National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger said climate change could see a decline of malting barley production in Australia and New Zealand, resulting in lower supplies and increased prices for beer. Speaking at The Institute of Brewing and Distilling convention in Auckland, he said dry areas of Australia would only get drier and water shortages will get worse. "It will provide a lot of challenges for the brewing industry" he said.
It appears the industry is listening. Russell Peel, environmental consultant for Foster's Group, said water usage in beer brewing has become more efficient over the years, but "water is going to be such [a] global concern that any water wastage is going to be seen as unacceptable," he told the conference.
Source: Coke Pub & Bar, NZ Herald 1 & 2.