Breweries braced for knock-on impact of CO2 shortage on beer supply

John Hughes, second from left and brother Paul, second from right, at Redwell Brewing. John Hughes s

John Hughes, second from left, on the impact of the CO2 crisis on pubs - Credit: Archant

Breweries are waiting with bated breath over the knock-on effect of the carbon dioxide crisis on the city's beer supply. 

CO2 shortages are already throwing other industries into chaos but brewers have said so far the troubles haven't trickled down into their barrels. 

Carbon dioxide is relied upon in pubs and breweries both in the making of beers and for dispensing it - as well as adding fizz to post-mix soft drinks.

Brewers are hopeful that a solution will be found before stocks run out, as some don't have a plan if they do. 

John Hughes, a director at Redwell Brewery, said while it is currently comfortably stocked the news of a national shortage was worrying.

He said: "I am certainly concerned about it. We have everything firmly crossed because we don't have a contingency plan if future orders aren't filled.

"At the moment though, we don't have a problem - hopefully, it stays that way."

The Fat Cat landlord, Colin Keatley, with his special beer, Yeller 'N' Green, to celebrate NCFC winn

Colin Keatley, owner of the Fat Cat pub and brewery - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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Likewise Colin Keatley, of the Fat Cat pub and brewery group, said the shortage was yet to bite but that it would have a significant impact should it hit.

He said: "We are a regular customer of a supplier and if they have problems then we have problems too.

"It's amazing how so many businesses do rely on this one product and we rely on CO2 both in some of the beers we make and dispensing some. 

"We do still have beers on gravity and pork scratchings - so if we have to just rely on them we will."

The two breweries are supplied by Ipswich-based Cellair, which provides a service to the majority of the city's independent pubs and breweries.

David Lancaster, owner of Cellair, said he was confident that a solution to the shortage would be found and that there was "nothing to panic about".

He said: "I think it is a blip and we had something similar happen in July.

"I am sure there is enough big business behind this that something will be found to solve the problem by the end of the week."