Something is happening to beer. It may leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and not for the right reasons. 

Here are five things to know about why climate change may change one of the world's favorite beverages.

  1. A recent report warned that rising temperatures, including less rainfall and more regular droughts, could decrease the amount of beer ingredients such as barley and hops that are grown every year. That will not only make them more expensive to buy but their taste may also be affected. 
  2. Biologists suspect that warmer nights will allow fungus and bacteria to thrive and attack plants that would usually have been kept at bay by cooler night-time temperatures and thus a smaller yield of the hop crop. 
  3. What does this have to do with the taste of your beer? Scientists believe that plants fight off pests and bacteria by creating chemical compounds that act as their own pesticides. And it's this that also gives hops its distinctive flavor that's released when the plant is brewed to make beer. 
  4. Biologists and scientists believe that warmer temperatures could confuse plants, like hops, making it harder for them to figure out when to release their defense compounds. 
  5. It's this release that creates the taste farmers and brewers alike have been relying on and cultivating for hundreds of years. It's how they can create all the different varieties and flavors of beers that we know and love today. 

Time will tell how much the taste of our beer will be affected by a changing climate, but it's true to say that the impact of temperature change alone on some of our most beloved crops will certainly not be "small beer."