Climate crisis will change taste of beer and make it more expensive, say scientists

By John Mercury October 13, 2023

Beer quality is on a steady decline and is likely to cost more at the bar because of climate change, a new study has found.

Experts said with falling hop yields, British and European drinkers should expect to see the cost of beer increase in the coming years.

Researchers highlighted how the increase in agricultural droughts will directly impact the amount of hops grown and the quality.

Hops give beer its distinctive taste and smell and come in many different varieties.

The research “demonstrates a climate-induced decline in the quality and quantity of traditional aroma hops across Europe and calls for urgent adaptation measures to stabilise international market chains”.

The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, added “all scenarios predicted a decline in hop yields between 12% and 35% over 2021-2050 across all major hop growing regions in Europe”.

Britain would experience these declines, while the strongest falls in hop production would be felt in Slovenia, Portugal and Spain, the report stated.

Some parts of Europe produce the citrus, floral and fruit aromas which are popular in many beers in the UK.

The authors said farmers will have to find ways “to adapt” to limit the impact of the heating globe on the crops.

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The report said: “Since agricultural droughts are projected to increase with high confidence in southern Europe and medium confidence in central Europe, it will be necessary to expand the area of aroma hops by 20% compared to the current production area to compensate for a future decline.”

During the summer, nearly half of the land within the European Union entered “severe” drought, increasing the pressure on food production.


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