back to article Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space

A carbon-dioxide shortage in Blighty may rid bars and pubs of that fizzy nonsense taking up the tap space of proper cask beer. [Oy! Some of us like a good lager – ed.] The UK Food and Drink Federation today issued an alert – just in time for the World Cup – that the country was in danger of running out of the CO2 gas that is …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am a specialist.

    I am a specialist at creating carbon dioxide. I have done it all my life. Do they use Paypal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am a specialist.

      I am a specialist at creating carbon dioxide. I have done it all my life.

      Do you supply the US Budweiser "brewery"?

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I am a specialist.

        I hear the US Budweiser "brewery" is supplied from the other end.

        1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I am a specialist.

          @tfewster

          No, no, no! Not the "other end", Bud comes from what I think the British call a bell end.

          (That better not be "Butt-wiper" in that glass, El Reg.)

        2. Nolveys Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I am a specialist.

          I hear the US Budweiser "brewery" is supplied from the other end.

          My understanding is that it comes from the catalytic reformer that's attached to the hydrotreater at the upper 1/4 stage of the pig urine distillation silo.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            Re: I am a specialist.

            "I hear the US Budweiser "brewery" is supplied from the other end."

            Usually put as "Q. How do you turn English beer into American beer? A. Drink it."

            1. J. Cook Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: I am a specialist.

              That reminds me of the old joke:

              "why is american beer like Sex in a canoe? Because it's f&$king near water."

              1. onefang Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: I am a specialist.

                Fscking near water? You mean it's like checking your hard disk for errors when there's a large jug of water sitting on top of your computer?

                I'll get my coat, it's the one with the <censored/> dodgy HD in the pocket.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am a specialist.

      you sure that was carbon dioxide? Methane more likely! :)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am a specialist.

      I am a specialist at creating carbon dioxide.

      Nope, that's dinitrogen fartoxide.

      1. Sequin

        Re: I am a specialist.

        No - it's Carbon dibaxide

  2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Pint

    All that build up and London bloody Pride?

    A shandy drinkers idea of what a northern beer should taste like.

    1. TechDrone
      Pint

      Pint of Bomber please landlord

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Give the author a little leeway, he is in San Francisco, a bottle of Pride is probably the only UK brewed beer available...

      As for northern beer, Tetleys is a shadow of it's former self ever since Carlsberg closed the Hunslet (Leeds) brewery and contracted out production...

      1. Boring Bob

        Tetleys hasn't been the same since they brought out the round tea bags.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          "Northern Beer"

          As in the style of beer that would be classic traditional northern beer. Pretty crap.

          However, ales from northern breweries - as in styles of beer without any particular geographic attachment. Pretty good. Just like decent ales from anywhere else.

          "eee, look at tha's flat soothern beer, it's got no foamy 'ead on it ya soft soothern panseh".

          "fuck off twat, I want a drink not a shave"

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      A shandy drinkers idea of what a northern beer should taste like.

      They don't call it shandy down here - they insist it's lager top. They think shandy is a half and half, thus proving beyond question that southerners know fuck all about beer.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Yep, northerners are definitely the experts on shandy.

        1. Mooseman Bronze badge

          "northerners are definitely the experts on shandy"

          hand shandy?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Case for the prosecution

    "Oy! Some of us like a GOOD lager – ed."

    "Kronenburg 1664"

    I rest my case.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Case for the prosecution

      Indeed, a "seize" in France is the beer equivalent of a jug of house wine from a plastic bag.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Case for the prosecution

        >Indeed, a "seize" in France is the beer equivalent of a jug of house wine from a plastic bag.

        That'd be a Kro' a 16' is one up from that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Case for the prosecution

      At least it's not a "Cronenberg 1666".

      I's spelled "Kronenbourg" btw.

      1. Inspector71

        Re: Case for the prosecution

        Long live the new lager!

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: Kronenbourg 1664

          Non, je ne regrette rien.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or ...

    brew your own. Incredibly satisfying. And fizzing.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Or ...

      brew your own. Incredibly satisfying. And fizzing.

      "Incredibly saitsfying" is a phrase that has been used to describe my home brew as often as the phrase "maginificent and large beyond comprehension" has been used to describe my manhood. So, not very often, or never, if you prefer precision.

