This is a re-post from 2012. At the time focus was on sustainability. The Great Lakes were at there lowest levels in years and that summer we may have had our first shock of climate change. Here is a great guest post talking about one of my favorite topics.
With energy resources becoming the global concern that it is, will beer disappear? First I will answer that with a NO. However, it will be more likely that the beer I drink may be a home brew as opposed to a Molson, Coors, or PBR.
I give you this scenario for globalized worlds need to become local. The reason I pose the need for localization aligning with the effect on beer, because what would the world be without beer.
The way things typically work in the mass production of beer vary but putting things generically will give perspective. Central brewing locations import ingredients. These ingredients are grown typically in a monoculture setting using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers; all of which are distributed with petrol driven machines. Shipping these ingredients trucks, or in some cases planes, are used both using petrol as fuel. Once in the brewing location, energy is used to brew and package the beer; likely this will be from coal or natural gas power. After the final product is created it is shipped by the same means ingredients are imported. Once in the store it is purchased by the consumer. This excludes the employees who drive vehicles to get to work along the entire scenario.
This look is meant to give an idea about how much oil goes into a bottle or can of beer. The entire world supply of oil can fit into green bay, and half is gone. With the diminishing supplies prices will rise and the price of draft may increase forever.
Being local cuts back hugely on the amount of petroleum used and stimulate local economy. I say start a home-brew revolution, support your local brewers. Nothing brings a community together like enjoying a cold mug of brew with friends, made in your own neighborhood.
My local brewery in Marquette, Michigan