The commodity crunch continues to challenge American craft breweries. Cans, barely/malt, hops and increasingly beverage-grade carbon dioxide (CO2) continue to have supply issues, depending on your regional chains and channels. Most folks don’t realize it, but breweries use a ton of CO2 onsite in applications that range from prepurging tanks to carbonating product. This CO2 shortfall has been so serious in the past — especially in the summer — that a brand like Tröegs Independent Brewing in Hershey, Pa., has had to shut down for days at a time, and it packages 24 hours a day, five days a week.
To explain this growing problem and find solutions to it, Keith Gribbins and Craft Brewing Business created the five-part web series The CO2 Shortage, which ran for a week in December 2022 with a dedicated e-newsletter. Last week, this web series won a regional gold (Heartland) Azbee Award of Excellence in the category of Web Feature Series. The Azbees focus on the best business writing in America, judged by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.
The CO2 Shortage Series answers five important questions: 1) Why is there a CO2 shortage in the first place? 2) Where is CO2 used in the brewery, packaging hall and taproom? 3) How can breweries conserve CO2 and create great supplier relationships? 4) Can breweries capture CO2 onsite with a recapture unit? And 5) Can brands use nitrogen as an alternative and/or integrate an N2 generator? The series is the most comprehensive analysis we’ve seen on the subject. It involved interviewing over 10 sources, months of research and a thoroughness that surpasses 10,000 words. Despite the length, The CO2 Shortage is an easy read. It’s broken up into absorbable feature articles with scannable headlines, highlighted talking points and complementing sidebars like The Last Word.
Why don’t you give it a try. Here’s all five stories. Congrats to Keith Gribbins and the CBB team.
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