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22nd Jun 2018

The UK could be facing a beer shortage, due to a lack of CO2

Wil Jones

Don’t panic!

Earlier this week, it was reported that Moscow was running out of beer because of all those thirsty football fans descending on the city for the World Cup.

Those England fans who were not able to make the trip out to Russia were sat at home smiling, knowing that even though they were not there, at least they had access to freely flowing beer.

They smiled too soon.

The BBC are reporting that Heineken’s John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel kegs are being hit by a shortage of carbon dioxide.

The drinks industry is suffering from a shortage of CO2, with only one plant manufacturing the gas. And it is happening at the worst possible time, as we a slap bang in the middle of the World Cup, and the sunny weather means we are entering barbecue season.

Grocer Magazine has reported that Heineken has contacted pubs about possible shortages, and may be limiting the ammount they can order.

“We’ve been informed by our CO₂ supplier that they are facing a major issue with supply availability in the UK,” they said in a statement, but that they were “working with customers to minimise disruption”.

BBC Sport summed up our concerns:

Wetherspoons said that they had not suffered any problems yet, but they expected the situation to get worse. The told the BBC: “There might be some products we don’t have available and if it affects Wetherspoons, then it will affect everyone else.”

CO2 is used to deliver beer at pumps, and also to add the fizz to bottled beer and soft drinks.