News from the Mash Tun #26

News from the Mash Tun #26

Climate change. Will its multifaceted and ominous effects reach as far as beer availability? Or do the scientists have that all wrong? Either way, Germans are purported to be drinking too much so maybe a scarcity of beer is just what the doctor ordered. Collab-trends are evolving as quickly as craft-beer is spreading and whilst Berlin shouldn’t expect a new airport anytime soon, our flying experiences just got better.

Climate change will cause beer shortages

Changes in weather patterns are alarming and although the availability of beer may not be the most concerning impact of future climate change, a study has revealed that the availability and economic accessibility of our favourite beverage may be under threat.

The study, published in Nature Plants, has predicted that extreme drought attributable to climate change could drastically decrease barley yields across the world leading to global beer shortages, sharp falls in beer consumption, and surges in beer prices. It went on to find that climate change may potentially reduce beer consumption by up to 16 percent, leading to an average doubling on beer prices. The study also revealed that beer prices will increase the most in “relatively affluent and historically beer-loving countries” such as Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Germany.

“Many foods will experience a decline in yield, but luxury goods will be more sensitive to climate change impacts,” lead UK author Dabo Guan, professor of climate change economics at the University of East Anglia, said. “When climate change really takes effect, poorer populations in developing countries will suffer the most due to problems with food security. In richer developed countries, we may also experience some hunger, but it’s our lifestyles that will be seriously compromised”.

But why trust science? Brewers and farmers refute fears

Who knows what we can really believe these days though! A study counter to the aforementioned (climate change = less beer) predicted that a global beer shortage brought on by global warming may not be accurate. The study, conducted by researchers for the Brewers Association, claims that the Nature Plants study doesn’t account for all factors.

The rate of climate change, for example, should occur at a rate conducive to farmers adapting their planting schedules without having to suffer the consequences of humankind’s mistreatment of the planet.

It appears that the Nature Plants researchers may have just been trying to get a bit too sciency with their research.

“Luckily, this paper is largely an academic exercise and not one that brewers or beer lovers should lose any sleep over,” wrote Bart Watson and Chris Swersey, the two responsible for the counter-study. Watson, an economist with the Brewers Association (BA) and Swersey, a BA supply chain specialist, said that the “study isn’t a great indicator of what is going to happen in the real world”.

According to the two researchers, big beer corporations like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors are already developing increased sustainability techniques. “Although climate change certainly poses future supply chain challenges for beer, the beer industry is well positioned to evolve even as the global climate shifts,” said Watson and Swersey.

Phew! Fingers crossed that the rest of the planet also has the time to adapt before climate change does any real damage!

Germans drink too much

If the future of beer availability is looking bleak, Germany may be hit extra hard due to the recent findings that one in six people in Germany drink too much. The conclusion, drawn by the German Federal Drug and Addiction Report 2018, also revealed that the subsequent consequences of growing alcohol consumption creates an economic loss of almost 40 billion euros annually.

In 2016, of all addictive substances, alcohol addiction was cited as the most frequent reason for requiring outpatient therapy treatment (49%) followed by cannabis (17.8%)  and then opioids (13.7%). The effects of alcohol addiction were even more pronounced for inpatient treatment (short-term hospital treatment / long-term rehabilitation) with 68.8% of the diagnoses.

Although per capita consumption of pure alcohol has fallen over the past 40 years, Germany continues to rank among high consumption countries in international comparison. If this all sounds a bit depressing, there is some solace in the fact that the analysis also revealed a decrease in the smokers of Germany. According to the report, the proportion of smoking adolescents has fallen two-thirds in the last ten to fifteen years and for adults, the smoking rate has fallen by about 30 percent since 2003.

The new collab trend

It looks like the collab trend that is currently in full swing might be taking a new direction! From brewery / band team-up collabs, such as Brlo and Run the Jewels as well as Stone and Metallica, the latest news in from Copenhagen is that now Hollywood collabs are all the rage.

Mikkeller and the American film director David Lynch have collaborated to create a pale ale, the Marietta Red, a tribute to Lynch’s the film Wild at Heart. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that next in line we see a release devoted to the legendary Twin Peaks series! Pretty sure there is at least one bar who would absolutely adore it!

Winter beer fests

A second ago we were celebrating Summer beer fests, and then all of a sudden *poof* the leaves have fallen and winter is almost upon us!

But not without some prized and cherished wintery quirks, such as the annual Altes Mädchen Winter Beer Days! On November 10th in Hamburg, beer lovers and revellers can look forward to 24 European Breweries presenting 140 different drops in the well-attended but oh so atmospheric Schanzenhöfen. That sounds like a nice excuse to get yourself to pretty Hamburg!

Berlin – No new airport? No problem!

Who knows when and if Berlin will ever get the Berlin Brandenburg airport into commission. With an ever-changing scheduled completion date, scandals and bizarre tales that would put television dramas to shame, it’s safe to say that most Berliners have all but given up hope.

But we should never give up hope for good beer! And if the last weeks have revealed anything, it’s that Berlin doesn’t have any problems opening craftie beer joints! As a promising consolation for our eternal wait on the airport, Schönefeld airport has recently opened a coffee and ‘craft beer’ bar! Wow, talk about beer progress, right?!

The airport establishment offers a selection of Berlin and German based beer offerings ranging from Berlin’s young crafties to global players as well as the Radeberger ‘craft’ offshoot.

So fear not for those of us in Berlin with fine tastes. It seems that Berlin’s strength lies not in the aviation industry, but hallelujah, it’s in the procurement of a mighty fine drop! Choose what’s important and move to Frankfurt if need be.

That’s all for now, folks! Watch those slippery leaves, drink seasonally appropriately with all of those fest beers as well as fresh wet hopped beers that are flooding the market, and remember, the winter is coming so get out bathing in those last sun rays while you can!

Photo Credit: Mikkeller