Published: Fri, June 29, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

CO2 shortage leaves some pubs without draught beer and cider

CO2 shortage leaves some pubs without draught beer and cider

Booker, owned by supermarket giant Tesco, said it was restricting its wholesale customers to 10 cases of beer, and five of cider or soft drinks.

CO2 is produced as a by-product of making ammonia used in fertiliser production, which typically peaks in winter to build stocks for spring farming - so plant maintenance-related shutdowns are common in summer.

The drinks industry has said that while it expects there to be plenty of beer, lager and cider to go around during the World Cup, there could be availability problems surrounding popular brands at a local level if the gas shortage lasts much longer.

"We are now working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers and can not comment further at this stage". We are not aware of any major disruption at other plants yet, but clearly this situation may change should the gas supply situation not be resolved. "In all honesty we're not confident things are going to be back up and running as hoped for the beginning of next week".

The company said it was "fully mobilized to try to meet our food and industrial customers' needs in the context of a temporary shortage beyond our control".

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Punch Taverns, which has around 1,300 pubs, said it has had shortfalls of John Smith's and Amstel for nearly a week, with Birra Moretti also now in short supply.

Shortage of carbon dioxide gas is continuing to create problems for major pubs and businesses in the UK. And British Meat Processors Association chief executive, Nick Allen, said the situation was getting "pretty tight".

This shortage thus affects the brewers hard time.

Wetherspoons - the largest pub in the United Kingdom has equally responded saying it would soon retract a number of beers and carbonated drinks from its supply. We understand that several (CO2) producers are reopening plants and restarting production, but getting information is very hard, which makes it very hard to plan.

There have been suggestions in the industry that supplies could start returning to normal in early July.

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In a statement, Air Liquide said the shortage was "a result of exceptional and simultaneous production shutdowns of raw Carbon dioxide production units".

There are plans to send around 1,000 pigs to another plant near Manchester this week, but operators say the Carbon dioxide shortage could have serious implications if the shortage continues.

But they coincided with unseasonably hot weather in Europe in May, which caused demand for carbonated drinks to surge.

"Whilst some members may still be receiving supplies of CO2, this shortage will undoubtedly impact on those many smaller suppliers who distribute locally but who will be supplied in turn by the national producers", the trade group said.

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