Sharp declines in Ethanol, used to make CO2, may lead to a shortage in carbonated drinks.
Just when you think things couldn’t get any worse. We have finally had a glimmer of hope and started to see toilet paper reappear on shelves. Now, a beer shortage could be possible in the near future as the supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are decreasing.
As a byproduct of ethanol, CO2 is used to give carbonation to beer, sodas, and beloved White Claws. But as the demand for oil has dropped sharply during coronavirus lockdown measures, so too has the drop of ethanol production.
The demand for oil has dropped by 30% in the last month, yet the price of CO has risen by 25%.
According to Renewable Fuels Association chief executive, Geoff Cooper said that 34 of the 45 US ethanol plants that sell CO2 have reduced production.”The supply is rapidly deteriorating. We are on the verge of something fairly disruptive.”
It is expected that brewers will begin cutting production in the coming weeks. But it’s not just beer companies that are being affected.
Besides meatpacking plant closures due to the coronavirus, packing companies that still remain open rely on CO2 for the processing, preservation, and shipment of products.
Come May, we might be in crisis mode as it is expected CO2 production to be at a 70% shortfall. “That means that a lot of carbonated drinks will simply not be produced,” says Darin Ezra, CEO of Power Brands.
I don't know about ya'll, but I can handle no toilet paper. I can handle not leaving the house. But no beer? I just can't even imagine.