Yeah, I know that St. Patricks is past. And I pity any of you out there who actually drink green beer on this most co-opted of holidays. What I am talking about is beer that is another shade of green...
In my house, we try our darndest to live pretty damn green. Our electricity is generated by the solar panels on our roof, we don't drive when we can walk, only one of us drives to work ( the other bikes), and we recycle/upcycle like crazy. We also extend this idea to what we eat. We have a pretty large garden that gets more productive every year. We try to grow the majority of what we eat in season, and when we can't grow it, we strive to shop local. And that is what brings me to our topic for today: Greening your beer...
I will admit, I am kind of a beer snob. But when ecology was a factor, it always tended to win over taste. In grad school, my roommates and I drank case after case of Old Milwaukee, because in Kentucky, it was the only beer that would take back the bottles for re-fill instead of recycling. It wasn't bad beer...but I knew that there had to be something better out there.
Now we have great options in the form of micro-brewers. Do a Google search. Go ahead, I'll wait. I bet you can find at least one brewery within 100 miles of you. And if you do...buy your beer from them. It is so much greener than that fancy import from Germany or Holland or Bavaria that you have been drinking, and it probably tastes better too.
Think about the reduced carbon footprint simply by reducing the shipping distances that are involved in getting the brew to you when you purchase local. This is a huge environmental benefit. You also get the added charge of pumping dollars into your own local economy, which can never be bad.
Our local brewhouse is the Blue Point Brewery. We are lucky in that they are only a few miles away. They also are super green, because they give you the option to buy the beer in growlers which are essentially gallon jugs. If you have a couple brewmeisters in your house, this could be a good option for you. The awesome greenness of the growler is that you wash it when it is empty and you can take it back to the brewery (or a couple of other convienent beer sellers with Blue Point taps) for a fill up. You get a little discount on the price of the brew going in the jug, and you get to know that you are keeping a big old chunk of glass out of the recycling stream, by re-using - which should always come before recycling anyway.
(If you go to the BPB, try the Old Howling Bastard...you will never be the same)
So eat, drink, and be merry my friends....but keep it local if you can. You will feel good about it in more ways than one.