Climate change to double costs of making beer, scientists say
Increasing bouts of extreme heat waves and drought will hurt production of barley, a key beer ingredient, in the future. Losses of barley yield can be as much as 17 percent, an international group of researchers estimated.
-psst- Guys, one of the nice things about barley — besides beer — is that it’s drought resistant.
Barley grows everywhere, in a wide variety of environmental conditions. It grows in the currently-warm Middle East. But do you know what country is the single largest barley producer?
Russia. Around 32% of the total world production. And I suspect that if climate change actually warmed Russian a couple of degrees, they could produce even more.
Now, US production — after a record year — is projected to drop. Because there’s a market drop in price (partly because there’s glut as barley is used less for livestock feed than it used to be). Production will be down because farmers are planting less of something they can’t sell much of.
Most US barley goes to beer. And they’re producing too much for the breweries to use up.
That does not sound like a doubling in price for a bottle of brew.