Climate change to affect beer prices

Beer production in Australia and New Zealand could be cut by climate change within 25 years, a scientist has warned.

Climate expert Dr Jim Salinger, of the NZ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research says that climate change could cause a decline in malting barley production in both countries. “It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up,” Dr Salinger said.

Production in Australia was likely to be hit harder with parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales affected.

Dr Salinger said the dry areas of Australia would become drier and water shortages were only going to get worse. “It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry,” he added. Brewers could be forced to look at new varieties of malt as a direct result of climate change.

Lion Nathan corporate affairs director Liz Read told the NZ Herald that climate change was forcing the price of malted barley, sugar, aluminium and sugar up and the cost would be passed on to the consumer. “The pressure is on grain suppliers and food suppliers world-wide,” she said.

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