Earth Day: Please Drink Responsibly

24 Apr

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You know how some people get all snobby about wine?  I’m not one of those people.  I know I like dark, dry reds, but whether it’s from Sonoma County or Trader Joe’s, I don’t really care.  When you start talking about beer, it’s a different matter.  I’m pretty sure I have a certain expression reserved solely for when I see someone drinking Coors Light.  And a different one for Budweiser.  I have been known to snub a restaurant simply because it doesn’t meet my beverage requirements.   I can give you an informed opinion on no less than four IPAs brewed with habañeros.  I’m a beer snob.

People who shop, and drink, locally tend to be environmentally minded so it’s no surprise that craft brewers are committed to sustainability.  Balancing the focus on green beers versus good beers can be tricky.  I’ve had my share of beers that I chose because of their environmentally focused label only to be disappointed by the taste, but there definitely doesn’t have to be a conflict.  Many eco-friendly beers don’t put that front and center on their label.   Here are a few of my favorites.

Stone Brewing: Stone is one of the most recognizable names in craft beer.  Before I knew what craft beer was, I knew about their famous Arrogant Bastard Ale.  If you’ve visited Stone’s brewery, you know it not only has amazing beer, it’s also a fantastic place to enjoy an afternoon.  Their sprawling gardens are undoubtably beautiful, but it turns out they’re also sustainable.  With the use of native plants, salvaged materials and onsite food production, they’re able to green their brewery while still creating a peaceful retreat.
Beer of Choice: Enjoy By

Great Lakes Brewing: If you live in Ohio, you know that come December everyone becomes a craft beer aficionado with the release of their Christmas Ale.  You probably also know about the Burning River Fest, an event using the famous Cuyahoga River fire to raise awareness for water quality today.  Great Lakes Brewing supports the event by releasing some of that delicious Christmas Ale from their stores.  Outside of major shindigs, the food for their brewpub is grown at a local organic farm.  They’re also committed to recycling everything from the usual suspects to brewery grain and unsellable beer.
Beer of Choice: Christmas Ale (sorry to be so typical…)

Bear Republic: Whenever I want a good, standard IPA that I know is pretty easy to find, I’ll turn to Bear Republic’s Racer 5 (or Racer X or Racer 15, etc.).  I was happy to discover that one of my favorite beers is doing its part for the environment.  Earlier this year, the brewery installed a system that reuses waste water for power and water needs.  Breweries can use up to 10 times the amount of water for beer produced, so this system will help reduce its impact on an already drought-stricken area.  They are also helping to fund wells for their county.
Beer of Choice: Racer 5

Pizza Port: When I think of pizza these days, I want nothing more than to finish an entire medium by myself from Pizza Port.  Not only are both their in-house and guest beers to die for, their pizza is nectar of the gods.  I cannot wait until they finally decide to build one closer than a half hour away.  Okay, I’m done drooling on my keyboard.  Some of their facilities are powered at least partially by solar panels.  They even have programs to teach their community about the benefits of solar energy.
Beer of Choice: Doctor Brew (if only for the name and TARDIS next to it)

earththirst

Eel River: Right after I told Robin I wanted to d a post on green beers, I went to Total Wine and found a beer called Earth Thirst.  I took it as a sign from the gods that I should drink it.  While it falls under the eco-label category, it is also a pretty good double IPA.  Their brewery was the first certified organic brewery in the US and they follow environmentally friendly practices like reusing spent grain and pre-treating their waste water.  They also source 95% of their hops from within a few hundred miles.
Beer of Choice: Earth Thirst is the only one I’ve tried, but it’s recommended

These are only a few of the hundreds of eco-minded breweries out there.  Take a look at your favorite brew and you’ll probably be surprised at their practices.

~ April

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3 Responses to “Earth Day: Please Drink Responsibly”

  1. Mara April 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

    Great post! Try something from Deschutes Brewing out of Bend, OR if you get the opportunity. In the same vein, there is the Oregon Public House (http://oregonpublichouse.com/) claiming to be the world’s first non-profit pub. Unfortunately they were closed on Easter. Weird. I was all ready to celebrate the rebirth…Next time I am in Portland I plan to go.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Earth Day: More Reasons to Drink Craft Beer | Without a Map - April 28, 2014

    […] I’ve already extolled the virtues (both green and tasty) of craft beer, but now that you’ve been trying a variety of eco-friendly brews you may have built up a collection of bottle caps. Even if you don’t drink beer at all, you can always find cool root beer or pop bottle tops instead. I had been hoarding collecting bottle caps for year before I finally decided to do something with them. […]

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