      1. dnicholas Bronze badge

        Re: Or ...

        Is that single precision or double precision?

  5. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "Government must act with urgency to assess the issue as quickly as possible and support the industry through any period of restricted supply."

    1) A Government acting with urgency may have assessed the issue in time for the next world cup,

    2) What has a Free Market problem got to do with Government? It's a bit daft the suppliers all shutting down at once, without stockpiling some, but it's bloody stupid not to secure your supply when you know it's an annual shutdown and expect a big demand this year.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      We have a left wing government which is trying to encroach on the centre ground between it and the far left opposition, what do you expect?

      1. Bob Ajob

        Bravo madam!

        That is single-handedly the most trollish comment I've read in ages. Well done!

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Bravo madam!

          Who? Me?

          We have a left wing government. A government which does not believe in the invisible hand of the free market is left wing.

          1. John 110

            Re: Bravo madam!

            "...We have a left wing government..."

            Wait!! What??

          2. Winkypop Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Bravo madam!

            If the gov is left wing I'd hate to see your idea of right wing.

            "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell

            1. LucreLout Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Bravo madam!

              "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell

              Irony fail. Orwell wrote 1984 about a LABOUR government.

              1. Paul Shirley

                Re: Bravo madam!

                Orwell wrote 1984 about a LABOUR government.

                The 2 halfs of our 2 party state are increasingly hard to distinguish, just slight differences in their choice of evil.

                1. onefang Silver badge

                  Re: Bravo madam!

                  "The 2 halfs of our 2 party state are increasingly hard to distinguish, just slight differences in their choice of evil."

                  Hence the Eastasia / Eurasia war thing.

          3. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Bravo madam!

            What was that? Something about the invisible brain of the free marketeer?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Bravo madam!

            A government which does not believe in the invisible thieving hand of the free market is left wing.

            FTFY.

          5. H in The Hague Silver badge

            Re: Bravo madam!

            "A government which does not believe in the invisible hand of the free market is left wing."

            Having been in business for over three decades I respectfully suggest that the effectiveness of the invisible hand of the free market is somewhat overestimated. Yes, I believe in mostly free markets, but sometimes we need a bit of regulation to lubricate them, and to protect the vulnerable in society, and the environment.

            Incidentally, although the term was coined by Adam Smith (who used it only once in The Wealth of Nations), he also advocated a range of state interventions in markets. See the leader article in one of the sections of this weekend's edition of the Financial Times, that famously left wing newspaper.

            So, by your definition Adam Smith is left wing!?!

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Bravo madam!

              The conservatives keep having referendums, asking society what they want is obviously socialist

              A proper conservative government would stick to asking shareholders

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: Bravo madam!

                A proper conservative government would stick to asking shareholders their friends sponsors in the City

                FTFY

                1. John Stirling

                  Re: Bravo madam!

                  A proper conservative government would stick to asking shareholders their friends sponsors in the City

                  FTFY

                  Could we please move on from childish tribal stereotyping.

                  A proper government of whatever philosophical persuasion will act as best they can to deal with the very complex problems they face on a daily basis for the benefit of their electorate.

                  If we the electorate had slightly higher standards with regard to the honesty of our politicians they would be more honest.

                  Doesn't matter if you like it, the 'free' (hah) market drives our choice of politician as much as it does markets.

                  Corruption and dishonesty are inputs into that process as much as anything else and as long as we (political) consumers continue to purchase what is peddled we'll continue to get it.

                  There are occasional attempts at grown up honest government from the fringes, but they rarely get far.

                  1. Tom Paine Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: Bravo madam!

                    By far the best comment on this little threadlet, so naturally it has fewer votes and any others! Have a consolatory pint of Watling St IPA

                  2. tiggity Silver badge

                    Re: Bravo madam!

                    @ John Stirling

                    "If we the electorate had slightly higher standards with regard to the honesty of our politicians they would be more honest."

                    Electorate can not do much (I would like a "none of the above" option - that would be fun in our (not very democratic) First Past The Post system if it won

                    When all the candidates are flawed then the elector is stuck - spoiled ballots ignored, low turnout matters little as even if only a handful of people voted the winning MP would be elected.

