Climate Change Will Cost Local Breweries, Wineries
BY: TIM CRONIN, OCTOBER 18th 2018
The folks over at Nature journal of science are scaring beer lovers with their new report that predicts the price of the alcoholic beverage to double because of climate change.
The primary reason for this price increase is a shift in the agricultural economics of barley, one of beer’s most important components. Specifically, climate change will cause more frequent droughts and longer lasting heat waves. This will decrease barley production up to 17% by the end of the century.
The result will be a considerable drop in global consumption of beer, but the economic effects will also be felt closer to home among local New England businesses. CABA businesses offer a unique perspective on these impacts.
“It’s certainly unfortunate that global warming would increase costs for beer and other alcoholic beverages,” said Bruce Downes, Head of Marketing for Willie’s Superbrew. “Hopefully the silver lining is an opportunity to represent the tangible impacts climate change would have on everyday life.”
Willie’s Superbrew is an alcoholic beverage that combines superfoods and fermentation. As part of their commitment to the environment, they donate 3% of their profits each year to a cause chosen by their customers.
So beer prices will double, we can drink other things like wine. Right? Wrong, climate change is also fueling more intense wildfires that are impacting vineyards in places like California and beyond.
As Chief Executive Officer of Proud Pour Brian Thurber explains, “Two of the areas in California where we’ve sourced our grapes had horrible wildfires last season, and a lot of their grapes are getting rejected by winemakers for smoke damage.” He continues, “honestly all the time I think about what will happen to wine prices over the coming years as a result of climate change.”
Proud Pour sells high-quality, sustainable wines that fund oyster and bee habitat restoration in 20 states, including Massachusetts. ProudPour.com has a map of where to find the wines, including dozens of shops and restaurants in the Commonwealth.
Beer and wine may not be our top concern as we consider how global climate change threatens our food supply. If nothing else, rising beer prices provide a poignant symbol of how pervasive the effects of man-made climate change will become.
As Bruce of Superbrew puts it, “It’s not just a couple degrees or shorter winters; it’s going to seep into every aspect of life, from serious environmental damage to something as trivial as the cost of your beer.”