MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — Bubbly beverages may be hard to come by soon as the nation faces a carbon dioxide shortage.
A key ingredient in sodas and beer is carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas that gives those drinks their effervescent bubbles.
One of the country’s biggest CO2 producers in Mississippi became contaminated over the summer and shut down. Many suppliers had yet to come back to full strength after the economy was shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to NBC News, craft breweries across the nation are forced to shut down and lay off workers.
Chris Langguth, the head brewer at Pig Minds Brewing Co, at 4080 Steele Drive, says Pig Minds uses CO2 in the entire brewing process of their craft beer.
“It’s been an issue for us in the past year,” Langguth said. “Carbonating the beer transferring it from one tank to another serving the beer from kegs running the canning line we rely very heavily on CO2.”
Pig Minds’ suppliers, MacCarb, Inc. in Elgin, say they are facing a difficult time with the supply chain issues.
“It seems like it’s getting worse and worse, to be honest with you. And this is probably the worst that we have seen. Anybody that has a fountain soda or a draft beer system will be affected,” said MacCarb president Adam McCarthy.
“You’re also seeing it in … other things, food manufacturing. They use CO2 in freezing tunnels to freeze chicken, steaks, stuff like that, dry ice production,” added vice president David McCarthy.
MacCarb says it is working on getting more equipment, moving product by truck or railroad, and using telemetry technology on client CO2 tanks to help stretch what is available.
“We’re able to see where they’re exactly at and kind of be able to push them out a little bit longer or prioritize them, over somebody that has plenty of gas in the tank,” David McCarthy said.
Langguth also said he’s working to stretch his supply.
“We’ve done our best to try and mitigate those issues. We implode some processes that help save on CO2 one of them is naturally carbonating the beer.