                    At best your choice is do I pick the candidate that is as preferable as a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (PITEWASS), the one that is PITEWASS with stick covered in faeces, or the one that is PITEWASS where stick covered in Ebola.

                    When all choices are varying degree of unwanted, you have no (meaningful) choice

                    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                      Re: Bravo madam!

                      You can always spoil your ballot.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Bravo madam!

              I believe in mostly free markets, but sometimes we need a bit of regulation to lubricate them, and to protect the vulnerable in society, and the environment.

              In the UK there's little evidence that the bunglers of government can get the balance right. Telecoms regulation is almost non-existent, energy regulation is prescriptive, intense and interventionist, neither market works well for consumers. Rail regulation has achieved very mixed outcomes, with some excellent operators such as Chiltern, Grand Central and many more that are awful (although the state owned system was even worse in overall performance terms).

              The only good example I can think of is water regulation, which usually strikes a good balance between customers, environment, economics and corporate interests. But you'll find few people that will believe that - and even then it is occasionally subject to political meddling.

              1. tiggity Silver badge

                Re: Bravo madam!

                @Ledswinger

                "The only good example I can think of is water regulation"

                Tell that to people on metered water who shower / bathe themselves & kids less than they would like due to the cost

                As we have a few dry days on the trot in the UK, there are already predictions of water shortages / hosepipe bans - most water companies lose huge amounts (over 20% of water lost through leaks before reaching homes / businesses) - massive leakage (waste of resource) does not stop huge monopoly profits and loads of cash going to shareholders. A proper regulatory system for water would stop any consumer price hikes until leakage was low (0 is obviously not possible, but below 5% )would be an initial achievable target)

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: Bravo madam!

                  Tell that to people on metered water who shower / bathe themselves & kids less than they would like due to the cost

                  Depends on what you mean by 'less', when I was growing up having one bath a week was common.

                  Having moved from unmetered to metered, I think, unless your household is a very high water user there little in it, I suspect that to many the issue is the perception that metered will be more expensive.

                  most water companies lose huge amounts (over 20% of water lost through leaks before reaching homes / businesses)

                  Need to be careful about this statistic, a year back we had a 'leak', in the vicinity of the local distribution point, some seven miles away. To fix the leak all the water in the local distribution network had to be drained away, once the leak was fixed the pipes could be refilled, flushed and repressurising the distribution network. All the water 'lost' as a result of that single leak is included in that 20% figure...

                2. DavCrav Silver badge

                  Re: Bravo madam!

                  "Tell that to people on metered water who shower / bathe themselves & kids less than they would like due to the cost"

                  It costs less than 30p to have a shower,

            3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Re: Bravo madam!

              Adam Smith advocated a range of state interventions against things like rent seeking.

              He wouldn't have supported the state stepping in to manage the supply of a commodity.

          6. James Anderson

            Re: Bravo madam!

            Should have read your Adam Smith. He thought governments would do a better job of major infrastructure like canals. Private enterprise resulted in a disconnected patchwork of incomparable waterways.

          7. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Bravo madam!

            "A government which does not believe in the invisible hand of the free market is left wing."

            The invisible hand of the free market is currently giving us all the finger and saying 'no lager for you, mate'.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      >"Government must act with urgency to assess the issue as quickly as possible and support the industry through any period of restricted supply."

      I was tempted to write a satirical piece linking this to Brexit - UK leaving EuroCO2 panic! but the implied point is worth reflecting on:

      "Very reliant on imports from Scandinavia and also the Netherlands – the UK is doubly impacted in that there are limited movements across the Channel due to the plant shutdowns in the Benelux and France limiting product to ship."

      Part of the problem is the way most food-grade C02 is produced: as a by-product of ammonia production.

      Gasworld notes that because ammonia's primary use is in fertilizer

      So I take it from this that UK agriculture is currently highly dependent upon fertilizer production in Scandinavia and the Netherlands; just another relationship that has evolved over the last 40 years and needs to be reassessed in the context of Brexit.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        So I take it from this that UK agriculture is currently highly dependent upon fertilizer production in Scandinavia and the Netherlands; just another relationship that has evolved over the last 40 years and needs to be reassessed in the context of Brexit.

