SOMERSET cider-maker Thatchers will be “curtailing production” as the carbon dioxide shortage hits the drinks trade this summer.

CO2 is used to put the bubbles into ciders made at Myrtle Farm and while lovers of Thatchers Gold are unlikely to go without, production is being scaled back.

The company has confirmed that production will be significantly reduced by the end of today until it receives another delivery of CO2 next week.

Thatchers said “it is not just a difficult time for us, but for the whole industry.”

Martin Thatcher, managing director of Thatchers Cider, said: “Up until today we’ve been able to keep production of our ciders going on a limited basis to ensure customers receive most of their orders.

Somerset County Gazette:

“Deliveries will continue wherever possible over the coming days, however, like many other drinks producers, we are now unlikely to receive any deliveries of CO2 until next week, and that means we will regrettably need to curtail production.

“As soon as we receive our next supply, all of us at Myrtle Farm will be working flat out to build up our supplies and get our ciders out to our customers.

“There is a significant amount of Thatchers cider at pubs and wholesalers in the region, as well as supermarkets – so we’re unlikely to see people going without Thatchers Gold in the near future.”

Some Wetherspoon pubs are temporarily without draught John Smith's and Strongbow cider due to the shortage.

It comes as food and drink companies put plans in place to minimise disruption for consumers.

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

RELATED: Beer and cider shortages in Somerset pubs as CO2 runs out

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."

Wetherspoons has two pubs in Taunton as well as outlets in WellingtonMinehead, Chard, Burnham-on-Sea and Bridgwater.

He added that he did not have "the individual breakdown" for each pub.

He added: "What I would say is that John Smiths, Strongbow and Strongbow Dark Fruits (on draft) have been hit and likely to be unavailable for a few days.

"Everything else is 100 per cent fine, so no worries about beer/drink running out."

Punch Taverns, which has around 1,300 pubs including The Orchard in West Huntspill, 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."