There Could Soon Be A Beer Shortage In America

by 3 months ago
Corona Beer

Jake Bradley / Unsplash

The United States of Pandemica is now smack dab in the middle of one of the most bizarre periods that the generations of the living have ever seen. Some of the population are wearing ick-proof masks, latex gloves, lathered up with hand sanitizer and drinking like fiends, while others are out there among the elements in protest of the lockdown mentality that health officials say we must endure to keep on breathing. There is very little doubt that this situation is an exercise in the Survival of the Fittest, a stain on the global timeline where the dumbest of the breed is more likely to have their lungs pulverized by some bug than the ones who have battened down the hatches. Still, even the wise bloods of the nation are not immune to the next vile wave of misfortune that could come-a-stomping across the land. No, we’re not talking about a sequel to this horror show. We don’t mean to sound petty, but it has come to our attention that the country could soon be facing a beer shortage and, well, we’re over here flipping our shit.

Yep, just when we thought this lockdown business couldn’t get any worse, the latest news coming down the pike is that an unintended consequence of shutting down America is that we might have to live without beer for a while. Yikes! That’s right brew hounds, while some of you have been on the couch waiting for Uncle Sam to tell you the coast is clear, the nation is inching its way to sobriety. Beer supplies are about to drop, and if there was a time to panic, we’d say that time is now.

The reason for the impending dry spell has to do with ethanol plants and how a large chunk of them have stopped producing carbon dioxide (CO2) – a necessary component of the brewing process that gives beer its suds. One would think that, after all of these years, the beverage industry as a whole would be totally self-sufficient, at least enough to manufacture their own fizz. But it turns out CO2 comes primarily from the same folks responsible for the nation’s gasoline. And since gas production has taken a hit as a result of the latest health crisis, so has CO2.

Somewhere around 34 of the 45 ethanol producers in the U.S. have reportedly made cutbacks or shut down altogether. Of course, this has created a supply issue for CO2. Brewers are taking it in the rear because of it. They are now shelling out almost 25 percent more for this product than they have in the past. It’s just another way this bug continues to chip away at the economic sanctity of the booze market. Almost half of the brewers across America rely on ethanol producers for their CO2 surplus. But now, little by little, these “essential businesses” are being put in a position where they simply cannot make beer. It’s a problem that we could see becoming dire in a matter of weeks, according to Bob Pease, CEO of the Brewers Association.

“The problem is accelerating. Every day we’re hearing from more of our members about this,” he said.

It might sound a bit paranoid to suggest that we, as a nation, are heading into apocalyptic territory that will leave the almighty buzz in short supply, and many people might brush this off as nonsense. But if we’ve learned anything from the past month or so, it’s that unfathomable ideas are now the new normal. So if you think it’s unlikely there could ever come a time when it’s difficult to get beer in this country, just take a look at your toilet paper supply and get back to us. Americans can be ravenous monsters, and these fools will sure as shit rise up, armed to the teeth, if it means hoarding more domestic light beer and hard seltzer than anyone else in the nation. Perhaps after this fiasco is all over, we should change the national mascot to an orgy of Walmart shoppers fighting over the last roll of shit paper. Let’s never forget what we’re capable of.

For those of you legitimately concerned about not having a beer surplus when the shit hits the fan for real, it’s probably a good time to start sharpening those homebrewing skills. If you’ve never done it before – never fear. There are brew kits available all over the Internet that can help get you started. I recently purchased a 5-gallon system from Northern Brewery that allows for the production of fifty 12-ounce bottles at a time. It’s a lot of fun, relatively easy to do, and it takes just weeks to crack one open. Don’t worry about the CO2, the beer will carbonate naturally once it is bottled. This is just another reason not to worry much about a CO2 shortage. Nature will find a way to get the job done even when ethanol producers peter out. America will never go thirsty.