        I blame global warming. A long time ago, in a far away Redcar I was in a hotel with some sparkies who were working on one of the chemical plants there during it's shutdown. Turning it off and on again involved a rope tied to a large chunk of copper. Stand well back, much energy coming through..

        But that was producing ammonia. Not sure if it still does, but it's a process that requires a lot of energy, both as methane for feedstock, and electricity. Which I guess is why Norway produces so much, ie cheap gas and electricity from hydro. The UK's Climate Change Act determined that energy drowned puppies, so created policies to increase energy costs. So not suprising that energy intensive businesses like chemical engineering or steel production moved out of the UK in search of lower operating costs.

        But from a quick look at the process, it seems the CO2 comes from hydrogen production using methane as the feedstock. The H2 moves along into ammonia production, the CO2 ends up in beer. So any shift towards a hydrogen economy using fuel cells or direct burning would require more H2 production, so more CO2 as a byproduct.. Although the CO2 could also get used to produce synthetic fuel for ICE cars. It'd still need a lot of energy though.

        TL;DR is it's more an issue of Green energy policies than Brexit.. Although Brexit would mean the UK could set it's own environmental policies, not Brussels.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          > it seems the CO2 comes from hydrogen production using methane as the feedstock.

          Yes the use of methane arose because it was cheaper and more energy efficient than other ways of creating fertilizer feedstock.

          Several years back, it was noted that an excellent use of wind turbines was in the production of fertilizer feedstock. Whilst the process was less energy efficient, given wind energy is 'free' energy it didn't really matter, plus there was no (fertilizer) transportation cost if the wind turbine was located on the farm.

          1. TheVogon Silver badge

            "given wind energy is 'free' energy"

            It's not free if you allow for the cost of buying and maintaining the wind turbine. It is however relatively environmentally friendly. If you don't count a few dead birds.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So any shift towards a hydrogen economy using fuel cells or direct burning would require more H2 production, so more CO2 as a byproduct..

          Whilst that's quite likely if we ever have a "hydrogen economy", because steam methane reformation is the only high volume source of H2, it does defeat the objective of all the climate change shit. The official line is that if we have a hydrogen gas network, they'd use SMR to produce the H2 from natural gas, and then use carbon capture and storage to "save the world" from the CO2. There's then the problem that there's no good technologies for transporting and burning H2 in volume - the flame velocity is too fast for any currently economic burner in domestic heating equipment, the net efficiency of heating appliances will be very low, and most of the metals that we could use for the burners become brittle when exposed to hydrogen, even if you can overcome the flame velocity problem. And there's the slight problem that the tiny H2 molecules bleed out of any gap, making a gas tight network under urban roads about as likely as a truth-telling politician.

          The net efficiency of the SMR conversion, the distribution losses, the combustion and heat transfer losses, and the embodied or actual energy content of CO2 capture and storage would be utterly appalling. And all to pretend that this is "zero emissions". I've been involved in some industry working groups on this, and the consensus was that compared to a conventional gas boiler, you'd need around four times as much gas input for the same heat output. And don't get me started on using "surplus renewable power" to generate H2. The same problem exists of compound inefficiencies, meaning that there's no credible affordable scenario where this can be done at volume.

          Anyway, any alcohol production that requires external CO2 is clearly done by charlatans.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            And don't get me started on using "surplus renewable power" to generate H2. The same problem exists of compound inefficiencies, meaning that there's no credible affordable scenario where this can be done at volume.

            Problem is we have a legally binding obligation under the CCA. Unless that's repealed. So to meet self-imposed decarbonisation targets, we need to decarbonise gas.. Which sounds simple. CH4, drop the C, use hydrogen! Except as you point out, the devil is always in the details. Same with having localised plant to use the 'free' wind. Sounds fine, except a lot of chemical engineering doesn't like being interrupted when the wind drops. And then there's the costs and efficiencies. I guess for a large livestock farm, or US feedlot complex, it'd probably be easier and cheaper to make nitrates from urea the old way. And I guess for CCS as a CO2 source, there'd be additional costs to purify the CO2 and make it food grade.

