Hop quality is altered in Europe by climate change, according to study
Innovation & Technology
Sustainability & Environmental Impact
Published Oct 21, 2023
Climate change is negatively impacting the cultivation of aromatic hops in Europe, leading to lower yields and a decrease in the compound responsible for bitterness in craft beer. Researchers analyzed data from hop-producing countries in Europe and found that yields decreased in most areas between 1995 and 2018 compared to the previous period. The rise in temperatures also affected hop development, resulting in a decrease in the concentration of alpha acids, which contribute to bitterness in beer.
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Researchers have observed this trend by analyzing data from five production areas in Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, which, together with Poland, are the main hop-producing countries in Europe. Yields decreased in four of the areas studied between 9.5% and 19.4% in the period 1995-2018 compared to the period 1971-1994; in the fifth of the areas they remained stable. At the same time, the rise in temperatures has brought forward the main stages of hop development by several days, which impacts the concentration of alpha acids, the hop compound that gives beer its bitterness and some other aromas. Extrapolating ...