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Brewer creates beer that tastes terrible on purpose to highlight negative effects of climate change

New Belgium Brewing has created a beer using the kinds of ingredients brewers may be forced to use in the future due to climate change – and it purposefully tastes terrible.

Beer that tastes terrible on purpose
Credit: New Belgium Brewing

The Colorado-based brewer has launched its new beer – a spinoff of its Flat Tire brand called Flat Tire Torched Earth Ale – to coincide with Earth Day on 22 April.

The brew is made using “some of the less-than-ideal ingredients that would be available and affordable to brewers in a climate-ravaged future without aggressive action now to confront the climate crisis,” according to the company.

The ale is made using smoked malts “to mimic the impact wildfires will have on water supply,” and drought-resistant grains such as millet and buckwheat as opposed to barley.

The resulting beer is described as a “dark starchy liquid with smokey aromatics [that] is not likely to win any awards, but does highlight the stakes of climate change for beer lovers everywhere.”

If you’re curious to sample this dystopian look at the future of beer, then know that the brew is available for purchase at the company’s two taprooms in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Asheville, North Carolina, as well as online at

New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer said of the company’s commitment to carbon-neutral brewing and the climate crisis:

“If you don’t have a climate plan, you don’t have a business plan.

“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. 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.”

Read More: Six ways to be a more eco-friendly drinks producer.

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