A study conducted at the University of East Anglia (UEA) produced dire results for global beer consumption if global warming is not dealt with.
The new study published today in the journal Nature Plants, warned widespread drought threatens worldwide yields of barley.
This, in turn, could result in skyrocketing beer prices and plummeting beer consumption.
Dabo Guan, a professor of climate change economics at UEA, warned rising temperatures threaten global food production.
He said: “Increasingly research has begun to project the impacts of climate change on world food production, focusing on staple crops such as wheat, maize, soybean, and rice.
“However, if adaptation efforts prioritise necessities, climate change may undermine the availability, stability and access to ‘luxury’ goods to a greater extent than staple foods.
“People’s diet security is equally important to food security in many aspects of society.
“Although some attention has been paid to the potential impacts of climate change on luxury crops such as wine and coffee, the impacts on beer have not been carefully evaluated.
“A sufficient beer supply may help with the stability of entertainment and communication in society.”
Beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage by volume.
The scientists behind the study said roughly 17 percent of global barley consumption can be accounted for in the beer sector.
In certain countries like Brazil the figures are much higher – about 83 percent – or much lower in places like Australia – about nine percent.
In the UK, scientists estimate beer consumption could drastically fall by between 0.37 billion and 1.33 billion litres.
At the same time, alcohol prices are expected to double at the very least should shortages happen.
The international study, which involved scientists from the UK, Mexico, China and the United States, looked at climate modelling in 34 different world regions.
The study found the most severe climate events could see global beer consumption drop by 16 percent or 29 billion litres.
This is roughly the equivalent of the entire US suddenly ceasing to drink beer.
Prof Guan added: “While the effects on beer may seem modest in comparison to many of the other – some life-threatening – impacts of climate change, there is nonetheless something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer.
“It may be argued that consuming less beer isn’t itself disastrous, and may even have health benefits.
“Nevertheless, there is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury.”
The dire study was supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the British Academy and the Philip Leverhulme Prize.