Will the CO2 Shortage Cause a Shutdown of Local Beer Production?
Oh great, another shortage: This time it's CO2. In an economy so bad, now even gas is hard to come by. What kind of effect will this have on our local beer?
WHY IS CO2 IMPORTANT?
CO2 is short for carbon dioxide, and it's an important greenhouse gas that keeps our planet livable. There are many scientific reasons for this, none of which I care about. I just want to know what it means for our beer.
Brewers use CO2 to move beer through lines and taps. It also keeps your beer carbonated. While naturally-carbonated beer is common - CO2 is a natural biproduct of - it's a more common practice for beer in large batches to be force-carbonated with CO2. So if there's a shortage, it either means we're all going to be drinking flat beer, or production will have to pause until it becomes more readily available.
SARANAC PLANNED AHEAD
Thankfully, F.X. Matt Brewing Company saw this coming and planned ahead. Fred Matt recently told a local news outlet that Saranac installed around $400,000 in storage tanks to keep extra CO2 on hand so normal production can continue. Several breweries throughout the northeast have been forced to close or lay off staff due to the shortage, and Saranac didn't want to suffer the same fate.
Additionally, Woodland Farm Brewery, the popular craft brewery in North Utica on Trenton Road, says their normal CO2 delivery shouldn't be affected, and their production will remain on track.
I guess we can raise a glass to them planning ahead.