            Anyway, any alcohol production that requires external CO2 is clearly done by charlatans.

            Indeed. But looking on the bright side, we do a cheap form of CCS on that and convert it to potentially useful fertiliser, or to help remove NOx from cars and lorries.

        3. Robert Forsyth

          I was under the impression that once hydrogen was established (initially from natural gas methane) it would be split from water in a nuclear reactor.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            I was under the impression that once hydrogen was established (initially from natural gas methane) it would be split from water in a nuclear reactor.

            Not in a reactor, cos that's bad. In an overpressure in a pressure vessel or containment building kind of bad, which lead to one of the explosions at Fukushima.

            But nuclear power stations are most efficient running at high output. So great for supplying a steady 1GW or so per reactor, 24x7x365 give or take some maintenance/refuellling. So that's where Economy 7 came in, ie creating off-peak load via electric water or storage heating as the UK went nuclear.

            But thanks to Ed Milliband and John Prescott, electric heating was deemed bad and 'inefficient'. So UK households were encouraged to switch to gas central heating. And thanks to Ed, they'll need to be persuaded to switch to electric heating due to our Climate Change Act. Which means more demand for electricity, which also means less surplus energy to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. And switching away from methane reforming to create H2 would mean less CO2.

            From doing a bit of reading about how CO2's produced commercially, I didn't realise how much gas/energy is required to make fertiliser.. And the consequences if the EU insists on that being decarbonised.

  6. Luke Worm

    Irony?

    Normally we read about how there is too much CO2 in the world, causing global warming and all. Can’t it be bottled somehow?

    1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Irony?

      I don't know, first they tell us there's too much of the stuff, now they complain there isn't enough of the stuff. Can't they just make their bloody minds up.

      1. onefang Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Irony?

        I guess this carbon sequestration tech doesn't work that well, if they can't fill this sudden market gap.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Irony?

      "Can’t it be bottled somehow?"

      Well yes, but a) to distill it from the atmosphere is very energy intensive, and b) when used for beverage products it gets released again.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Irony?

        "when used for beverage products it gets released again."

        So, it's carbon neutral then? Win-Win!!!

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Irony?

          "when used for beverage products it gets released again."

          I'm surprised there's no Carbon Tax on fizzy drinks

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Irony?

          "So, it's carbon neutral then?"

          Depends where the energy to bottle it came from.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Holmes

    This was the environmentalists plan all along. They weren't after our cars, they were after our beer.

    ( Boffin icon because I've cracked their plot )

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Very reliant on imports from Scandinavia and also the Netherlands"

    Treat it as a dress rehearsal for Brexit.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      In a Rees-Mogg or Johnson interview near you:

      "The government have thought of everything. The M20 will have an express beer lane built. Beer will flow freer and faster than ever before."

      (Unachievable hideously expensive Brexit promise #3748194 in an ongoing series of vain attempts to make sure things stay vaguely the same as they are now.)

    2. Old Tom

      Re: dress rehearsal

      "Very reliant on imports from Scandinavia and also the Netherlands"

      Treat it as a dress rehearsal for Brexit.

      What, they're going to refuse to sell CO2 to us after Brexit?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: dress rehearsal

        "What, they're going to refuse to sell CO2 to us after Brexit?"

        Blocks of dry ice are going to look a bit depleted after they've been sitting waiting for customs clearance for a few days.

        1. Old Tom

          Re: dress rehearsal

          Blocks of dry ice are going to look a bit depleted after they've been sitting waiting for customs clearance for a few days.

          Yes, because everything we import from outside the EU gets stuck for days at customs doesn't it?

          1. MrBanana

            Re: dress rehearsal

            You've fallen into the trap. You say "we import" but in fact, it is "the EU import". We trade with the outside world under EU treaties. Those treaties allow for the easy importation of goods to the EU, and therefore to us. Once we are outside the EU we will not have those treaties in place and import/export, from everywhere, will become a lot more difficult. Best case is that we can renegotiate to get the same deal as we had in the EU. But we would have to do this on an individual basis with every country we trade with, and that takes time, and negotiators that we do not have. Worse case is we have to fallback to WTO tariffs - that is a very bad position to be in.

