While it certainly feels that we’re on the waning side of the pandemic, the shortages continue. The next one could really hurt. According to Axios, the next crushing shortage could be beer.
If you think “crushing” is too strong a word, just think about it. Football season is here. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are coming. The holiday season will be followed by the college bowl games and NFL playoffs. A beer shortage could be catastrophic. (Okay, maybe “catastrophic” is too strong a word, but I stand by “crushing.”)
One reason for the looming shortage of America’s favorite beverage is a diminished supply of carbon dioxide, which is what gives beer its delightful effervescence. The main problem is natural contamination at the Jackson Dome, a reservoir of CO2 from an extinct volcano in Mississippi.
As an alternative to CO2, beer makers are looking at using nitrogen instead. In the meantime, be prepared to possibly miss out on your favorite brew or, at the very least, pay a lot more for it. That’s already happening.
The higher beer prices we’re seeing are largely due to inflation and supply chain issues. A CO2 shortage will only make it worse. I recently had a very tasty lager at a bar in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood. I thought about going to Total Wine for a six-pack to take home. Then I saw that the six-pack cost $15.49.