Has your beer been a bit lacking in the 'get in me' department lately? New research says you can blame that on climate change.
Hops are a key ingredient in beer, and their quality is worsening due to hot and drier weather conditions. The Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Cambridge University looked at the average amount of hops farmed from 1971 to 1994 and 1995 to 2018 and found that the ingredient’s acid levels are lowering, meaning the taste will change.
They also discovered a 20% decrease in output. So there are fewer hops and the ones that do exist are beginning to taste funky.
Martin Mozny, the co-author of the research paper, told the BBC farmers will have to switch things up to ensure a lot of good beer can still be made.
“Failure to adapt will jeopardise the profitability of hop growing in some areas. The consequence will be lower production and a higher price for brewers."
Like a basketballer who wants to dunk, the farmers have been trying to get their hops up. The BBC reports they’ve been “moving farms higher up valleys where there is more rainfall and installing irrigation systems”. But the study says more action is needed.
So, in the famous words of Bear Grylls, I plead to hop farmers of the world: “Improvise, adapt, overcome.”
It’s been a bad few months for beer buyers. Earlier this year the NZ government increased the excise tax on alcohol, leading to higher prices.
In July, Stuff reporter Oliva Caldwell set out to find the cheapest 1-litre jug of beer in New Zealand. The Morning Rumble talked to her about her findings.
During the interview with Olivia, Rock listeners bombarded the text machine with jugs that beat Lumsden’s on price. We took all those suggestions and put them into a nice list that you should probably have bookmarked.
Here’s hoping hop farmers can win the battle against climate change and keep beers as good as they can be.