Skip to Content

Climate Change Could Lead to Global Beer Shortage, Study Finds

Global warming poses a serious threat to our current way of life, a new UN climate report found. And now it looks like it will cause a shortage of beer in the process.

A new study published on Monday in the journal Nature Plants says that global warming will cause a decrease in barley crops, leading to a shortage of beer and causing a price hike. Barley is susceptible to drought and heat, and the extreme weather conditions in the coming years associated with global temperatures rising could trigger a 16% decline in global beer consumption, Business Insider reported.

“The aim of the study is not to encourage people to drink more today,” Dabo Guan, a co-author of the study and a professor of climate change economics at the University of East Anglia, told CNN. Instead, the researchers provided a tangible example of how global warming will impact quality of life by showing its effects on a favorite beverage of the working class: Beer.

Beer prices could double worldwide and the U.S. could see 20% decline in beer consumption—that’s about 10 billion cans of beer. Places like Ireland could see a price hike on beer of up to $21 extra for a six-pack, according to Business Insider.

“If you don’t want that to happen—if you still want a few pints of beer—then the only way to do it is to mitigate climate change,” said Guan. The study’s researchers said that similar to prohibition-era laws, a global beer shortage will have the biggest impact on the working class.

“We have to all work together to mitigate climate change,” said Guan, according to CNN.