BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Halloween spirits aren’t the only thing haunting distillers this October. For several weeks, many of them have been dealing with how to get their spirits out to customers with another challenge of the pandemic: glass bottles.

What You Need To Know

  •  Glass bottles are just one more item affected by the supply chain issue that's plaguing businesses like distillers

  •  Oceanside Distillery was able to use a French manufacturer when their former American supplier wasn't working out

  • Owner Ron Folino said he believed the supply chain issues aren't going away anytime soon

​The COVID-related difficulties forced some, like Ron Folino, the owner of Cape Canaveral-based Oceanside Distillery, to get creative in order to keep things going.

“Due to the logistic situation that's going on since COVID-19 has affected America, we were unable to get our American bottles,” Folino said. “In fact, when we finally got a call on our purchase order, they told us that they were going to outsource product to India.”

Folino said they’ve been dealing with this headache since July. That was not long after Oceanside opened its tasting room doors back in late May as the first distillery in Brevard County.

The inside of the business is a fusion of coastal art and Folino’s heritage. Both his father and grandfather were distillers and their stills are front and center on the wall when walking in the front doors, a constant reminder and homage to his history.

“My grandfather had a hobby of being a pretty skilled metal worker. He fashioned this receiver, or storage unit from a copper bucket. He actually built the still from another type of a container,” Folino said.

Grappa was one of the best things his grandfather made, Folino said.

Decades later, he now is taking charge of the family legacy with this new venture, but noted that having to switch from an American provider to a French bottle maker was not what he had intended for the business.

“Now, it didn’t come without a little bit of a surcharge, but as you can see, the bottles arrived on time, when they said they were going to be here, a container for us and it took less than a month and a half, where the other company couldn’t deliver to us, even if we went through a broker, until 2022,” Folino said.

That shipment of about 9,000 glass bottles from Saver Glass arrived from the factor in Condom, France, on Thursday. 

The delay in shipment overall put Folino’s business behind where he had hoped as far as getting some of their spirits out of their barrels and into the bottles. He said they were expecting to get a bottle shipment back in August.

But he’s said there are some silver linings in all of this.  

“The product has had to sit longer, but that’s not a bad thing,” said Folino, with a smile. “It’s put more time in the wood, but we needed to have some product on the shelves.”

He said while not their original intent, they are happy with the higher quality of the French-made bottles they’re receiving now. Folino said they plan to stick with them moving forward since it doesn’t seem like the supply chain issues will work themselves out any time soon.

“We’re only as good as our bottles, our feed stock, our supplies,” Folino said. “And we don’t feel bad about dealing with the French on the bottles, that’s for sure.”