Craft beer enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, brought together by their love of beer. The future of beer, however, does not look promising if we fail to save the planet, according to the folks at Fat Tire. The team at Cheers All brings you the launch of their post-apocalypse beer “Torched Earth Ale” that tastes about like it sounds.
Torched Earth Ale is made entirely with ingredients available in a climate-ravaged future, which means it doesn’t resemble any beer you’re drinking today. Envision a beer made using everything from smoke-tainted water and dandelion weeds to drought-resistant millet and buckwheat grains. Yes, it tastes just like you think it would taste – and Fat Tire meant for it to taste bad.
“Torched Earth is definitely not like any beer I’ve ever tasted,” describes Cody Reif, the pilot and innovation brewer at New Belgium Brewing. “This beer is smokey and less sweet—and definitely has a little chew since it’s made from different grains.” It’s muddy, starchy and smokey. If this is the future of beer, I would drink far less of it,” adds Reif.
Save the Planet – Save the Beer
Fat Tire produced its post-apocalypse beer to bring attention to what the beer industry will look like if we fail to save the planet. “We devised Torched Earth to represent our future—that is, if nothing changes,” says Steve Fechheimer, CEO of New Belgium Brewing. If we do nothing to save the planet, Torched Earth Ale highlights ingredients that will be available in the future -- weeds, subpar grains and tainted water.
“This project started with a really interesting brewing question that made the issue more real: what might Fat Tire look like in 50 years if climate change continues unabated?” says Reif. “That’s something already on our minds, but to really sit down and think about it in detail was both intriguing and disheartening.” Torched Earth Ale represents the grim future of beer if climate change continues on its current trajectory.
“As the crisis grows unabated, traditional ingredients like barley would be far more expensive as growing regions shrink due to increased temperatures. Extreme weather events and constant drought would cause the loss of entire crop years, making perishable ingredients like hops and malt rare, at best (bad news if you like IPA).”
Along with the release of Torched Earth Ale, Fat Tire has announced the ‘Last Call for Climate Change’ campaign. Under the campaign the brand will encourage drinkers to demand their favorite major companies adopt a 2030 climate plan. Fat Tire offers an online tool for beer drinkers to look up Fortune 500 companies with meaningful and proactive climate plans and a way to contact those without one to demand change.
Climate Change Is Already Impacting Brewers
If you think the future of beer is something your grandchildren will need to worry about, think again. Fat Tire says climate change is already impacting brewers. Frosts in Florida reduce orange crops which means fewer oranges for beer. Wildfires impact farmers and their crops while droughts and pests impact hops. Water availability is becoming problematic as well with increasingly erratic weather patterns and soon, warmer temperatures and late-season rains will cause pre-harvest sprouting in barley-growing regions, making the grain useless for malts.
If you were looking for a reason to care about the future of the planet, consider the future of beer. Give Torched Earth Ale a try.
If you are a craft beer drinker, visit the Cheers All website to purchase glassware and other merchandise geared toward cider lovers.