CO2 shortage sparks fears over beer supplies.


Low supplies of CO2 beer gas is leaving brewers and soft drinks manufacturers desperate to maintain production , with possible beer shortages about to hit the trade. Carbon Dioxide is an essential ingredient in the production of canned and bottle beers. It is also used to deliver beer at the pumps. Mixed gases will also be directly affected by this present situation.
The shortfall has been created due to CO2 suppliers shutting down for annual maintenance, at the same time as there is a huge increase in demand. The perfect storm!
So, if you are a bar or pub owner, you are probably only too aware of this crisis and the possible side effects on your business. If you are lucky enough to have a supply of CO2 you will want to know how long it will last. The big question is how many containers can I sell with one 14lb cylinder?

Taken from The BOC official web site, they say “There are a great many factors influencing how many kegs you will get from a cylinder, but under normal circumstances you can expect to get somewhere between the numbers given.”
1 x 14lb/6.35kg gas cylinder will dispense 9 to 18 x 11gal containers.
If you have a mixed gas generating system this will also be affected, as this needs CO2 to generate mixed gases, 70/30, 60/40 etc.
Most beer installations will use gas pumps to assist delivery and this is where you will encounter problems. Bigger beer retailers will use air to operate their gas pumps but quite a substantial number of small to medium outlets will use CO2. A great deal of CO2 is used in these instances. Therefore, large or small, if you run out of CO2 you will not be selling beer or soft drinks for that matter.
To a lot of people we may seem to be stating the obvious here but we are just giving our readers a reminder of what might possibly happen.
So is there any way around this shortage? Well, in short, no.
The brewers may have some back up plans, we hope that they do. To be realistic at this point there is not a lot one can do.


  1. This is the official statement from BOC.

    Currently BOC are not experiencing any shortage of products in Industrial, Sureserve, and Foodfresh gases. However, we are aware of the issues within the wider CO2 nationwide supply chain. So as a preventative measure and to allow better product management, we have introduced a full for empty policy when placing the orders. This was given to us yesterday.

  2. If the shortages are going to be dire, those pubs with Co2 driving the gas pump. You could save a substantial amount of gas, by turning the gas pump off. Dispense may be slower but if you are going to run out completely it might be a life saver. But if you get bad fobbing you will have to switch it back on. But if you have been shown how to slow down the flow adjuster this may help alleviate the problem.

  3. Carlsberg are self sufficient at their Northampton depot I was told by rep, and I’ve been told that HUK have acquired co2 from Poland and it’s on its way apparently.

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