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Could climate change be ruining the taste of your favorite craft beer?

PHOENIX — Craft beer is a $1 billion industry in Arizona, but a warmer environment has many in the industry worried about its future.

The business owners who run craft beer businesses were concerned about future water shortages and even the flavor of a key beer ingredient: Hops.

Tempe City Councilwoman Lauren Kuby said that by supporting local craft beer brewers, the public is helping both business and the environment.

“The best way you can defend beer and in some ways fight climate change, is by supporting local breweries who are really into the sustainability movement trying to save water, save energy,” Kuby said.

Without meaningful environmental action to protect water supplies, the craft brewers said their businesses would be impacted severely.

“Increased drought and extreme heat are a direct threat to the resources they need to craft local beer,” Kuby said at a press conference presented by Defend Our Future.

Professor Paul Hirt, an environmental history teacher at Arizona State University and a Salt River Project board member, said climate change affects the taste of beer through hops.

“Hotter summers are creating more of the bitter profile that brewers are not looking for,” Hirt said.

Hirt added the battle is over high temperatures, growing hops and creating popular beer flavors that consumers want.

Hirt also is a critic of the Trump administration’s approach to climate change.

“We have all kinds of federal agencies that are being told ‘don’t admit we have a problem, don’t admit we have challenges to face.’ This is not how we solve problems,” Hirt said.

Kuby said it was time the EPA step up, recognize science and acknowledge that climate change is a real threat.

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