New study suggest beer prices could double due to climate change

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COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - The cost of your favorite beer could rise in the future.

New research from scientists warns that a warmer climate and extreme droughts could harm the world's barley supply.

Barley is a key ingredient for making beer.

Climate scientists believe beer prices could more than double or triple someday as a result.

"That would definitely do a number on us," said Travis Jones, General Manager at the Corner Bar and Grill.

The afternoon lunch rush was slowing down but plenty of people were grabbing a cold brew at the popular hangout in Northgate Wednesday afternoon.

"Looking for like an IPA or sticking around the base," asked Jones as he waited on a table full of customers.

Jones said if costs go up, they'd have to pass along higher prices.

"I think it would impact us. We would have to raise our beer prices as well. Supply and demand I think would definitely shift a little bit. I'm not sure if people would have to cut out other things," said Jones.

Clark Neely is a Texas A&M Small Grains and Oil Seed Extension Specialist.

He's also an expert on barley.

"I think barley is probably going to be as susceptible as any other crop. I mean, all crops are going to suffer if temperatures go up and we see more and more drought so I think that's kind of across the board will affect any crop that we grow," said Neely, Ph.D.

If prices go up, Jones believes it may push people towards cheaper options.

"I think it would have an impact on the craft beer industry as well," he said.

Experts at Texas A&M tell us around 35,000 acres of barley are grown in Texas.

The majority is produced in the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

We reached out to several area breweries for comment on this story. Blackwater Draw Brewing Company told us they've not seen an impact nor has New Republic Brewing.

Down in Brenham, Brazos Valley Brewing Company told us they've not seen an impact on their barley supply or costs for it either. Owner Josh Bass says they use about 20,000 pounds of barley a month at a cost of about $15,000 a year. He added they make around 49,500 cases of beer annually.