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This is why some Wetherspoons pubs have no John Smith's or Strongbow on draught

Pubs may be unable to serve some draught drinks due to the CO2 shortage.
Pubs may be unable to serve some draught drinks due to the CO2 shortage.

Some Wetherspoon pubs are temporarily without draught John Smith's bitter and Strongbow cider due to a shortage of carbon dioxide.

It comes as food and drink companies put plans in place to minimise disruption for consumers amid an international CO2 shortage.

The problems is understood to have been caused by a longer than usual break in production of ammonia, one of the key sources of food grade CO2 - used to carbonate drinks and preserve some packed fresh foods.

A Wetherspoon spokesman said some pubs would be without John Smith's and Strongbow cider, but said supplier Heineken had advised both would be available again in a couple of days.

He said: "Wetherspoon has the advantage that it sources its wide range of drinks from a number of suppliers, so has not been too badly affected.

"Heineken has been the company with the biggest issues and they have told us that all is getting back to normal."

Punch Taverns, which has around 1,300 pubs, said it has had shortfalls of John Smith's and Amstel for almost a week, with Birra Moretti also now in short supply.

A spokesman said: "We are working closely with suppliers to ensure that alternative products are available and we continue to communicate with our publicans to minimise any disruption. We are hoping that product availability will be restored within the next few days."

A Heineken spokeswoman said: "We'd like to reassure beer drinkers that all our breweries are operating at full capacity, and we're working 24/7 to get beers to our customers as quickly as possible."

Ei, the UK's largest pub group which runs the Craft Union and Bermondsey Pub Company chains, said: "We are aware of the issue relating to a shortage in the supply of CO2 and are working with our suppliers to minimise any disruption to our customers and our publicans."

Food wholesaler Booker said it was limiting sales of some lines to 10 cases per customer per day to prevent "sub-wholesaling".

The Tesco-owned retailer, which is used by bars, restaurants and traders, said the move was to preserve availability and satisfied the "vast majority of Booker customers".

A spokeswoman said: "Due to the international shortage of CO2, we are experiencing some supply issues on soft drinks and beer. We are currently working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers."

Tesco said the CO2 shortage had not resulted in any availability issues on any product lines.

According to trade journal Gas World, the shortage has been described as the "worst supply situation to hit the European carbon dioxide (CO2) business in decades".