Football fans face some rather flat World Cup celebrations as beer taps could be turned off within days.
A shortage of CO2 means supplies of lager and fizzy drinks are in danger of running out, with pubs and brewers both warning about shortfalls.
Meanwhile anyone planning a barbecue may find it difficult to buy fresh meat, as almost two thirds of the UK’s poultry processing plants could shudder to a halt by next week.
The CO2 shortage comes as millions are expected to be cooking outside in a forecasted heatwave.
Pubs are also expecting a huge increase in trade as drinkers cheer on the England football team in Sunday’s match against Panama.
Football fans face some rather flat World Cup celebrations as beer taps could be turned off within days. Pictured, an England fan drinks beer in Volgograd, Russia
Publicans yesterday said they are running out of brands including John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Amstel, Foster’s and Strongbow.
Wetherspoon, which has nearly 1,000 pubs, and brewer Beavertown said the flow of beer and soft drinks could be cut off in days.
‘It’s come at absolutely the wrong time because it’s the World Cup and the height of summer,’ a Beavertown spokesman said. ‘People want to watch the football and have a pint. This will affect the whole industry.’
Tesco’s website is showing that products including its own fizzy drinks, Schweppes lemonade and Dr Pepper are ‘unavailable’.
Pubs are also expecting a huge increase in trade as drinkers cheer on the England football team in Sunday’s match against Panama. Pictured, England fans in Russia on June 18
The problem is understood to stem from a longer than usual break in production of ammonia, one of the key sources of food grade CO2 in Europe.
A large number of plants that handle ammonia have been shut for longer than expected because of maintenance. Trade journal Gas World said it has been described as the ‘worst supply situation to hit the European carbon dioxide business in decades’.
Mark O’Neill, owner of The Beer And Gas Man which supplies 700 pubs, said: ‘There are customers who are panicking. One wanted to order 30-40 cylinders – their normal weekly order is one or two.
‘Unless there is an intermediate delivery we won’t be returning to normal before the beginning of July. Without that, we will run dry in about a week’s time.’
Meanwhile anyone planning a barbecue may find it difficult to buy fresh meat, as almost two thirds of the UK’s poultry processing plants could shudder to a halt by next week. File photo
The Food And Drink Federation – an industry body – has asked the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to help businesses obtain CO2. The British Poultry Council also said meat producers would be forced to slow or stop production. It warned that up to 60 per cent of poultry processing plants could be knocked out ‘within days’.
The gas is used by meat producers to stun birds and pigs during slaughter and to package fresh meat to extend its shelf life. A BPC spokesman said: ‘Without additional gas, even the best case …could quickly become critical.’
Mark Jones, partner at Gordons law firm, warned that the shortage could have a negative impact on the UK economy.
A Government spokesman said: ‘While this is an issue for industry, the Government is in contact with the relevant companies and trade associations, including those within the food and drink sector and main CO2 suppliers.’