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One brewery in Norway has already been forced to cease operations

Margaret Eby
Updated: July 03, 2018

Carbon dioxide is probably one of those things you take for granted. It's everywhere, from your can of LaCroix to your beer to your Prosecco. While it's a naturally occuring gas, it's also something that has to be manufactured in order to get into all those fizzy products. And in Northern Europe, it's getting scarce.

The carbon dioxide used in Northern Europe is a byproduct of the ammonia produced by the fertilizer industry. But thanks to the closure of several of those plants, carbon dioxide is running low, threatening supplies of beer. According to Bloomberg, it could be until September before more carbon dioxide comes on the market, which is bad news for fans of fizz. Norway's Aass Brewery has already been forced to cease operations, and Germany's Radeberger Gruppe AG has had to carefully manage their gas supplies. The UK has been hit hard by the shortage, too, which has affected everything from Coca-Cola to crumpets, which use the gas in packaging.

Waning carbon diozide supplies couldn't have come at a worse time, with a heatwave affecting much of Europe and the World Cup raising demand for beer

The carbon dioxide plants also affects meat processing, which uses the gas in packaging. “No one anticipated this at all," Nick Allen, the CEO of the British Meat Processors Association told Bloomberg. "Now everyone’s realized just how critical a part of your supply chain it is. We thought the problem on the planet was that we have too much CO2. Now we’ve discovered we haven’t got enough.”


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