Beer is now being rationed across the United Kingdom due to a carbon dioxide shortage.
A major wholesaler in the UK, Booker, which is owned by supermarket giant Tesco, confirmed it is limiting its customers such as grocers, bars and restaurants to just 10 cases of beer, equal to 300 cans, per brand per day, which has become the biggest consequences over the shortage of CO2 to date that is also threatening the food production of all of Europe.
However, the problem extends beyond just beer, as carbon dioxide or CO2 is used as well in meat production and sodas, as well as in food cooling, packaging and storage.
The shortage of carbon dioxide can be traced back to the fertilizer industry.
The type of carbon dioxide that is used to make soda and beer fizzy is a byproduct of the ammonia produced foe fertilizer use. Several of the large ammonia plants across Europe have shut down for maintenance, which has led to carbon dioxide being in short supply.
However, it is in the UK where the problem is the worst. In the UK, just one ammonia plant is running at normal capacity. Groups that work in the food and drink industry expect that the CO2 shortage will last a minimum of a few more weeks if not longer.
The issue said on executive in the industry is it will affect the majority of the UK’s farm-to-fork supply chain.
For beer and soda, the summer months mean hot weather and more demand for the drinks and add to that the ongoing World Cup means the shortage came about at the worst time possible for brewers and producers of soda across Europe.
Heineken warned a week ago that its kegs from certain brands, including Amstel, might not be available across Britain.
A spokesperson for the company said on Wednesday that our beer drinkers must be reassured that all the company’s breweries are running at full capacity and working around the clock to get out beer to our customers the quickest way possible.
Coca-Cola European Partners, which is the bottling purveyor for the soft drinks company across Europe, said the CO2 shortage forced it to stop some of its production lines for short intervals. However, it added that supplies to clients have not yet been reduced.