Benjamin Franklin once famously (maybe) wrote: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”. He probably didn’t write that any more than George Washington told his dad he couldn’t tell a lie after whacking that cherry tree, but the sentiment is there. Beer is good. The brewing industry has literally exploded in recent years with the influx of micro-breweries and craft beers. I’m not a craft beer guy myself, too many calories and often too hoppy or bitter, though the alcohol volume tends to be much higher. Guess you can’t have everything.
Thanks to shortages in the gas industry, specifically carbon dioxide, you might not be able to find that favorite pumpkin-spice-basil-cherry-tomato breakfast stout in the near future. Man-buns and hipsters pay attention, I’m looking at you! Check this out from the New York Post:
A nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide that became dire after a Mississippi supplier of the vital gas shut down in July is threatening beer-makers around the country.
Without carbon dioxide, many types of beers fall flat.
The gas contributes to beer foam, shelf stability and it’s used throughout the production and packaging process, according to experts.
🍺 The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of carbon dioxide and some beermakers are beginning to worry they won't have enough of the gas to get their products to market.https://t.co/sZ5ODU37NK
— Axios (@axios) September 12, 2022
How exactly do we run out of carbon dioxide? Has the battle against climate change been so effective that our CO2 levels aren’t beer worthy? Of course not, as it’s a different type of CO2, but to be honest I am more concerned with the beer supply than a polar bear with a sniffle somewhere. #teampeople
CO2 is used in pretty much all soda beverages, so the demand on producers is probably high, causing smaller outlets like craft breweries to be deprived of the bubbles necessary to make their happy juice.
Brewers have been facing a series of supply chain issues, including aluminum can and barley shortages over the past two years, but the gas is critical to every aspect of their operations.
“It’s an ingredient in beer,” Skypeck said. “if you don’t have it, you can’t make beer.”
The shortage was felt more acutely in the Southeast initially after one of the country’s largest gas hubs in Jackson Dome, Miss., had been contaminated in early July by other compounds.
It seems to be a recurring theme with food processing plants having fires, mechanical issues and supply chain shortages. The country still hasn’t adequately recovered from the baby formula shortage of earlier this year, now with a looming shortage of adult baby formula, the consequences could be severe. Winter in general is a tough enough time on people, take away their favorite beverage and that will just add to the pall.
How, pray tell do we run short of aluminum cans? We have been recycling like our lives depend on it since the 80’s, and suddenly we are running out of aluminum? I think the recycling industry has been pulling the wool over our thirsty eyes.
Big breweries, like Budweiser, have technology to siphon off the gas during the fermentation process, but smaller craft brewers don’t produce enough product to get their gas from fermentation, according to a trade group representing thousands of small breweries.
Not to sound insensitive here, but that’s good news. As long as I can have a Bud heavy, or any of the other delicious domestic choices, I will be fine. Of course, I don’t have a man bun and am not a hipster, so my survival skills are sharper.
Buckle up folks, we could be looking and un-hoppy holiday season without your cranberry-nutmeg porter. What’s turkey without it?