Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to have a beer...

Hops shortage? Piff. Malt increases? Whoopee. Transportation costs? Hey, happens to everyone.

Major caustic shortage.

That should get your attention. Due to "facility failures beyond their control," the largest producers of caustics in North America are immediately cutting allocation to 15% of contract to all existing customers (more info on that here). Every brewer I know of uses caustic to clean their steel. Like the hops problem, big users (municipal water treatment plants...) are already locking down existing supplies.

One more disaster to cope with.

6 comments:

jakester said...

Any more info on this? This is just what we don't need...I guess I'll have to stop drinking the stuff to "clean out the gizzard."

Lew Bryson said...

All I know is what I read in the BA Forum...

Bill said...

Lew -- if I understand the article you link to, it says customers will get 90% of the contracted amount, not 15%. I'd guess competitors can easily make up the difference. Hopefully the sky won't fall!

Anonymous said...

we are being assaulted everyday with bad news. say whatever you want but people are going to medicate themselves more and more with whatever's available.

Lew Bryson said...

The linked article is a few weeks old; the information I got from a chemical supplier to the brewing industry was 15%. Things have apparently changed. The supplier also said that "manufacturers" have cut supplies, not just Dow.

That said...it's all from one source.

Beerman said...

The news just keeps getting better and better, don't it?