The new Belgian climate change is terrifying tes by beer design


A can of beer inspired by climate change in Torched Earth, New Belgium.

It’s not good, but then that’s the main thing.
Pictures: Brian Kahn

When I was 21, I lived in New Mexico. My first legally purchased beer was Fat Tire, only available west of Mississippi at the time. Massachusetts and craft breweries were at the peak of innovation at the time, as someone raised them in the era before the explosion.

I still have fond memories of fat tires, so far I can buy them in Bodega, New York. It’s a great sipper on summer days; Holding a cold bottle can spread a light layer of sweat on the back of your neck and the crispness in the palette can wash away the worries of a day. And in our world, washing away worries, even if it takes a long time to split six packs with friends, is a precious, sweet relief. As a climate reporter, I will take a few and far away from the simple comforts I can get.

So it bothers me to say that New Belgium, the brewery behind fat tires, has accepted it from me. Their new beer is an anxiety-induced, foul-tasting nightmare by design. Known as Torched Earth, it tastes like beer from the future … if humanity doesn’t act together. Truly, this is a future that most of us will enjoy, even if it is worth living.

Climate communication often revolves around what we can see: fossil fuel interests continue to define our destiny as ice breakers, flame walls and yes, even starving polar bears play a role in defining the dangerous present and authentic faces of humanity. Smells and tastes (besides sight) call for the world to know what might be ahead though.

Brewers put the key issues of beer – grain, water, yeast – through the mustache of climate change. The beer was launched on World Day to raise awareness that many companies lack climate targeting, drop roadmaps for how to get there, and push people to consolidate the brand if we want to avoid a grim future. (New Belgium has one Beautiful detailed plan This reduces emissions and neutralizes fat tire carbon through offsets, one of which is Long and complex history But for another time)

Instead of burnt barley, torque earth is made with more drought tolerant grains such as bark and butt. Astringent dandelions are tossed with added flavor. And smoked malt is used to mimic the effects of fire-smoking water.

“Unfortunately, I could actually use the fire water,” Cody Reef, an R&D brewer in New Belgium, said in an email. “The Powdery River supplies water to our town and is less than a quarter of a mile from the brewery and is now filled with black water in a forest fire that devastated northern Colorado last fall. This is not the first time in the last ten years that our water supply has been threatened. ”

Armed with knowing what we were about to enter, my wife, a friend who was homebrewer, and I sat down for a savory session. (My friend asked me to note that she wore a bean on a perfect spring day as proof of her homebreaking credit. Please take this review seriously what I’m trying to say.) As described. The three of us immediately agreed not to repeat the experience.

The taste notes we drew for the three of us included “dirty,” “almost oily” (fitting!), “Tastes sour, smells like sweet tars, but it must have some smoke,” and “everyone is shaking their heads.” Takes mud compared to a traditional theatrical beautiful, filtered L. My Beanie-Claude Homebrew friend summed it up: “On a beautiful day like this, an ale makes you feel fresh. It’s not.” (More titles followed.)

Climate-inspired beer in New Belgium, a woman holding a glass of torched earth.

Cheers at the end.
Pictures: Brian Kahn

To wash the taste of climate change from our mouths, we follow it with the original fat tire, which was crystal clear and sharp in comparison. It brings back happy memories of 21 years of wandering and sitting in the setting sun of the high desert, the whole world being exposed to me.

Torched Earth is the pole of all things, a reminder that if we move on to the current path of giving to a few corporations False And Indiscriminately pollute the environment In the name of profit, the window to a better life will close somewhat stricter. The common pleasures that we all enjoy are even harder to do. The relaxation we all desire will be replaced by suffering.

Of course, in the future where Torched Earth is the flagship beer of a big brewery, there will be many more big problems for us to worry about. And it’s not that New Belgium isn’t aware of it; Reef said the climate crisis was “obviously a serious matter but an exercise in thought [of creating Torched Earth] There was an interesting challenge from Brewer’s point of view.

“The process of making it opened my eyes, and I’m absolutely positive we didn’t catch all the potential risks,” he added.

But there are always big problems –The fall of the Antarctic, The rise of violence and famine, Sixth mass extinctionIt seems impossible to hold on. While you can’t hold the heat death of 1 million species in your hands, you can hold cans of torched earth. And now enough to be able to hold the piece of the bad future in the palm of your hand and fight for everything we stand to lose.

Two canned toasts from Torched Earth, a climate change-inspired beer in New Belgium.

Cheers to end Big Oil domination.
Pictures: Brian Kahn



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