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'Climate change to hit beer production'

"The production of malted barley - a constituent in beer manufacturing - faces a decline in Australia due to drought conditions," says New Zealand's scientist.

business Updated: Apr 08, 2008 19:56 IST

Climate change can force the beer lovers around the world especially in Australia to shell out extra money to buy the drink, which could be containing a different taste, a scientist warned on Tuesday.

The drink was expected to get dearer as the production of malted barley - a constituent in beer manufacturing - faces a decline in Australia due to drought conditions, according to Jim Salinger of New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.

"Most areas in Australia where malting barley is cropped are likely to experience production declines," Salinger said, adding: "It will mean either there will be pubs without beer or the cost of beer will go up."

"Barley production in the main growing region of New Zealand - from where brewing giant Lion Nathan gets about 70 per cent of its malted barley - would also be affected," the New Zealand Press Association said, according to a report in 'Herald Sun'.

Salinger told the Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention in Auckland that by 2100, the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases - measured in equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide - would be double, and possibly four times pre-industrial levels, leading to further climate warming.

"It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry," he said, adding breweries could be forced to look at new varieties of malt altering the taste of the drink.