Beer shortage? A nationwide carbon dioxide shortage could raise the price of brews

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The price of beer may soon be going up locally.

A nationwide carbon dioxide shortage has forced some businesses, including restaurants and breweries, that rely on the gas to close in other parts of the country.

The nationwide shortage began about a year ago after problems with production plants post-COVID-19 and a major underground supply in Mississippi being contaminated by a long-extinct volcano. 

Carbon dioxide is used in beer production and is also what makes dry ice. Both industries nationwide are now dealing with the problem. The issue is so bad that it’s led some microbreweries to close. 

KDKA-TV visited Unity Brewery in Unity Township on Thursday and asked brewmaster Alan Upholster if the problem has hit local businesses. He said not yet.

“It’s very important,” Upholster said. “We use it to carbonate our beers and also to dispense our beers in the tap room.”

“We have a 750-pound tank that, between dispensing and the brew house, we’re getting that filled once a month,” Upholster said.

So, will the shortage eventually hit here? That remains to be seen, but industry experts say we’ll know more come mid-winter.



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