THE PRICE of beer could be set to soar in the coming months, new research has warned.
Severe weather events across the globe have hit barley production hard with beer drinkers set to suffer the most.
That’s according to research conducted by scientists from University of East Anglia as well as from the US, China, and Mexico published in the journal Nature Plants.
The study looked at the impact of any potential decrease in barley production on supply, price and consumption of beer in 34 different locations across the world.
It made for worrying reading with the study highlighting how, in the UK alone, beer consumption would drop by between 0.37 billion and 1.33 billion litres a year.
That equates to around 39 pints less per person drunk per year or about one a week.
Worse still, prices could be set to double, rising from an average of £7.20 in London to more than £10 for a pint in the capital.
The outlook is even bleaker in other countries with any drought or increase in temperatures potentially resulting in a drop of 3.48 billion litres in consumption levels over in the US, for example.
Belgium, the Czech Republic and Germany, meanwhike, would see a decline of between 27% and 38% in consumption.
These conclusions were based on the effects of climate change on the global production of barley, which is used to make beer. Beer shortages could be further amplified if governments decide to prioritise foodstuffs over beer.
Research coordinator Professor Dabo Guan said: "If adaptation efforts prioritise necessities, climate change may undermine the availability, stability and access to ‘luxury’ goods to a greater extent than staple foods."
He added: "A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society “
“While the effects on beer may seem modest in comparison to many of the other - some life-threatening - impacts of climate change, there is nonetheless something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer."