Breweries everywhere are worried about CO2 shortages, and my heart goes out to them. Recently the cost of CO2 has skyrocketed to approximately 8 times the normal cost, making it almost impossible to continue as a profitable business.
This is tragic, and hopefully things will soon return to normal before more breweries go under. In the meantime those who can are switching to all natural carbonation methods. While fermentation supplies sufficient CO2 to the beer naturally, many brewers find it difficult to capture the CO2. It can be very expensive to obtain the technology to recapture CO2. But once you have it, the savings are great, especially today.
Luckily for Göller Brewery, they have incorporated recapture technology for quite some time. In fact, the worldwide CO2 shortage is not affecting Göller, though of course other aspects of the economic crisis are hurting them as they are everyone else, such as export shipping costs to the United States and glass bottle prices. Therefore, Göller needs to slightly raise prices to track inflation, but nothing major like other breweries are doing. We are thrilled to keep at affordable prices some of the best beer the world has to offer!
They also maintain a local grain supply, so that the grain shortage caused by the war in Ukraine hardly affects Brauerei Göller either. I'm so amazed how buffered from global crises a brewery can be when it keeps everything as local as possible!
In addition to high cost, there is another concern about purchasing CO2 for beer. It can easily be tainted and ruin the taste of beer.
Have you heard about the contaminated CO2 wells of the Jackson Dome in Mississippi? In case you don't know, the Jackson Dome was one of our largest suppliers of CO2 in the country, and it was recently discovered that other gases had contaminated the CO2. The vast supply of CO2 is now unusable for beverages, and has in part led to the CO2 crisis we now experience.
Much of the rest of the CO2 available is supplied from industrial processes, and is also subject to contamination. CO2 is a byproduct of creating ethanol or ammonia, and these tasty substances will be present in the CO2, albeit to a very small degree. Industrial made CO2 is 98-99% pure. But 1-2% ammonia or other gases can and certainly do affect the taste of your beer.
We haven't even talked about the health effects of trace elements in commercial CO2, but that is for another day.
The obvious conclusion is that it is not advisable to add commercially purchased CO2 to your beer. The naturally occurring carbonation found in Göller beer, derived solely from fermentation, tastes far superior. Free from all possibility of contamination, it is also safer to drink. Cheers to Brauerei Göller!