Unintended consequences

The latest unintended consequence of Uncle Sam's pursuit of ethanol — rising beer prices in Germany.

Der Spiegel reports on a barley shortage that the brewing industry attributes to farmers growing corn in fields where they once grew barley, such is the demand for corn brought about by the generous U.S. subsidy for corn-based ethanol.

This comes on the heels of a report earlier this year indicating a similar trend across Europe — and in the United States, where barley production is currently at a 70-year low.  So if you soon find yourself paying more for a six-pack at the supermarket in your town, you can blame it on the supermarket to the world.

(Thanks to Passport.)