Beer occupies a significant place in European culture, with 8.5 billion pints of beer sold in the UK alone, according to data from the British Beer and Pub Association.
Researchers are now warning that global warming is changing the quality and taste of beer.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications showed that the amount of hops grown in Europe, which give beer its unique bitter taste, is on the decline.
The situation is expected to worsen further, as warmer, longer and drier summers are predicted. This could potentially result in an increase in beer prices. The researchers advised farmers to adjust their cultivation methods accordingly.
The study also discovered that alpha-bitter acids in hops, which contribute to beer’s flavor, decreased due to rising temperatures and more severe weather conditions.
Farmers are already making efforts to transform their cultivation practices for better crop yields. Some of the strategies include moving cultivation to higher elevations in the valleys, where there is more rainfall, and introducing irrigation systems. However, according to the authors of the study, further investments are needed. It is recommended to increase the area devoted to the cultivation of aroma hops by 20% to compensate for the future decrease.
The BBC added: despite efforts to reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, temperatures continue to rise and we are expected to pass the critical 1.5 degrees Celsius warming threshold in the next five to seven years.
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