  10. Keef

    Supply and demand collaboration between compainies?

    That could never happen in a free and democratic society.

    Never, oh wait...

    In an entirely unrelated matter I once looked up return flight prices from London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita.

    Strangely Virgin and BA gave the same price, to the penny. Something like £nnn.72p.

    This was after they had been cleared of colluding on price.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Supply and demand collaboration between compainies?

      >Strangely Virgin and BA gave the same price, to the penny. Something like £nnn.72p.

      You mean BA were offering predatory fares in an attempt to show no collusion?

      Personally, when I was doing the London-Tokyo run, Virgin was my preferred choice since they were at the time the only airline to fly direct over Russia to Tokyo, everyone else (including BA) had to detour via the Middle East and Hong Kong.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Supply and demand collaboration between compainies?

      "In an entirely unrelated matter I once looked up return flight prices from London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita.

      Strangely Virgin and BA gave the same price, to the penny. Something like £nnn.72p."

      Virgin don't fly to Tokyo.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Supply and demand collaboration between compainies?

        >Virgin don't fly to Tokyo.

        They did until 2015...

        https://japantoday.com/category/business/virgin-atlantic-ends-service-to-japan

  11. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Government involvment...

    No beer is one way revolutions start. Governments should be very worried.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Government involvment...

      Another prognostication from the Simpsons that has freakishly come true. "No beer and no TV make Homer go crazy."

      (Better check your cable to make sure its not out.)

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Government involvment...

      "No beer is one way revolutions start. Governments should be very worried."

      If it was still "beer and sandwiches" at No. 10, you'd be sure the Govt. would be properly treating this as a national emergency!

    3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      "Pick up that can!"

      No beer is one way revolutions start. Governments should be very worried.

      Govnmt's are only worried if every home has an (AR-15 / AKM / H&K / VSS Vintorez) over the fireplace and they actually need to take care that it stays there. "A well-regulated militia" etc.

      Britain? No worries. Sold your liberties out for a beer. Which is now unfizzy.

      1. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: "Pick up that can!"

        Yeah? Why haven't the American people risen up against the current regime, then?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: "Pick up that can!"

          "Why haven't the American people risen up against the current regime, then"

          We _DID_, and that's why Mrs. Clinton did NOT get elected!

          Trump _IS_ the revolution!

  12. Ivan Headache

    I can't get over this

    'Food Grade' carbon dioxide.

    Has it got added sulphites, an acidity regulator and an anti-caking agent?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: I can't get over this

      It does sound odd but there are probably regulations on the purity of the gas. CO2 used in industrial processes or fire extinguishers probably allow for some level impurity that might not be good in food stuffs like beer.

      1. Siobhan

        Re: I can't get over this

        Beer (even Lager if its any good) makes its own CO2. Nothing worth the name will be affected at all.

        1. Joe Werner
          Pint

          Re: I can't get over this

          Beer makes its own CO_2, but this helps only if it is bottled. If you have it in a proper 50l barrel (keg?) it needs to be hooked up to a CO_2 bottle on the tap. And most beer tastes better on tap than bottled. So unless you only drink the imported[1] bottled stuff you do have a problem.

          < rant >

          And for me, "lager" is just a fancy name for a bad beer. Seriously, there are so many good small-ish local breweries everywhere. Germany has several, the Netherlands and Belgium even more. Hell, nowadays you can even get really nice beer from Norway (7Fjell, Lysekloster, Haandbryggeriet, Nogne, Ægir ...) to avoid the Hansa (brewed in the rain - without a roof, I guess). The "lager" stuff mentioned in the article is... blegh. Kro', and also 1667 are the same "plörre" as Carlsberg, Corona, Beck's Gold, and not really an improvement over Bud (or Miller, or Coors, ...) and don't get me started on the 'Lite' stuff, which is an abomination without any taste. Alcohol free beer[1] at decent quality is possible: The one by Ægir is really nice, the standard Munkholmen is a bit malty for my taste. Bitburger 0.0% is pretty good, then there are a ton of wheat beers (Hefeweizen), a trend started by Erdinger I believe.

