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Central Coast breweries brace for nationwide CO2 shortage

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-14 02:36:07-04

Central Coast breweries say they are bracing for the impact of CO2 shortages, adding that the issues they are facing now are enough to keep their hands, or glasses full.

"The shipping cost has gone up. The cost of grain has gone up like, 50%. And delivery costs have at least doubled." said brewmaster of Antigua Brewing Company, Christopher Banys.

"We have had some problems with some of our malts." added founder of Central Coast Brewing, George Peterson. "Some of the malts that come out of Eastern Washington, they have had some weather issues up there, so some of the malts are different. You know, it just never seems to stop."

In the past month, craft breweries across the country have been hit hard by a shortage of carbon dioxide, with some spots resorting to laying off staff and even closing doors permanently.

"We actually do some of our own collecting, so we have been a little sheltered because we recapture our own CO2." reflected Peterson on how his brewery has so far been able to avoid adding a carbon dioxide shortage to their list of ongoing issues.

"Typically, when you put beer in a keg or in cans, we will use supplemental CO2, and certainly when the beer is on tap and is pouring out of the facet. We use CO2 to power the beer into your glass." Banys told KSBY. "We have seen the cost of CO2 go up, but right now we can still get it."

Antigua Brewing Company is a new addition to San Luis Obispo.

"It has been tough. We were delayed two years in opening just because of all the COVID issues. In terms of CO2 specifically, we can capture and use the CO2 that the yeast generates," Banys added.

He says the brewery is dependent on carbon dioxide that is brought in from a local supplier. Banys says a complete shortage of gas would be detrimental to their operations.

Experts say the carbon dioxide shortage seen around the country has been amplified this summer due to contamination issues at one of the nation's largest gas production hubs in Mississippi.