This Climate Change Beer Tastes Intentionally Bad, to Reflect Our Impending Doom

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Apr. 23 2021, Updated 11:12 a.m. ET

Generally, to address climate change and the importance of conservation, brands and companies will release cutesy messages, or even products, to reflect their love for the planet. But Colorado-based brewing company, New Belgium, took another route. Instead, the brand released a new beer that tastes intentionally very bad — in order to reflect the impending doom we are bound to face, if real changes aren't made. 

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“Torched Earth is definitely not like any beer I’ve ever tasted. This beer is smokey and less sweet—and definitely has a little chew since it’s made from different grains," said Cody Reif, the pilot and innovation brewer at New Belgium, according to Forbes. "If this is the future of beer, I would drink far less of it."

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What to know about New Belgium's Torched Earth brew:

For Earth Day, New Belgium unleashed a beer called Torched Earth Ale, that only contains ingredients that would be available in a world ravaged by climate change, according to Food and Wine. To give you a better idea of what it would taste like, it features smoked malts that "mimic wildfires," grains that could only survive droughts such as millet and buckwheat, as well as hops substitutions like dandelions and a shelf-stable extract that, well, simply don't taste like your classic hops.

If you're interested in tasting the disaster brew for yourself, it's described as "dark starchy liquid with smokey aromatics [that] is not likely to win any awards, but does highlight the stakes of climate change for beer lovers everywhere," as per Food and Wine. It's available in limited quantities at the company's taprooms in Fort Collins, Colo., in Asheville, N.C., and online, so we'd suggest securing it soon. All proceeds benefit Protect Our Winters.⁠

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"Beer is a fantastic but delicate agricultural product and failing to address climate change will mean the beers we all know and love could cease to exist. We need to make the investments in good environmental practices now to protect the future of our businesses," says Steve Fechheimer, CEO of New Belgium Brewing, as per Forbes. “We can’t afford to ignore the environmental impacts we’re seeing. It’s very simply a make-or-break issue for our industry."

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The company is calling on Fortune 500 companies to make climate plans.

In 2020, the brewery — which is a certified B Corp — became the first carbon neutral beer company. And now, they're using this brew in particular to call out Fortune 500 companies that have not yet implemented a real climate plan. According to the brand's website, 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies don't have tangible plans to address the ongoing climate crisis by 2030. Now, they're calling on these companies to do so.

"We’re calling on the 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies without a meaningful climate plan to join us in implementing one. We’re a medium-sized business, but we need the biggest businesses on board to make the necessary impact," wrote the company in their latest Instagram post.⁠ Read the post in full, below.

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We appreciate a company that's meaningfully addressing climate change — even if we would really rather not try this beer for ourselves.

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