Wellington bar runs out of CO2, forced to stop serving tap beer

Mon, Jan 23
A line of beer taps.

A Wellington bar manager says he's been forced to stop serving tap beer after running out of it's last stock of carbon dioxide.

The country's last of two food grade CO2 plants, the Todd Energy Kāpuni plant, shut down a month ago amid safety issues, leaving the industry facing shortages and increasing importing costs.

Counter Culture Board Game Cafe and Bar manager Jack Tallott said they had stopped serving tap beer after using their last CO2 reserves last week.

"Obviously tap beers requires CO2 to be pumped out and we're not able to get any CO2 from any supplier we can find," he said.

Management had spent the past three weeks trying all avenues they could think of to get CO2, Tallott said.

He understood other bars in Wellington were in the same situation.

"Most people are pretty understanding, they've obviously seen the news and they understand that it is sort of a crisis situation."

Tap beer was one of the most popular items at the bar - making up 15% of all sales - so Tallott said he was expecting a loss in revenue.

He was hopeful that the government would step in to rectify the situation.

Last week, one of the country's largest craft breweries, Wellington based Garage Project, announced that it had more than 60,000 litres of unfinished beer waiting for carbonation at one of its sites.

Garage Project co founder Jos Ruffell told RNZ it was hoping to get a delivery of CO2 in the next week or two, but had no certainty.