What is the best beer for green drinkers?
There are several factors to consider. Many eco-friendly beer lovers want to know about the ingredients. Are they certified organic? Were they locally produced? How did they get to the brewery?
Speaking of the brewery, what do we know about its environmental practices? Does it conserve water? Use alternative energy?
Then there are the practical considerations. For one thing, no one wants to pay too much for their beer. And, some brands are only available in certain regions.
That narrows down the list considerably. Here are a few options for those folks looking for the best beer in the United States for eco-minded drinkers:
Peak Organic Brewing Co. produces several varieties of certified organic ales. The company’s founder and president, Jon Cadoux, started brewing his own beer back in 1998. According to his company biography, he became interested in organic products somewhere along the line and found that their taste was better than non-organic ingredients. Cadoux later went to Harvard Business School where he earned an MBA and presumably learned valuable insights for running Peak Organic Brewing Co.
Stone Mill Pale Ale
Stone Mill Pale Ale is produced by Michelob Brewing Co. and is made with organic barley malt. It’s certified organic by the USDA and features a full-bodied, roasted malt flavor. Although the price can vary, it’s generally listed at about $8.50 for a six-pack.
As Eel River "unabashedly" announces on its website, this Fortuna, Calif.-based company was the first to produce a certified organic beer in the United States. The company uses organic hops and all of its beers are certified organic by the USDA. You can find it throughout the United States and you can even request a keg through the company’s website. Eel River has won several awards for its brews, including gold medals from the World Beer Championships and the Great American Beer Festival.
These beer makers got their start in 1997 and produce several certified organic brews from their brewery in Middlebury, Vt. The company produces India Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Will Stevens Pumpkin Ale.
Sierra Nevada deserves a mention on this list simply because the company produces most of its own energy on-site. The Chico, Calif., brewery has one of the largest private solar arrays in the U.S. Those solar panels, in conjunction with an existing fuel cell, provide most of the electrical energy the brewery needs to operate. The company says the solar array brings it close to its long-term goal of meeting 100 percent of its energy needs in a sustainable way.
What do you think? Is this a list of the best beer for eco-minded drinkers? Let us know about other brews in the comments below.