Friday, June 25, 2021
Please share
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 0
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic

Must Read

Pride Month and a Reflect...

June is nationally...

Watch: Police investigati...

Police investigati...

Watch: Special Olympics 2...

Special Olympics 2...
Please share
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  • 0
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Dwindling supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water – essentials for many quarantined Americans.

Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic

FILE PHOTO: A pint of beer is poured into a glass in a bar in London, Britain June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

Brewers and soft-drink makers use carbon dioxide, or CO2, for carbonation, which gives beer and soda fizz. Ethanol producers are a key provider of CO2 to the food industry, as they capture that gas as a byproduct of ethanol production and sell it in large quantities.

But ethanol, which is blended into the nation’s gasoline supply, has seen production fall sharply due to the drop in gasoline demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gasoline demand is down by more than 30% in the United States.

The lack of ethanol output is disrupting this highly specialized corner of the food industry, as 34 of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell CO2 have idled or cut production, said Renewable Fuels Association Chief Executive Geoff Cooper.

CO2 suppliers to beer brewers have increased prices by about 25% due to reduced supply, said Bob Pease, chief executive officer of the Brewers Association. The trade group represents small and independent U.S. craft brewers, who get about 45% of their CO2 from ethanol producers.

“The problem is accelerating. Every day we’re hearing from more of our members about this,” said Pease, who expects some brewers to start cutting production in two to three weeks.

In an April 7 letter to Vice President Mike Pence, the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) said production of CO2 had fallen about 20% and could be down by 50% by mid-April without relief, CGA CEO Rich Gottwald said in the letter. Meat producers are also feeling the pinch, as they use CO2 in processing, packaging, preservation and shipment.

Orion Melehan, CEO of Santa Cruz, California-based LifeAID, a specialty beverage company, said two of his production partners are looking for alternative CO2 sources.

“It does have us up at night figuring out what our options are,” Melehan said. “It highlights the laws of unintended consequences.”

A spokeswoman for National Beverage Corp, whose products include LaCroix, said the company sources from a number of national CO2 suppliers and does not anticipate a supply issue.

Coca-Cola Co, SodaStream owner PepsiCo Inc , wine and beer seller Constellation Brands Inc and several bottling companies did not respond to requests for comment

Walker Modic, environmental and social sustainability manager for Bell’s Brewery, said the Comstock, Michigan-based brewing company had “not experienced any curtailments or changes in the source of our CO2.”

Denmark-based Carlsberg Group said that the company is “almost self-sufficient.”

“We, in line with our sustainability program, create our own CO2 and capture it during the brewing process,” spokesman Kasper Elbjorn.

Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York, Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
- Advertisement -Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic
- Advertisement -Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic

Latest News

Pride Month and a Reflect...

June is nationally...
video

Watch: Police investigati...

Police investigating Mo...
video

Watch: Special Olympics 2...

Special Olympics 2-Day ...

Failure to get Arkansas’s...

Editor’s note: The 2021...

Data reveal Arkansas is s...

Editor’s note: The 2021...
- Advertisement -Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic