The UK Is Now Rationing Beer Amid the Worst CO₂ Shortage in Decades

Jun 27, 2018

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Looking to grab a pint in a UK pub this summer? You better get there early. The beer shortage hitting the country due to a lack of carbon dioxide doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon.

Now, a major UK wholesaler is rationing out its bubbly beverage products like beer and cider to its clients. Booker, a beverage supplier for venues like grocery stores and pubs, has limited clients to 300 cans (10 cases) per brand per day. This is a result of the country’s biggest CO₂ crisis in decades, which partly stems from several ammonia plants — the chemical needed for carbonation — to close for maintenance.

Only one plant is operating and producing CO₂ for the entire country’s beer supply, and at least 82% of the beer consumed in the UK is produced within the nation. According to Esquire, Heineken told pubs to expect shortages of Amstel and John Smith brands, and Wetherspoons, the UK’s biggest pub, will be pulling some beers from its menu.

Beer isn’t the only thing at risk; the Food and Drink Federation believes this lack of CO₂ also affects the UK’s food industry.

“This is an issue that will affect much of the United Kingdom’s … farm-to-fork supply chain,” Helen Munday, the chief scientific officer at the Food and Drink Federation, told CNN Money.

The lack of CO₂ is predicted to impact the UK’s meat industry, food packaging services and frozen food deliveries.

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