THE SUMMER heatwave might be welcome among pub dwellers across the UK and Ireland, but it could be paving the way for a major hike for gin, beer, and whiskey prices.
That’s the warning being offered by one leading grain trader who is predicting a significant shortfall in barley growth compared with last year’s harvest.
Barley plays a crucial role in the production of beer, gin, and whiskey.
However, a combination of the extreme cold temperatures generated by ‘the Beast from the East’ storm that hit earlier this year and the current heatwave has had a negative impact on crop growth.
Speaking to The Sun, Jonathan Arnold from Robin Appel Ltd reckons there could be a 30 per cent decline in the amount of barley produced in 2018 compared with last year’s harvest.
Arnold reckons consumers will be left feeling the effect with booze prices set to shoot up in the coming months.
“The price of grain has shot up dramatically over the past four weeks because the heatwave has hit crops all over the world,” he warned the tabloid.
“It’s already around £40 to £50 a tonne more expensive than it was this time last year.
“I wouldn’t be able to say how much prices of the alcohol will go up by but they undoubtedly will.”
Though the cost of barley is only one factor in the overall price of a standard pint, other factors like duty costs and the taxes attached to the alcohol production.
It’s not the first time this summer the alcohol has been on the brink of a potential crisis though.
Earlier in the year, experts warned that problems in CO2 production could lead to a shortfall in beer production.
Thankfully that crisis, which had threatened to derail fans enjoyment of the World Cup, was averted when production levels returned to normal.
Alcohol enthusiasts will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around.
In order for that to happen, however, a sustained period of cold or wet weather might be required.