There are far worse effects of the polar vortex gripping the Midwest, but this gives the deep freeze an extra sting: beer deliveries are on hold.
Along with postal service disruption, closing of schools, and far more devastating effects on at estimated 250 million Americans (and further implications for climate change), many Midwestern beer deliveries are halted due to beer freezing inside its kegs, CNN reports.
Like water, beer freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit , or lower if the alcohol content is higher. Approximately one third of the U.S. has seen temperatures drop to zero or below, with 120 million people in 27 states under wind chill warnings or advisories. The conditions have been especially detrimental to the Midwest.
In Minneapolis, temperatures dropped to 26 degrees below zero, with a wind chill of 53 degrees below zero; Chicago saw temperatures of minus 20 this morning, with neighboring Illinois cities reporting even colder temperatures; and Chippewa Falls, Wisc. reports a halt in beer deliveries due to temperatures of minus 30.
“Most distributors are not delivering in the Twin Cities, down south and out west,” Mike Madigan, president of the Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association, told CNN.
Transporting beer in heated trucks would be a possible solution, but few distributors have this type of vehicle, as heat tends to be the culprit for spoiling beer. “You tend not to need heated trucks,” Madigan said.
Though frozen beer is not harmful to drink once unfrozen, the chemical change affects its flavor and carbonation, making it unsellable.
We wish the best for the Midwest — its people and its beer.