The clean energy transition has become a central topic of debate among investors heading into the end of the year.

Money is flowing into ESG investments, but fossil fuel prices (oil and coal) are surging amid strong demand and global supply-side bottlenecks.

That cost-push inflation looks to be flowing into higher base metals prices as well, which are now rising across the board.

But a brewery in Colorado is provided its own take on the situation, distilling a new beer called Torched Earth which the company says tastes like…climate change.

What’s the flavour profile of an over-heating planet? “Like eating a band-aid,” New Belgium brewery CEO Steve Fechheimer said.

Instead of fresh water, the beer is brewed with smoke-exposed water.

New Belgium said the plan was to make a beer that actually tastes bad on purpose, to bring attention to the risks faced by breweries as the supply chains for fresh ingredients come under threat from climate change. We’ll drink to that.

On markets, it’s risk-on in Monday trade as ASX stocks gained ground following another solid session on Wall Street on Friday night.

Financial stocks led gains in morning trade, following a move higher in bond yields as New Zealand inflation growth came in hotter than expected at 4.9%.

Energy stocks also continued their climb, with benchmark Brent crude oil prices holding above US$85/barrel in morning trade.

ASX SMALL CAP WINNERS

Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for October 18 [intraday]:

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Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-sensitive announcements

Among stocks with news, cloud-based wealth management platform Class Ltd (ASX:CL1) led the pack after headlining another ASX takeover frenzy in morning trade today.

Shares in US-based oil & gas explorer AXP Energy (ASX:AXP) also ripped higher, after the company advised on Friday night that it’s received approval from the WA Supreme Court to recommence trading on the ASX.

It followed an “inadvertent administrative oversight” from the company, which meant it didn’t lodge a “compliant cleansing notice or prospectus pursuant to sections 708A(6) and 708A(11) of the Corporations Act, for various share issues since 2013”.

Among other notable movers, fibre network company Superloop (ASX:SLC) rose strongly, after announcing plans to sell its Hong Kong operations and select assets from Singapore to two buyers — Columbia Capital and DigitalBridge Investment Management — in a $140m deal.

“The sale price represents a 30% premium above the $108 million carrying value of the assets today,” SLC said, with Columbia and DigitalBridge set to join the company as strategic partners.

Among stocks without news, there were plenty of big gains for companies tied to the ongoing surge in base metals prices.

Pacific Nickel Mines (ASX:PNM) was up ~45% to 14.5c, while Consolidated Zinc (ASX:CZL) rose more than 20%.

ASX SMALL CAP LOSERS

Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks for October 18 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market-sensitive announcements

IoT device manufacturer Sensera (ASX:SE1) fell more than 20% following the release of its 4C filing, which showed the company booked net operating cash outflows of $1.191m on cash receipts of $408,000.