Raising a Glass to Truly ‘Green’ Beer
No doubt you’ve seen green beer highlighted at your local bar for St. Patrick’s Day, and maybe you’ve even tossed back a few to celebrate the holiday. But what about making sure your beer is ‘green’ - meaning, earth-friendly - all year?
Here are some tips to help you make smarter, more sustainable brew choices:
- Opt for an organic brew. When grown commercially, beer ingredients are typically chock-full of pesticides and chemicals. Do yourself and mother earth a favor by choosing beers made with fresh, pesticide-free hops, wheat, and barley.
- Go for glass over aluminum. When you have the option, it’s always best to choose glass over cans since recycling glass is more environmentally friendly. Also, look for bottles packaged with little or no paper labels. More paper and packaging = more waste.
- Hosting a party? Skip the cans and bottles and go for the keg! Kegs are a win-win for your wallet and the environment. Not only are kegs reusable, but they also cut down on the waste you'd normally accumulate with loads of bottles and cans.
- When you break out the keg, be sure to have reusable glasses and cups on hand for your guests. Steer clear of those convenient solo cups – they will inevitably end up in a landfill near you.
- Order beer on tap when dining out. Many restaurants recycle, but it’s always best to use fewer individual bottles. And if your favorite establishments don’t recycle, now may be the perfect time to kindly suggest that they start.
- Speaking of recycling, be sure to remember to sort your own empties into your recycling bin. If you haven’t gotten involved your local recycling program yet, there’s no better time than the present to locate your best local options and nearest centers.
- Another great way to green your brew is to sip on some local brews. These days more and more beer enthusiasts are breaking into the brewing scene. And the good news for us? These beers are traveling shorter distances so they are often less expensive and fresher than foreign imports. Look for beer festivals and brewery tours near you to begin sampling some local flavors. Get started with this online brewers directory for some great local beers near you.
- Looking to break into the brewing business? It doesn’t get more local than brewing at home. Check out www.breworganic.com to learn more about getting started with your own organic brews.
- Learn more about the connection between our natural resources - water, food and energy - and that brew you're planning to hoist at the pub later; check out this longform article on Making Sustainable Beer at Scientific American.
Tips and ideas of your own? Share them with us here by using the comment section below!