Beer and Fizzy Drink Shortage?

The country could run out of beer as soon as next week because the European supply of carbon dioxide is at an all time low.

The drought comes when spending on booze has increased as football fans stock up during the World Cup.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas that's used to pump into beer to carbonate it in pints like Carlsberg, Heineken and Corona.

Even though Real-ales like Guinness use natural CO2 supplies during the brewing process, they still use the gas in packaging and pouring.

It's also used to give soft drinks bubbles which means fizzy pop like Coke and Fanta are at risk of running dry too.

Beavertown Brewer Sam Millard told the I that supplies could run out as early as next week and compared getting hold of supplies to rationing during the war.

He said: "[The CO2 shortage] has hit at absolutely the wrong time of year – the height of summer and the World Cup is when people want to be down the pub, drinking beer, or they want to get cans to take home.

"We can modify our processes for this week which will see us through… but if it goes on any longer than that then we’ll just have to halt packaging."

The shortage will affect both big and independent brewers.

C02 is a byproduct of ammonia production, but supplies began drying up two months ago due to planned shutdowns at some of the ammonia plants.

But it turned "critical" when technical issues forced other plants to close, threatening to leave beer taps empty, according to Gasworld.

The shortage could also have an effect on the meat industry as it's often used by slaughterhouses to stun and kill animals.

Brigid Simmonds, boss of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: "We are aware of a situation affecting the availability of CO2 across Europe, which has now started to impact beer producers in the UK.

"We have recommended our members continue to liaise with their providers directly where they have concerns over supply."