Enjoy that 35 CZK half-liter in a Prague pub while you can: it may soon cost more than 200 CZK, says a new report by leading scientists published yesterday in Nature Plants.
While many a Prague resident enjoyed the warm weather of summer 2018 – which has somehow extended into mid-October, shattering centuries-old records – that same joy wasn’t shared by Czech farmers, who reported billions of crowns in losses due to droughts this year.
And beer-making barley, one of the Czech Republic’s largest crops, was hit particularly hard.
Shoulds trends continue, Czech farmers won’t be able to bear the losses – which may soon be passed down to customers.
According to the study published yesterday in the scientific journal Nature Plants, droughts caused by climate change could result in the prices of beer doubling across the world in the near future.
Frequent droughts and heat waves in the 21st century are predicted to wreak havoc on the global production of barley according to Dabo Guan, climate-change economist at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, who wrote the report with six colleagues.
“What I’m trying to emphasize here is that climate change will impact people’s lifestyle,” Guan says. “[If we] want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something.”
Guan and his colleagues examined the chances of drought and heat waves in barley-growing regions across the world from 2010 through 2099, and predicted a series of potential effects on beer prices and consumption. Climate change is expected to negatively impact barley yield somewhere between 3% and 17%.
In the worst-case scenario, global consumption would drop by 16%, and prices would double.
The study also predicted which markets would be hit hardest by the rise in global beer prices. Ireland, for example, would see the biggest pure increase in beer prices at $5.00 per half-liter bottle.
But what about Prague, which currently has some of the least-expensive beer among the world’s major cities?
“Other countries like the Czech Republic have cheaper beer to begin with, but could see a huge relative rise in price of more than 600%,” writes Matthew Warren for Nature.com.
Welp. Drink up while you can.