Climate breakdown is already changing the taste and quality of beer, scientists have warned.
The quantity and quality of hops, a key ingredient in most beers, is being affected by global heating, according to a study. As a result, beer may become more expensive and manufacturers will have to adapt their brewing methods.
Researchers forecast that hop yields in European growing regions will fall by 4-18% by 2050 if farmers do not adapt to hotter and drier weather, while the content of alpha acids in the hops, which gives beers their distinctive taste and smell, will fall by 20-31%.
“Beer drinkers will definitely see the climate change, either in the price tag or the quality,” said Miroslav Trnka, a scientist at the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and co-author of the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. “That seems to be inevitable from our data.”
Beer, the third-most popular drink in the world after water and tea, is made by fermenting malted grains like barley with yeast. It is usually flavoured with aromatic hops grown mostly in the middle latitudes that are sensitive to changes in light, heat and water.
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