The Washington Post reports that climate researchers believe that "climate change may be coming for your IPA.
"A new study out Tuesday found drought and higher temperatures will lead to a decrease in the quality and quantity of hops, the aromatic plants that give beer its flavor."
According to the story, "By 2050 in Europe, the research projects, yields for traditional aroma hops will drop by 4 to 18 percent. Production of hop acids, which are key for flavoring, will fall by 20 to 31 percent … Hops need long days of sunlight during the growing season. Then, they need a couple months of colder temperatures and shorter days to flower and produce the part of the plants used in beer brewing. That’s why hops are normally grown in a narrow range of higher latitudes like in central Europe and the Pacific Northwest."
The problem is that at the moment, beer tastes have evolved to the point where hops are more necessary: "In recent years, a booming craft beer industry has meant increasing demand for high-quality hops to make IPAs and hoppy lagers."
- KC's View:
Olive oil. Wine. Beer.
Because this is all about me, I am beginning to feel like climate change is directly aimed at affecting the things that I love.
I am reminded of a line from William Shakespeare's "Henry V":
"I would give all my fame for a pot of ale, and safety."
But seriously, this constant drumbeat of stories reminds us that climate change inevitably is going to impact innumerable parts of our lives, and that nuanced, sophisticated public policy decisions are required in order to grapple with it. (Avoiding it would seem to be out of the question at this point.)