The price of beer is likely to rise in coming decades because climate change
will hamper the production of a key grain needed or the brew-especially in
Australia, a scientist warned.
Jim Salinger, a Climate Scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, said climate change likely will cause a decline in the production of malting barley in parts of New Zealand and Australia. Malting barley is a key ingredient of been. “It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of been will go up,” Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention.
Similar effects could be expected worldwide, but Salinger spoke only o the effects of Australia and New Zealand. He said climate change could cause a drop in beer production within 3 years, especially in parts of Australia, as dry areas become drier and water shortages worsen.
Barley growing parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales would likely be harder hit than growing areas in New Zealand’s South Island. “It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry,” even forcing breweries to look t new varieties of malt barley as a direct result of climate changes, Salinger said.
New Zealand and Australian brewer Lion Nathan’s Corporate Affairs Director Liz Read said climate change already was forcing up the price of malted barley, sugar, aluminum and sugar. Read said that in addition to climate change, barley growers are grappling with competition form other forms or land use, such as the dairy industry.