Beer has changed over the past few decades.
Domestic brews were once the go-to inebriant of choice for everyone from college students to stepdads all over the country. But then someone got the wise idea of launching what is now referred to as “craft brew,” which has spawned a legion of beer snobs who are no longer content drinking the piss water of their fathers.
To make things worse, these hipsters and well-groomed beard bros with discriminating pallets are now screaming bloody murder over the environment. As a result, craft breweries are making strides to create sustainable beer.
Some are using refillable bottles, while others are digging deeper into science to recycle waste.
No longer is the term “green beer” reserved for idiot Americans who believe sucking down gallons of this stuff on St. Patrick’s Day is the way of the Irish drunkard. It is now an ethos for a brand spanking new level of brewmasters who are trying to save the planet and get it plastered at the same time.
Believe it or not, beer drinkers are willing to pay more for suds created with the wellness of the Earth in mind. It’s true. It might sound like a bunch of hippie-dippy crap, but a recent study published in PLOS ONE finds that it could be advantageous for breweries to invest in sustainably-produced beer.
On average, consumers are willing to pay around $1.30 more for a six-pack if the beer is manufactured using technology that will ultimately prevent the planet from meeting an untimely demise.
Although this might not sound like a considerable increase, it could elevate the average cost of a six-pack of craft beer to almost $11 by the time taxes are applied. This might not be a problem for the low-key, social drinker, but for the true animals of alcoholic abomination, things could get expensive.
“An increased number of people are willing to pay more to companies that share their values,” Bart Watson, the chief economist of The Brewers Association, told NPR.
But for the immoral, depraved, and wicked, those who drink beer to forget about how much their lives are just a sucking black hole of dismalness and looming death do not give two flying squirts if the brewing industry is working to keep the planet from bursting into flames.
As far as this group is concerned, the damage is already done.
Even science shows us it may be too late to start running brewhouses on solar panels, waste diversion, and other sustainable practices. The threat of global warming is already expected to jack up beer prices in the coming years according to a separate report published earlier this week in Nature Plants.
It shows that we will likely see “decreases in global beer supply due to extreme drought and heat” and— well, you guessed it— this “may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer.”
The main takeaway from this research is that beer prices could double. Double!
The theory behind this prediction is that the world could soon experience some vicious climate issues, which will put barley production into the proverbial crapper. So, while people are busy trying to keep food on the table since agriculture as a whole will also suffer this wrath, scientists say the world will place less focus on beer.
“Our analysis showed us that we’re probably going to prioritize the food over the luxury beverage,” said Steven Davis, associate professor of earth system science at the University of California, Irvine and the study’s co-author. “In many cases, the affluent consumers will just pay more for their beer, but someone’s going to have to do without the barley, and it looks like the beer industry as a whole will do with less.”
Still, the brewing scene isn’t buying into the hysteria. Most industry insiders believe farmers will have the opportunity to adapt to the boogeyman of climate change and keep plenty of beer in production.
“I just don’t see us being unable to produce however much barley brewers want,” Dwight Little, president of the Idaho Grain Producers Association, told NPR.
The truth is the world is never going to tolerate a beer shortage. This alcoholic beverage has been the glue of society since the beginning of Western civilization and it’s a massive part of the economic pulse in many areas. To jettison barley and put the brewing industry in a struggle to keep the global population buzzed would undoubtedly lead to the kind of revolutionary uprising that rivals history.
Still, more beer consumers— especially those quick to buy into peace, love and doomsday scenarios— are supporting brewhouses that channel resources intended to prevent the destruction of the human race.
How kind of them.
For this reason, even domestic beer makers like MillerCoors are also putting more sustainability practices into place. Of course, this trend will eventually lead to skyrocketing beer prices across the board and it already costs a small fortune to remain a numb shell of a man.
Still, we’re optimistic. After all, the cost of sobriety far exceeds any anticipated increase in the price of beer.
Bring it on global warming. We’ll be right here drunk as usual.