After decades of there being too much Co2 everywhere you look, now all of a sudden there's not enough of one particular type -- and the beer producers are running out of the little bubbles to put in their refreshing beverages.
The EU-wide shortage of food-grade CO2 has hit the big name brands now, with Heineken confirming that stocks of its smash intoxicators John Smith's Extra Smooth and Amstel are running low because it can't get the carbon dioxide to clean and pressurise its kegs. The brewer has apparently written to pubs it supplies to tell them they can only order reduced quantities due to a "major issue with supply availability" of the gas in the UK.
Pub conglomerate Wetherspoons expects the impact of the shortage to start having an impact on its stocks within days, with a spokesperson for the chain saying: "There might be some products we don't have available and if it affects Wetherspoons, then it will affect everyone else."
And it's not just the beer industry that's under threat. CO2 is essential in a vast range of packaging options for foods like those little bags salad slowly rots in, plus, according to The Grocer, we may even start to run short on chicken and other meats, as CO2 is widely used in the processing industry to stun and kill birds and animals. [BBC]