How climate change is affecting beer production

(CBS) -- At one of L.A.'s fastest growing breweries, keeping up with demand is a struggle.


Frogtown Brewery's Mike Voss says much of that stress comes from having to hunt for critical ingredients like hops.

Hops are what give beer its flavor and aroma. Most of the country's hops are grown in Washington, Oregon and Idaho- states that have suffered increasingly severe droughts in recent years. That's crippled crops - leading to shortages.

With the mega beer producers gobbling up most of the supply, smaller craft breweries are left scrambling. Producers are now trying to grow hops in other states but it's a slow process.

NASA Climate Scientist Joshua Fisher says climate change is making droughts more intense.

"We are reaching this kind of tipping point where what we've been used to in terms of how much rain we're gonna get and how plants grow is no longer the norm," Fisher says.

Shortages have led to higher prices for hops. Some breweries say they may ultimately have to pass on the cost to consumers.

At Frogtown, they're using new methods to find ingredients.

"Going out to different distributers, calling up other breweries, asking if they have the stuff we need, the ingredients that we need, begging sometimes," says co-owner Adam Kestel.

A bitter reality - that could be here to stay.