Thursday, April 10, 2008

More climate change bad news

My brother-in-law who's into home brewing isn't going to be thrilled with this news from Secret Ingredients:

Maybe now people will heed the warnings of climate change. A scientist has warned of a possible shortage of beer.

Climate change could cause a drop in beer production within 25 years, warns Dr. Jim Salinger of New Zealand's National Institute of Water
and Atmospheric Research.

In a speech given this morning, Salinger said the weather can cause a decline of malting barley production in parts of New Zealand. Further, The New Zealand Herald
reported, "that Australia was likely to be hit harder because the dry areas in that country would become drier and
water shortages were only going to get worse."
There have been reports elsewhere that global beer production is already being affected by a shortage of hops from other growing areas, e.g., Europe, and that prices are going up for grains. Apparently a lot of farmers who had been growing barley or wheat are switching to corn in response to the demand for corn for ethanol fuel production.


  1. This is disturbing news! Why hasn't received more coverage in the mainstream media?

  2. The S.O. tells me he's seen news reports elsewhere over the past year or so about the rising costs and potential shortages of hops. Some of it is apparently the result of bad growing seasons, some is farmers shifting to different crops, some is increased demand. Bad news for beer drinkers in any case. . . and if prices go up at the Deep Water Grille, we'll know one reason why.

  3. Sorry, Sue, I confused with you another Sue I know -- I should have checked before I responded because then I would have realized you're east coast, not the south shore of Lake Superior. The Deep Water Grille is a restaurant and microbrewery in Ashland, Wisconsin.

  4. I wonder how the hops production is holding up in Washington? Their Willamette hops are what gives American IPA its classic "citrus-y" bite; just like grapefruit.


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