>> Britain is facing a serious threat, a shortage of beer. And it's come at a critical time, during a rare heat wave, and even rarer success in the football World Cup, leaving fans hot and thirsty.>> A beer shortage? There'll be riots in the streets, be a nightmare, especially if England is coming with the football, so we're gonna need the beer all the way to the final.
>> But the reason behind it may not have been your first guess, a shortage of CO2 gas is disrupting production. Dutch brewer Heineken sent warnings to pubs last week and is now working around the clock to deliver. But it's not only beer that's running dry. Companies like Coca-Cola have also slowed production of fizzy drinks in Europe.
Producers of meat and frozen foods have also been hit. They use CO2 to make dry ice, freeze food and to stun animals before slaughter. This could mean bacon rationing. Meat company Tulip on Wednesday halted production at Scotland's biggest pig abattoir after using up its stock of CO2, while poultry processors are warning they're close to having to do the same.
A solution to the crisis could be days away, while some of the chemical plants which usually supply Britain's CO2 were shut down for scheduled maintenance. Others closed due to unplanned and badly timed technical problems. One of Europe's biggest industrial gas suppliers is now trying to keep up with demand by shifting supplies within Europe.