As record droughts in the western United States create problems for American brewers and hop growers, one of Belgium's most celebrated beer makers says it's scaling back production due to climate change. Warmer temperatures have slashed Brussels' Cantillon brewery's production season, reports The Guardian.
The Cantillon brewery has been making sours using wild yeast for more than 100 years; however, the company says recent climate changes in Belgium have made brewing conditions more volatile. Over the past week, temperatures in the area have been unseasonably high — around 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit). The ideal temperature for cooling the beer is between 3 and 8 degrees Celsius (37 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit). Rather than use modern refrigeration, the traditional brewery has opted to shut down production.
"It is totally abnormal. We have those night temperatures in the summer and with such a temperature it is totally impossible to brew," brewer Jean Van Roy tells Mashable. In the past, Cantillon's brewing season began in mid-October and stretched to May, but now lasts only from November to March or April. "We are losing more than one month and if it continues we will lose maybe two months and that is certainly due to the global warming."
The brewing industry isn't the only market to feel the pressure of climate change. Fast-casual chain Chipotle has expressed concerns that global climate change could have a "significant impact" on the price and availability of certain ingredients, including avocados. However, the news isn't all bad: California's Napa Valley is expected to produce some excellent wine this year due to drier conditions.