Barley demand could brew higher beer prices

Canada’s beer companies have issued a news release stating they want Prairie farmers to grow malting barley.

Ron Waldman, president and CEO of Saskatoon’s Great Western Brewing Company and a board member of the Brewers Association of Canada, says the brewers association is only taking the first step to “open a dialogue” with farmers. He says Western Canada remains one of the best places in the world to grow top-quality malting barley, but the beer industry is worried recent trends, such as farmers growing grain for biofuel production, will affect traditional agricultural land use.

A poor barley crop in Europe in 2006 and rising demand for biofuels worldwide already have beer drinkers in Germany worrying about higher beer prices. The long term implications apply to beer drinkers across the globe.