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The Green Life: Climate Change's Latest Victim: Beer??

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September 21, 2009

Climate Change's Latest Victim: Beer??

Climate change is slowly affecting beer We've heard it again and again: climate change will cause sea levels to rise, more frequent and powerful storms, and biodiversity loss. Now, with much distress, we must add beer to that critical list.

According to NewScientist, Saaz hops, a key ingredient for the classic pilsner lager, have been decreasing in quality since 1954. Top-quality Saaz hops contain 5 percent alpha acid, the source of the bitter taste, and is losing .06 percent of that flavor every year.

With eastern Germany and central Slovakia facing impacts to their hops, it seems only a matter of time before beer becomes endangered. But no need to push the panic button yet: While this news may make you want to race to the fridge, beer consumption can be done with a lighter eco-impact.

Next time you're at a pub, buy beer on tap rather than in a can or bottle. Kick back a few Sierra Nevadas, or another tasty eco-friendly beer. If you really care about saving beer (or the Earth), you could even plant a tree before the drinking commences. That way you have all your bases covered.

--Michael Mullaley


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