          </ rant>

          [1] by the time it reaches the destination at your pub it is past its best. Drink local stuff!

          [2] sometimes I like having those, e.g. when it is hot, after a demanding physical workout, when I'm driving, also good for those who are pregnant or still breastfeeding. I drink beer because I like it, not because I want to get drunk.

          ----

          Monday mornign and I need one of those ---->

          1. Vinyl-Junkie
            FAIL

            If you have it in a proper 50l barrel (keg?) it needs to be hooked up to a CO_2 bottle on the tap

            That is absolute rubbish!

            CAMRA has this definition: Real ale is a beer brewed from traditional ingredients (malted barley, hops water and yeast), matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide. (Emphasis mine)

            Beer that is secondary fermented (which includes traditional lagers) in the barrel continues to generate enough CO2 to maintain the beer in good condition throughout the serving life of the cask (which should normally be about three to five days). The beer can be drawn direct from the barrel (gravity), via a traditional handpump/beer engine, or by electric pump (frowned upon by purists :) )

            You do not (and never have) needed extraneous CO2 to dispense proper beer; brewers prior to the widescale bottling of CO2 managed to get on pretty well without it!

            The lines in a traditional pub or bar were short enough to allow the drawing of beer by hand without the need for extraneous gas (yes it needed some muscle power but not much - I've worked in numerous pubs with unassisted handpumps and I'm no Hercules!). It is only modern pubs built since CO2 dispense became normal (those massive 60s estate pubs, shop conversions of the Wetherspoons type) that some pubcos have resorted to CO2 assist to dispense real ale.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vegan CO2

    Only contains a bit of spam.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Vegan CO2

      CO2, CO2, CO2, spam, CO2, CO2, ...

      (yeah that's not got much spam in it)

  14. Vanir

    I thought ...

    that the directors and managers of these companies that use this product were paid to plan for such exigencies.

    Don't they keep an eye on the future regarding such a vital component to their commercial well-being?

    Don't they have a list of all the CO2 producing plants in Europe with these plants' shutdown schedules?

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: I thought ...

      that the directors and managers of these companies that use this product were paid to plan for such exigencies.

      It's almost like the CxO suite don't know what they're doing and haven't been doing their jobs well at all. Hands up all those who are even mildly surprised?

  15. Frenchie Lad

    Is this Correct?

    "plants often plan their maintenance shutdowns over the late spring and early summer months when fertilizer demand is lowest."

    All the plants that I've ever handled plan their maximum usage of fertilizer during spring and summer so surely this is incorrect or have I misunderstood?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Is this Correct?

      "All the plants that I've ever handled plan their maximum usage of fertilizer during spring and summer"

      The production is going to take place ahead of use so the earlier peak is understandable.

  16. derfer

    A friend of mine works for a well known soft drinks company. She had to cancel a trip to test some new production equipment this week as the site in question didn't have enough CO2 to run the plant.

  17. Thomas Kenyon

    Recapture

    Looks like the breweries need to start reclaiming the CO2 generated during brewing again. (In the way that they used to).

    Some plants have started to do this (Heineken Manchester where they brew Foster's should be unaffected), but it's strangely uncommon now.

    1. Camralord

      Re: Recapture

      Molson coors reclaim in burton

      Not sure about fosters

      Stocks are out of john smiths

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Recapture

      Does that explain why the beer went from tasting "normal" with a proper head on my last visit to the UK in 2011 to see my father & being as flat as Suffolk (& watery tasting) on my return a year later to arrange his funeral & being told its because you have got used to beer in Canada.

      1. Thomas Kenyon

        Re: Recapture

        Weirdly if the beer is flat, it's most commonly caused by scale deposits picked up in the glass from the glasswasher.

        Beer recipies have continuallyt changed over the years (eg. since 2011, the strength of a lot of them have gone down and some have been reformulated to used a mixed gas instead of pure CO2).

        To prevent the most common cause of flat beer, the glass washer needs to be regularly cleaned, a water softener needs to be fitted which needs regenerating or regular maintenance (depending on type), especially in hard water areas.

