain Oxxo said it only had enough beer in stock to last 10 days, and in Monterrey and Tijuana stores are posting signs to their windows saying they have no beer. Black market beer prices in Mexico often come with a 300% markup.
But Constellation’s two plants in Mexico have been up and running throughout the pandemic, but have limited production and cut back staff, spokesman Michael McGrew said, adding that after consulting with government officials he is convinced the company is in compliance with the law.
But there may be good news on the horizon for Mexican beer drinkers.
Ricardo Sheffield Padilla, head of the consumer protection agency Profeco, says beer production in Mexico may start up again in mid-May, which will bring supply, and prices, back to normal levels.
The barley harvest was not affected by the coronavirus work stoppage, and Sheffield says breweries are ready to go once given the green light from the government and will resume producing Mexican beer, in Mexico, for Mexicans.