It’s a summer evening. All the neighborhood kids are running up and down the block. The moms are sharing a bottle of wine and the dads are standing around with their beers. I can just hear the conversation among the men on my street now.

“Want another?”

“I don’t know. The carbon footprint on that can is pretty hefty. Got anything with lower CO2 emissions?”

On second thought, I really don’t think I’ll ever hear that exact conversation. But who knows? Maybe one day the carbon footprint of beer will be easy enough to detect that the men in my neighborhood will at least have the option of taking it into consideration.

One Japanese brewery, Sapporo, is taking the first steps to make that possible by test marketing carbon footprint labels on their cans. The Converting Curmudgeon (I love the word curmudgeon) reports

the labels will show the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the production process of each can of beer, all the way from operating agricultural machinery to grow barley and hops to recycling the empty can. The labels will go on 350-ml cans of Sapporo's main brand, Black Label beer. Sapporo said it can calculate CO2 emissions as it secures barley and hops through contracts with farms across the world.
I did a search to see if I could find any other breweries that place carbon footprint labeling on their beer, and I couldn’t find any. It looks as if Sopporo is taking the lead in this area.

What do you think? Even if you buy beer from a local brewery, the ingredients the brewery uses can come from all over the country, perhaps the world. Would carbon footprint information on a beer’s label help you determine whether to buy it or not?

Image: Atilla1000 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Carbon footprint labeling on beer cans
A Japanese brewery is test marketing beer cans with carbon footprint labeling. Do you care?