        (It doesn't help the weird idea that a lot of bar staff have, that if you want a pint to be fizzy, they need to beat all the gas out of it whilst they're pouring it).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gas shortage

    Unfortunately brothers 95% of

    Hand pulls need gas as they are pump asisted to the bar from the cellar.

    Lets hope the stocks hold out.

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Gas shortage

      Had to read 95% of the comments before someone pointed this out! You /can/ hand-pull from the keg to the glass, but if the beer's literally down in a cellar, it's (a) slow and (b) very tiring work. (Although -- as modern kids today seem to go to the gym twice a day, perhaps that's not an issue these days?)

      The Boat Inn at Redbrook had the right idea - the barrels and kegs were behind and above the bar.

      * type type

      just about visible to the right of this pic http://www.theboatpenallt.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/pic34.jpeg

      (yeah, that's me after a hard day down the data cetre, right there)

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Gas shortage

        Those barrels are "on gravity", not "on tap".

        But Cheers anyway -->

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Gas shortage

      I remember finally enticing some of the older local CAMRA members into out favourite continental bar 20+ years ago and watching the idiots have a meltdown over CO2 bottles on the real ale lines. Some of them self professed experts but clueless about pumps. Couple of the current crop needed it explaining at the weekend, they weren't claiming expertise though.

  19. Spiz

    Oh two or zero two?

    “Part of the problem is the way most food-grade C02 is produced: as a by-product of ammonia production.”

    Any reason why a zero was used in this paragraph? Maybe someone can’t handle their real ale...

    Yes yes, I know there’s a tips and corrections link, but it just seemed a bizarre mistake. It’s got to be quite difficult to type this incorrectly and wondered if anyone else had noticed.

    1. gotes

      Re: Oh two or zero two?

      O and 0 are actually quite close to each other on a keyboard, so it's quite possibly a legit typo.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Oh two or zero two?

        Latex expressions in this forum when??

    2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Oh two or zero two?

      "Any reason why a zero was used in this paragraph?"

      Just a typo, mate. Now fixed.

      C.

  20. Overflowing Stack

    Doesn't matter what I drink, still don't get laid.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      that's because SHE needs to drink...

  21. Ozzard
    Boffin

    It's hitting the biosciences too - and perhaps medicine

    We've had a warning round that dry ice is scarce and may not be available when needed. Samples that need to be kept frozen in transit are usually shuttled round in an expanded polystyrene container under dry ice, so this has the potential to limit movement of tissue and plasma/serum samples at least.

    (Pint of mild, please)

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: It's hitting the biosciences too - and perhaps medicine

      But because of the beer shortage there will be less demand for liver transplants, so it all balances out.

  22. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Perhaps someone can help me with this.....

    ...Part of the problem is the way most food-grade CO2 is produced: as a by-product of ammonia production....

    When I was at school, ammonia (NH3) was made by fixing the nitorogen from the air using the Haber Process. N2 + 3H2 => 2NH3 (200atm pressure, catalyst hot iron). I can't see any CO2 there at all.

    Hydrogen was typically made using Lowes process. H2O + C => CO + H2 (high pressure steam run over hot coal). The CO can be further reacted CO +H2O => CO2 +H2. Perhaps that's where the CO2 is coming from?

    It may be associated with ammonia production, but I wouldn't really call that a by-product of ammonia production. More a by-product of a percursor - hydrogen.

    Unless, of course, they have a new process nowadays....

    1. Jan 0
      Pint

      Re: Perhaps someone can help me with this.....

      Well, when you and I were at school, most CO2 was obtained from breweries. But then Grotneys cornered the CO2 market and injected it all into a strange device called a Red Barrel. It's not too big a leap from there to the current sorry state. Thankfully, many sensible people have remembered how to make ales and lagers without all this nonsense.

      My next pint's a Billericay Vanilla Mild please.

  23. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Government intervention is unlikely

    Well... they've been putting the boot in to the pub trade for years so why step in now?

  24. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Coca-Cola pauses production at some plants

    CO2 shortage: Coca-Cola pauses production at some plants

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44606777

    Make mine a Rum and Coca Cola

    1. ravenviz

      Re: Coca-Cola pauses production at some plants

      At least something positive might come out of this!

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