Energy & Environment

New Belgium makes climate change beer from ‘less-than-ideal ingredients’

Twitter/New Belgium

New Belgium is releasing a “Torched Earth Ale” beer to commemorate Earth Day, saying it will allow beer drinkers to taste the effects of climate change.

The new limited-edition beer is made of “some of the less-than-ideal ingredients” that the company says would be “available and affordable to brewers in a climate-ravaged future without aggressive action now to confront the climate crisis,” according to a press release from the company posted online by Brewbound.

According to the release, the beer, which is a “dark starchy liquid with smokey aromatics,” will not win any awards for its taste, but it does “highlight the stakes of climate change for beer lovers everywhere.”

To mimic the effects of climate change on beer, the company used smoke-tinted water, dandelions and drought-resistant grains to brew the ale.

According to New Belgium, a smoky malt was meant to mimic the impact wildfires will have on water supply, and the drought-resistant grains, like millet and buckwheat, were used because they are the “most tolerant to shifting agricultural zones.”

The company said they added dandelions and shelf-stable hop extract for bitterness, which they wrote is “a far cry from fresh hops, with far less aroma.”

“If you don’t have a climate plan, you don’t have a business plan,” New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer said in the press release.

“Aggressive action to help solve the climate crisis is not only an urgent environmental and social imperative – it’s also a no-brainer for companies seeking to create long-term shareholder value, compete with rivals like China, and create good-paying jobs here at home,” Fechheimer continued.

“As a medium-sized company, New Belgium can only have a medium-sized impact. We need more of the big guys to step up, too,” Fechheimer added.

The “Torched Earth Ale” is not the first climate change-focused initiative New Belgium is spearheading. Last year, Fat Tire, the company’s flagship beer, became the first certified carbon neutral beer in the U.S., according to their press release.

Additionally, the company announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.


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