Don't look now, but another supply-chain shortage is threatening to affect the production of craft beer in the United States. Could it impact us here in Minnesota?

The words 'beer' and 'shortage' are two words I *never* want to see together in a sentence, and yet that's exactly what's happening, and right as we head into Oktoberfest season, too!

We've gotten used to seeing some strange shortages over the past two years as pandemic-related shutdowns have caused those dreaded 'supply chain issues,' right? But now a shortage of carbon dioxide could threaten to slow down or halt the production of craft beer across the country. Wait, what?!?

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According to the food industry site FoodDive, carbon dioxide is kind of an unsung hero when brewing beer. The colorless, odorless gas helps beer maintain that distinctive foamy head and helps with everything from enhancing flavor and changing the acidity.


Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas, and a well in Mississippi that supplies much of the carbon dioxide supply in the south and the southeastern part of the U.S. has recently become contaminated. That, in turn, is putting pressure on carbon dioxide suppliers, which could eventually affect beer production across the country.

Luckily, though, this KARE-11 story quotes Bob Galligan, who is the director of government and industry relations for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. He says in the story that craft beer production here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes likely won't be affected by the shortage. Hopefully.

That's because most of the carbon dioxide Minnesota brewers use doesn't come from Mississippi, but instead from ethanol producers across the North Star State who capture 'beverage-grade' carbon dioxide and supply it to several states here in the Midwest.

Whew! Still, though, it's just another issue local craft brewers will now have to deal with, after already having had to contend with other pandemic-related dilemmas, like an aluminum can shortage and increasing prices of other ingredients.

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