The largest celebration of beer and folk festival activities in the world will be starting this weekend with Oktoberfest kicking off on 21st September.
Each year the official host city, Munich in Germany, attracts more than six million people from around the world. Pubs and pop up bars will be using CO2 in abundance as they satisfy the demand for refreshing beverages including around seven million litres of beer.
Where else is Oktoberfest?
The festivities aren’t just limited to Germany, the tradition has spread worldwide and many cities pay homage to the festival with their own version. The world’s second largest Oktoberfest can be found in Brazil where Bavarian culture and German ancestors are celebrated.
America’s largest Oktoberfest is held in Cincinnati which attracts more than half a million visitors every year and sees revellers consume a reported 80,500 bratwurst and thousands of gallons of beer.
The Australian capital of Canberra also holds an annual Oktoberfest weekender which provides music, dancing, lederhosen and beer, of course.
Why is CO2 important for beer?
This is where we step in, CO2 is produced in the production of beer as a byproduct of fermentation, but it’s also used as a tool when dispensing keg draft beer. An optimum pressure of gas can be achieved using regulators attached to cylinders. The correct pressure is needed for the beer to be served at its ideal consistency.
Using CO2 to dispense drinks gives a different taste and feel to the beverage and provides that fresh sparkling look, it is used worldwide by hundreds of thousands of leisure and hospitality venues that sell tap beer and post mix.
What safety considerations do venues need to take when using CO2?
CO2 is a toxic gas and just a small increase can start to have an effect on humans. A rise of just 1.5% can cause slight drowsiness and if left undetected those exposed can start to suffer from reduced hearing, increased heart rate and blood pressure. If levels rise further to 8% or more, life threatening effects will occur, including unconsciousness and ultimately will cause death.
With an increase in beverage consumption during Oktoberfest, especially beer, venues will be using much more CO2 to ensure the beer is kept flowing and its quality is maintained. The risk of a leak from a cylinder or draft dispenser is always possible, but with more people and more demand the risk could be heightened.
You also don’t want a costly leak and run out of gas at your peak time of service- that’s no fun for anyone! Let’s not forget during the football World Cup 2018 where the influx of beer consumption and adverse weather conditions affected the CO2 resources and many venues ran out of beer. With such a large part of the festival focused on beer, we’re pretty sure all measures are taken so this will never happen during Oktoberfest!
Ensure your premises are safe from CO2 leaks by installing a gas detection unit which will sound an alarm and illuminate a strobe light if there is an increase in CO2. The alarms will alert those in the area that there is a potential leak and allow for preventative action to be taken.
Get in touch if you need any further information on CO2 detection solutions or the dangers of CO2 and remember to drink responsibly, Prost!