Food & Drink | August 12, 2022 5:58 am

World’s Largest Beer Exporter Will Cut Production Due to Climate Change 

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said beer production in the north of his country will cease

Bottles of beer move along a conveyor at the Cerveza Minerva facility in Mexico.
Bottles of beer will no longer be being produced in northern Mexico.
Luis Antonio Rojas/Bloomberg via Getty

In a development that may finally get more Americans to pay attention to climate change, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced earlier this week that beer production in the northern regions of his country will cease due to severe water shortages, according to Fortune.

Heineken and Mexican beer giant Grupo Modelo, which is controlled by AB InBev and produces beers like Corona, Modelo and Montejo, have production facilities in the north that will ostensibly be non-operational moving forward.

“This is not to say we won’t produce any more beer, it’s to say that we won’t produce beer in the north—that’s over,” Obrador said at a press conference. “If they want to keep producing beer, increasing production, then all the support for the south or southeast.”

Due to factors including a lack of rain and water mismanagement, northern Mexico has experienced abnormally dry to exceptional drought conditions and water shortages have become increasingly dire as temperatures have risen in the hotter summer months, according to The Washington Post. “We should really change water management not only in terms of climate change and what may result from it, but also in terms of water demands. Our population has grown. Water demands grow. So things should change,” Víctor Magaña-Rueda, a climatologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told The Post.

Until that change happens, beer production in Mexico will have to shift south or cease altogether. Either way, that’s a major issue for both Mexico and its neighbor to the north as the former provided 76% of all the beer imported by the U.S. last year. Imported beer makes up close to 18% of all the beer consumed in the United States, according to the Beer Institute.

“You can’t give permits in places where there’s no water,” Obrador said. “So, we’re going to intervene and that’s what the state is for.”