• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Climate change to raise price of German beer

Emma Anderson · 21 Aug 2015, 11:32

Published: 21 Aug 2015 11:32 GMT+02:00

The study, commissioned by the Green Party and released on Thursday, analyzes current research on how climate change will impact Germany by 2050.

One of the consequences of shifting weather patterns is the effect it could have on growing hops - the flower used to flavour and stabilize beer during brewing.

The Bavarian region of Hallertau is the largest hop-growing area globally, producing more than half of the plants in Europe and a third of the hops for the world, the report states.

But the region has experienced "extreme weather events" such as hail and heavy rain in recent years, leading to increased crop failures.

In the past five years, there have been five hail storms in the area: normally there should only be one hail storm within this time period, the report states.

These weather effects could lead to a shortage of hops, driving up the price of beer.

Severe storms may only intensify with climate change, and such variable conditions make it harder for farmers to plan.

That means they'll have to spend more on insurance and measures to combat the effects of climate change, such as protecting plants against intense rainfall and soil erosion.

These efforts and higher insurance premiums could also thus raise the prices of beer.

Spokesperson for the German Brewers Association Marc-Oliver Huhnholz told The Local that it was definitely possible for climate change to drive up the costs of beer, but not in the short-term because of the way hops are dried and stored.

"German and other beer is of course a product from nature, and is very dependent on raw materials like hops," Huhnholz said. "When materials are scarce, then of course brewers must increase their prices, but the raw materials are just part of a greater price equation. Water and energy prices also play a role.

"But if we have an environmental catastrophe, then we also have bigger problems."

The Green Party report said that the overall German beer production would not be in danger, though.

Prices have increased in the past due to bad weather conditions, like in the summer of 2003 when there was a drought.

Too hot to handle

Another consequence of climate change is the intensifying heat, the report explains.

Europe has experienced an unusually powerful heatwave this summer, with temperatures reaching the highest ever recorded in Germany at over 40C.

This weekend is expected to be less hot in most of the country, with highs of around 28C on Saturday and rain in southern as well as western areas by Monday.

Story continues below…

The study says that due to climate change, increased temperatures may cause heat stress and increase mortality rates in major cities, like Cologne, Stuttgart and Berlin, where temperatures in this summer have been around ten degrees higher than in the surrounding areas.

"On hot summer days, big cities transform into fiery furnaces," the study states. "Dense development and the high volume of individual drivers result in cities producing a lot of heat. Buildings and streets retain the day’s warmth."

Persistent heat is especially harmful to the elderly and it can be deadly.

"This can become a very unpleasant and expensive weather chaos if we don’t change our course more clearly," Green party member and head of the German parliament’s environmental committee Bärbel Höhn said in a statement on Thursday.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Emma Anderson (emma.anderson@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Germany-denying beauty king fights cops with guns, teeth
Left: Adrian Ursache in his glam days as the 1998 Mr. Germany. Right: Police trying to evict him from his own 'country'. Photos: DPA.

Former Mr. Germany winner and founder of a group that denies the existence of Germany refused to be evicted, provoking a shootout - and bite-out - with police.

Politicians renew call to bring Snowden to Germany
Photo: GUARDIAN / GLENN GREENWALD / LAURA POITRAS.

Green and Die Linke (Left Party) politicians are asking that NSA surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden be allowed into Germany for an ongoing investigation.

Merkel urged to address Turkmenistan rights record
Angela Merkel with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Photo: DPA

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring up major rights violations, including a "policy of disappearances", when Germany hosts the president of Turkmenistan next week.

Epic father-daughter comedy picked for Oscars success
A scene from film Toni Erdmann. Photo: DPA

German Films has chosen Toni Erdmann, a beefy comedy about a father's struggle to save his daughter from her isolating career, as its 2017 Oscars choice.

Germany mulls pullout from Turkish airbase: report
A German Tornado jet at the Incirlik base in Turkey. Photo: Bundeswehr/DPA.

Germany's military is preparing to pull out from a Turkish airbase as a row between the two NATO partners escalates, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

German man arrested over Bali meth lab
Bali. Photo: DPA

A German man has been arrested on Indonesia's Bali island for allegedly making crystal methamphetamine in a secret lab, officials said Thursday, with authorities seizing bags of powders and bottles used to produce the drug.

Giant 2-metre catfish attacks woman in Bavarian lake
A wels catfish. Photo: DPA

When a young woman went for a swim in an idyllic south Bavarian region, she got more than she bargained for.

Mayor fires refugee project intern for wearing headscarf
File photo: DPA.

A Palestinian who was hired to work as an intern on a refugee project was fired by a town hall this week because she wouldn't take off her headscarf.

President who pioneered Moscow ties dies aged 97
Former Cold War President of West Germany Walter Scheel. Photo: DPA.

Former West German president Walter Scheel, who helped pave the way for his country's rapprochement with the communist East, has died aged 97, his party's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Poverty in eastern Germany. File photo: DPA

Eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
8,576
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd