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If you were planning to hoist a refreshing beer this summer at a pub in the UK it might prove to be more difficult than you expected.
Pubs across the UK are on the brink of a serious beer shortage in the coming summer months due to a lack of carbon dioxide.
Planned shutdowns of CO₂ plants and other unexpected equipment failures have driven the shortage. There is now only one large plant in the UK producing CO₂ for the entire country’s beer supply. At least 82% of the beer consumed in the UK is produced there as well.
Industry publication Gasworld called the shortage the biggest CO₂ crisis in decades, noting that at least five CO₂ manufacturers in Northern Europe have recently gone offline. According to Gasworld, which first reported the shortage, beer producers and other carbonated drink manufacturers in the area are getting “desperate” due to the crisis, which is hitting as a heat wave boosts beer consumption and drinkers crowd into local pubs to watch the World Cup.
The World Cup is also causing a similar, where millions of visiting fans have guzzled the beverage far quicker than expected.
“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 British Beer and Pub Association, which represents 20,000 UK pubs, noted in a statement on the beer crisis. The BBPA also said that some stoppages in beer production have already begun, although it didn’t specify which beers.
The BBC reports that some of the hardest hit beers include Heineken and Amstel’s kegs.
“We’ve been informed by our CO₂ supplier that they are facing a major issue with supply availability in the UK,” Heineken told thein a statement, noting that it was working with producers to minimize any potential supply disruptions.
The BBPA thinks the shortage could have been avoided.
“You could have foreseen this,” Brigid Simmonds, head of the BBPA told the BBC of the CO₂ suppliers. “Quite why they didn’t anticipate this, I don’t know.”