Bubble Trouble: Carbon Dioxide Shortage Looms Over U.K.'s Pubs

(Bloomberg) -- It’s time to get those last orders in.

U.K. pubs are facing a possible drought as stocks of carbon dioxide run low, which is expected to hurt the supply and sales of beer as well as soft drinks, according to the industry trade body.

“Whilst some members may still be receiving supplies of CO2, this shortage will undoubtedly impact on those many smaller suppliers who distribute locally but who will be supplied in turn by the national producers,” the British Beer and Pub Association said in a statement on its website. A combination of planned plant shutdowns and unexpected equipment failure is complicating the U.K.’s supply issues, the group said.

Waning supplies of the gas that carbonates fizzy drinks have hit amid a heat wave in the U.K. along with the World Cup soccer championship, both of which traditionally drive demand for beer. Heineken NV was informed by its CO2 vendor of a major supply issue, according to a representative of the Dutch brewer. The company said it’s working with customers to minimize the disruption.

JD Wetherspoon Plc, which operates about 1,000 venues in the U.K., is aware of the shortage but not experiencing any issues at present, a spokesman for the pub chain said.

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