Beer prices to spike as climate hots up, scientists warn

Michele Stevens
October 18, 2018

Gathered in a bar after a series of lectures in China, Guan a group of climate change scientists wanted to find a new way to collaborate.

Beer drinkers might pay more for and find less of their favorite beverage as climate change comes for barley. "Unfortunately, those extremes become much more frequent and much more severe under high-warming scenarios, becoming an every-other-year event in the latter part of the century if fossil fuel emissions continue unabated".

We hope our results might attract further attention from various beer-lovers who actually have the power to do something about global warming.

Research predicts heatwaves and droughts could cause a fall in barley yields of up to 17 percent across the leading grain-producing regions of Australia, Asia, Europe and the US.

The three big cereal crops for human consumption are corn, wheat and rice, she said: "Those three make up about 50% of the world's calories, so they're huge in people's diets".

The United States could decrease by between 1.08 billion and 3.48 billion liters; Argentina by 0.53 billion liters. The researchers then used economic models to interpret the real-term financial impact that shortages could have on the beer industry.


"We have to all work together to mitigate climate change", said Guan, according to CNN. Less than 20 percent of the world's barley is made into beer, and most of it is used for purposes such as feeding livestock.

According to his report, consumption would fall by as much as 16 percent, or roughly the amount of beer drunk in the United States in 2011, and prices would double on average by the end of this century. In countries like Ireland, prices could triple.

"That's comparable to all the beer consumption in the USA", he added, "Future climate and pricing conditions could put beer out of reach for hundreds of millions of people around the world". There is, Guan said, "something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer".

The issue has been recognised by Danish brewery giant Carlsberg, which has started preparations in response to the challenge of climate change. In 2014, the USA barley-growing region - Montana, North Dakota, and Idaho - was hit by an extremely wet and warm winter that caused crops to sprout early, rendering much of it useless. Less barley means less beer. Increased price for a beer pint in a shop or pub could result in the alcoholic beverage becoming a luxurious good and unaffordable for the people belonging to the working class. "This is a paper born of love and fear", he said.

Beer joins other "luxury products" like coffee and wine that may be severely impacted by climate change.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER