For St. Patty's Day, Reach For a Truly Green Beer

For St. Patty's Day, