Will the CO2 shortage lead to a stoppage of local beer production?

Oh great, another shortage: this time it’s CO2. In such a bad economy, now even gas is hard to come by. What effect will this have on our local beer?

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 interest me. I just want to know what this 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 by-product of – it is more common for beer in large quantities to be force-carbonated with CO2. So if there’s a shortage, that either means we’re all going to be drinking flat beer, or production will have to stop until it becomes more readily available.

Fortunately, FX Matt Brewing Company saw this coming and planned ahead. Fred Matt recently told local media that Saranac had installed around $400,000 in storage tanks to keep extra CO2 on hand so normal production could continue. Several breweries in the northeast were forced to close or lay off staff due to the shortage, and Saranac did not want to suffer the same fate.

Additionally, Woodland Farm Brewery, North Utica’s popular craft brewery on Trenton Road, says their normal CO2 delivery should not be affected and their production will remain on track.

I guess we can raise a glass to them by planning ahead.

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