Jeff Chiu AP

Winemakers increasingly acknowledge impacts of climate change, but the topic is sensitive

Climate change is a touchy topic for winemakers, who are wary of casting doubt on the vintages they produce. But many are now acknowledging that temperature spikes and weather extremes are affecting what they grow and bottle.

Climate change is "like a train coming through the tunnel at you," says Harry Peterson-Nedry, a winemaker in Oregon's Willamette Valley. "The light from the train may help you a bit in seeing where you are walking. But eventually you will get crushed."

Though winemakers may have been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to climate change related droughts, soaking winters, heat waves and wildfires, it seems beer brewers are already adapting to changing conditions and even trying to reduce their carbon footprint.

    • In the ongoing effort to 'Keep Portland Weird' and create a lower-carbon beer, Baerlic Brewing and the Oregon Environmental Council teamed up to create a bike-powered mill to grind the malt for its "Bike Crush Saison".
    • Not to be outdone, the Danish beer icon Carlsberg announced plans to reduce its brewery carbon emissions to zero by the year 2030. It's worth noting that Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement inspired this worthy goal. Tusind tak, Donald!
    • This article from Nexus Media claims that in fact, beer is the greenest beverage, as breweries seek to become ever more sustainable. This includes the Chico, California craft brew giant Sierra Nevada, which has integrated conservation into every step of production.
    • Finally, Scottish beer producer BrewDog is raising awareness about global warming in its "Make Earth Great Again" campaign, in which it is fermenting a 'protest beer' at a higher temperature, as a 'metaphor for global warming'.
Be sure to raise your glass at the next happy hour to these hard-working and (sometimes) ingenious beer producers. As for the future of wine? I leave you with this bit of (arguably) good news: "The largest change that wine drinkers are likely to see is higher alcohol contents in the finished product... "
Print Friendly and PDF
SUBSCRIBE TO EHN'S MUST-READ DAILY NEWSLETTER: ABOVE THE FOLD
State test results show that Coraopolis has some of the highest levels of PFAS contamination in its drinking water, though it doesn't exceed the federal advisory level. (Photo via Unsplash)
Originals

Coraopolis drinking water shows PFAS contamination among highest in PA, but below federal advisory

Editor's note: This story is part of an ongoing collaboration between Environmental Health News and PublicSource on PFAS contamination in Pennsylvania.
Keep reading... Show less
Illustration of the R.E. Burger power plant by David Wilson/Belt Magazine.
Originals

What the petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River means for regional communities and beyond

The R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant's final day ended, appropriately enough, in a cloud of black smoke and dust.

Keep reading... Show less
Originals

Fighting pollution and apathy on the Lower Ohio

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — When Jason Flickner was a kid, he built a dam on the creek behind his grandparents' house causing it to flood a neighbor's basement.

Keep reading... Show less
From our Newsroom

Hidden gotcha in artificial turf installations

With heightened awareness around the country about the health effects of PFAS, calculations for what artificial turf installations actually cost over their full life-time may send a shock through the artificial turf industry

Above The Fold

Daily & Weekly newsletters all free.