Wetherspoons ‘monitoring’ global CO2 shortage

UK pub group JD Wetherspoon said on Wednesday it was “monitoring” the global carbon dioxide shortage threatening beer and fizzy drink production.

Brewers and trade bodies have raised concerns in recent days that a shortage of CO2 among some of the biggest suppliers in Europe could hit fizzy drink production. On Tuesday, the chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said the shortage “has now started to impact beer producers in the UK.”

Wetherspoons’ spokesman Eddie Gershon said the company was “fully aware of the situation.”

“At present none of our pubs have been affected and are offering their full range of drinks. We are monitoring the situation closely with our suppliers in order to minimise any disruptions that might occur,” he said.

CO2 is what gives some bottled and canned beers their ‘fizz’ and is also used in draft beer pumps at pubs.

The prospect of a beer shortage during the football World Cup has raised particular concerns both for thirsty fans and for pubs and bars, many of which have had slow starts to the year and are hoping for increased sales during the tournament.

Meanwhile, Heineken, the world’s second largest brewer, confirmed on Wednesday that its CO2 supplier had reported it was facing a “major issue with supply availability in the UK.”

“Like many other businesses in the food and drinks industry, we are affected by this shortage. We continue to work hard to resolve this issue as quickly as possible within our European supply base, and are working with customers to minimise disruption to their business,” a spokesperson said.

The shortage is the result of at least five gas producers in northern Europe closing for maintenance in the early summer months of this year. Trade magazine Gasworld said the UK had been hardest hit, since it only has one major CO2 plant in operation.


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