Boat owners may face a beer shortage because of the move towards biofuels.

Boat owners may face a beer shortage because of the move towards biofuels. The warning comes after a shortage of Christmas ales in the USA was explained as being the unforeseen result of increased production of environmentally friendly ethanol.

American farmers are paid less for growing hops and barley than they are for growing maize for biofuels. Many have opted to cultivate the latter, and hop production in some areas has halved.

European hop production has also reduced as farmers change direction, so pressure on beer supplies seems sure to grow.