The price you pay for beer could significantly rise in the future because of climate change. If you weren’t already worried about our climate, now’s the time to sound the alarm.
A new study published in the journal Nature Plants suggests that the price of beer will double, in major part due to the rising cost of barley, one of beer’s main ingredients, NPR reports.
After looking at heat and drought trends over the coming decades, researchers have determined that barley production could be dramatically impacted by the changing climate. If there’s less barley, or that barley is more expensive to grow, then it will be more expensive for breweries to get. The decreases in supply could lead to higher demand and higher prices.
And the U.S. will get things easy with just a double in cost. In Ireland, where beer is consumed heavily, the price could triple, simply because the country will need all of the barley grown in-country in order to make beer there, and will likely need to import barley from elsewhere in order to keep up with the demand.
Other countries likely to get hit hard: Canada, Poland, Italy, Belgium, and the U.K.
All that said, the study was meant to more reflect what could happen, not predict what will happen. We could all get things together over the next few decades and stop destroying the environment, which could slow things down. So there’s still hope, and The Brewers Association is counting on that hope.
It responded to the study by calling it “largely an academic exercise and not one that brewers or beer lovers should lose any sleep over.”