People may have early on confused Corona beer with the Coronavirus, but it looks like the pandemic may win this round.

Australia’s biggest brewer, Carlton and United, said that Australia will rapidly run out of beer if production was stopped due to Covid-19.

Tonight the beer industry is asking the Federal Government if it will be classified as “essential” – if not the industry won’t be able to supply the nation with beer.

New South Wales and Victoria are heading for a mass shutdown in the next 48-hours and the beer industry may fall into the non-essential services category.

Julian Sheezel, vice president of corporate affairs at Carlton & United Breweries, said the shutdown could mean no beer in Australia for three months.

“In these incredibly uncertain times people need some normality in their lives. They need to be able to access beer and other liquor at bottleshops,” he said.

The industry would shed hundreds of jobs.

“You can’t turn major breweries off and then quickly turn them back on. After re-opening there could be 3 months of no beer for pubs and bottleshops.”

Lion Australian managing director James Brindley said breweries are “100 per cent” able to operate under strict health and safety rules.

“We have been doing this for the past 10 days to support the Government in the fight against COVID-19,” he said in a statement.

“You can’t turn off and then quickly turn back on major breweries like Tooheys. After re-opening, there could be up to three months of no beer for pubs or bottle shops because it takes that long to grow the quantity of yeast needed.”

EARLIER: People are mass panic buying alcohol ahead of a lockdown in NSW, Victoria.