Rising temperatures are compromising the quantity and quality of hops – which spells bad news for the beer industry, a new study has revealed.
Researchers found that hops in major beer-producing European countries like Germany, Czech Republic and Slovenia have been ripening earlier and producing less since 1994. Worse still, they are starting to lose their critical bitter component.
Those regions are projected to experience an 18 percent reduction in yields of traditional aroma hops by 2050 and up to a 31 percent reduction in hop acids that are crucial for bitter flavouring.
“One of the side motives of this study was to illustrate how climate change might be important for even those who think it doesn’t matter,” said Miroslav Trnka, co-author of the study and researcher at the Global Change Research Institute. “We are really seeing changes that are affecting things that we value, like the taste of beer. Climate change really can have an effect on it, or at least have an effect on commodities that are critical for production.”