Beer could soon cost £10 a pint – and people are blaming climate change

Beer could soon cost £10 a pint – and people are blaming climate change
More frequent droughts and heat waves in the twenty-first century will reduce global production of barley, which is used to make beer (Photo: Shutterstock)

This year has seen a variety of extreme weather events globally, including the UK’s unusually long heatwave this summer.

These severe weather events and the rise in global warming could now have an impact on the price of beer, potentially doubling the cost in the UK, according to a new international study from climate scientists.

The report states that frequent droughts and heatwaves in the 21st century will reduce global production of barley (which is used to make beer), thus decreasing the global supply of beer and driving up prices significantly.

Rise in the price of a pint

The study (published in the Nature Plants journal) found that the UK alone could see a decrease of anything from 0.37 billion to 1.33 billion litres in the amount of beer consumed by Brits every year.

This could even result in beer drinkers paying double the normal price for a pint, costing over £10 in London and £7.20 on average throughout the UK.

In Argentina, severe drought and high temperatures would result in a 35 per cent dive in the total amount of beer consumed, whereas in the US the decline would be around 6.1 billion pints.

In European countries, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany, the total decline in beer production would be between 27 and 38 per cent.

Reduction in barley

The research was carried out by scientists from the US, China, and Mexico, as well as from the University of East Anglia in the UK.

They reached their conclusions by modelling the effects of climate change on the global production of barley.

The researchers then worked out the impact of a decline in barley production on the supply, price and consumption of beer in 34 international regions.

The UK alone could see a decrease of anything from 0.37 billion to 1.33 billion litres in the amount of beer consumed by Brits every year (Photo: Shutterstock)
The UK alone could see a decrease of anything from 0.37 billion to 1.33 billion litres in the amount of beer consumed by Brits every year (Photo: Shutterstock)

The results showed that this extreme weather would reduce barley yield by between three and 17 per cent globally.

Tropical areas such as Central and South America were hit badly, but crop yields increased in certain temperate areas, including northern China and the United States.

Climate-related weather extremes

According to a report published in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Earth has already warmed by 1C since pre-Industrial times. This is a result of man-made climate change.

The authors of this report gave a 50-50 chance of global temperature rises staying under 1.5C, but only if the world becomes carbon neutral by 2050.