Climate Resilient Beer with Professor Colleen Doherty (NCSU)

The relationship between a changing climate and its effects on plant taste is still largely unexplored. This research seeks to understand the impact of climate change on hops, while also inspiring a new generation of plant scientists to tackle the challenges of the future.

Find out more on the Project Page.

Additional Information:

Plant Breeding Seminar Series: Colleen Doherty, Plants at the center of change, climate consequences for crops and plant-based solutions

Wait, so do we get some of the climate-proofed beer when all is said and done?:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Although fermenting temperatures pertain how efficiently the enzymes convert sugar into alcohol, I wonder how climate resistant hops will affect the brewing process and if it would change how brewers approach brew days and fermenting temperatures.

1 Like

From Professor Doherty:

Even normal hops in new climates can have inputs into the brewing process… it is such a delicate balance of metabolites - either way this will be an important point to consider. Most of the fermentation is of the grains, and the hops are usually added later in the process for flavoring. But it could affect when they are added and when they are removed and factors like that. Another interesting question this raises is whether climate changes affect the enzymes in the grains as well. Will that process need to be adjusted? We have decided to focus on the hops first because our interest is in how climate affects the specialized metabolites plants produce. We are interested in this particular point because, beyond hops and beer, these specialized metabolites are important for many reasons: They make the medicines and nutraceuticals we use, they provide antioxidant and other health-promoting activities, they provide defenses for the plants from pests and pathogens and also antimicrobial compounds we use, and, like in hops, they provide much of the flavoring that we appreciate about different plants.