August 7, 2022 – A carbon dioxide shortage means brewing trouble for America’s 9,000 plus craft breweries. Beer without effervescence is flat and carbon dioxide is the gas responsible for that lovely foam.
According to Chuck Skypeck, Technical Brewing Projects Director for the Brewers Association, some members have had to stop production because a gas shipment was delayed or they have run out of CO2. “We are hearing reports from members of decreased production. We might start to see shortages in a few weeks, especially if the situation continues.”
It has been a rough couple of years for craft brewers. They have been plagued by supply chain issues, as well as shortages and higher prices for barley and aluminum due to inflation. The carbon dioxide shortage was caused by Mississippi supplier Jackson Dome shutting down in July due to a contamination issue. Adding to the crisis, a CO2 supplier in Illinois has just been forced to shut down over a mechanical failure until mid-September.
Major breweries are not faced with a carbon dioxide shortage. They are able to siphon off gas during the fermentation process. However, craft breweries do not produce enough beer for this to be a feasible option.