Global warming to leave us crying in our costlier beer

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

Climate change could cause beer prices to soar - study

According to the United States scientists' economic model, the price of a six-pack of beer could go up by an extra €17 in Ireland.

"High-quality barley is even more sensitive to extreme weather events linked to climate change", Guan told AFP.

Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the world's most popular alcoholic drink will become scarcer.

During severe climate events, global beer consumption would decline by 16 percent, or almost 30 billion litres - equal to all the beer quaffed each year in the United States, Guan and an worldwide team of researchers reported in the journal Nature Plants.

"For perhaps many millennia, and still at present for many people, beer has been an important component of social gatherings and human celebration", the team said in their report.

By volume, beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, with almost 200 billion litres produced in 2017.

"If you don't want that to happen-if you still want a few pints of beer-then the only way to do it is to mitigate climate change", said Guan.

"There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impact on beer availability and price will add insult to injury", he said. He also suggested that beer price hikes and shortages could affect social stability, comparing the situation to the Prohibition era in the USA, which saw the rise of organized crime based on the supply of illicit liquor. "There is something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer". Instead, the researchers provided a tangible example of how global warming will impact quality of life by showing its effects on a favorite beverage of the working class: Beer.

Guan also noted that beer crops aren't the only ones likely to be affected by climate change.

"All these are going to be more expensive - chocolate, coffee and tea - all those crops are going to be suffering".