College students everywhere are starting to feel the push for alternative energy right in their own pockets. Those who enjoyed Bud Light may have to resort to “The Beast” just to make ends meet. The movement to plant more crops to help produce bio-diesel is taking precious resources away from barley production. With less barely being produced both in America and Europe it is having an effect on beer prices around the world.
In the last two years, the price of barley has doubled to $271 per ton as farmers plant more crops such as rapeseed and corn that can be turned into ethanol or biodiesel, a fuel made from vegetable oil.
As a result, the price for the key ingredient in beer, barley malt, or barley that has been allowed to germinate, has soared by more than 40 percent, to around 385 euros or $522 per ton, from around 270 euros a ton two years ago, according to the Bavarian Brewers’ Association.
Some current increases:
- The U.S. – 3.8%
- U.K. – Reports of 3.9%
- Germany – A liter at Oktoberfest is now $10.90
- Netherlands – Heineken expects a 7-8% increase
The cost of cleaner energy comes in many forms. First it is something as trivial as beer prices, but with so much pressure to produce more plant material to make this fuel, what is affected next? We already saw an increase in tortilla prices when corn production in Mexico was shifting toward biofuels instead of food products. Even the United Nations has released a report saying that by diverting production toward fuel generation it will drive the prices of some basic food commodities up.
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
There will always be something for people to complain about. Right now, it is the price of gas. In an effort to curb our reliance on oil we are pushing for an increased use of bioenergy, which in turn takes precious resources away from basic food staples and will increase the price. Then people will complain about that, and even more importantly, this higher cost will affect the people who don’t even use much gas; the poor who need to feed their families.
If you want, you can read about the Germans who are already making a big stink about increased beer prices.
Incoming search terms:
- biofuels killing
- increase beer price iraq
- increase in food prices affect beer supply
Don't Miss: Scottrade Review - $7 Trades and Get 3 Free Credit Scores and Hot Credit Card Deals
Filed Under: Odds and Ends
About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.