Breweries could soon see beer shortages thanks to an unprecedented carbon dioxide contamination that is taking the industry by storm.
The potential shortage would be due to an extinct underground volcano in Mississippi contaminating the naturally-occurring carbon dioxide reservoir in the area, adding supply chain woes to the already devastating effects of inflation.
“It’s certainly something we’re keeping close attention to,” said Ronn Friedlander, co-CEO of Massachusetts’ Aeronaut Brewing Company.
“We have to figure out some way to continue to source CO2 and, for now, we’re actually just staying ahead of it, but it’s certainly a big concern for us,” he added.
Friedlander told “Fox & Friends First” on Wednesday that beer drinkers could see a spike in prices and “slight reductions” in availability because of the contaminated reservoirs.
“It comes down to how bad the situation gets,” he told host Carley Shimkus. “Like everyone else, we’re doing what we can to source CO2 and finding alternative suppliers. Sometimes that means paying more money if we have to. So far, we haven’t been forced to do that…”
Despite ongoing challenges small businesses – including breweries – faced during and after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Friedlander says the carbon dioxide shortage is perhaps the most challenging due to its unpredictability.
“It’s a different type of challenge because it’s very unpredictable. We don’t know if we’re going to have enough CO2 next month although we do think there’s a lot of alternatives available to it.”
Friedlander said his business had to adapt significantly during the pandemic, and the grain shortage brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war also continues to iimpact the beer market.