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A beer shortage could be brewing...but why?

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Well we've had a shortage of toilet paper, baby formula but now is there a beer shortage brewing?

BAY CITY, Mich. (WJRT) - Americans have faced a shortage of toilet paper and baby formula over the past couple years.

But now, is there a beer shortage brewing? A lack of carbon dioxide could be the next supply chain issue facing the U.S.

Beer prices are up 5% this year, which is not as much as some food prices, but some beer lovers locally say they'd rather see shortages on other things.

“Toilet paper! Toilet paper! I can jump in the shower,” said Amy Chard, a Midland resident and beer lover.

She said a shortage of beer would be tough to swallow during tailgating season.

“That's scary. It is,” Chard said.

Brewers say prices for malted barley and hops, along with transportation costs, are affecting their bottom line.

Now, a shortage of carbon dioxide, which makes beer fresh and effervescent, caused from the pandemic and contamination at one of the largest reserves in the U.S. near Jackson, Miss., could cause more issues.

“It's difficult to make beer profitably at the moment even for crafters who generally are famous for charging more than our domestic partners,” said Travis Fritts, owner of Old Nation Brewing.

Add to that a spike in demand for aluminum cans, it could create another storm.

“Recessions, the pandemic, aluminum shortages, glass shortages and now this CO-2 potential shortage. We'll handle it when it happens if it does and we'll do it fairly,” said Spencer Nevins, president of Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association.

He said that could come in the form of Michigan House Bill 6105. So if there is pinch in adult beverages, the hope is it can be mitigated. It will require that everyone uses commercially reasonable efforts to meet the ordering demands of their customers.

While that makes way through Lansing, beer lovers are thinking about alternative plans.

“I'd start making my own, if I could,” Chard said.

Experts say if the current trend doesn't result in complete shortages, it could mean less variety.

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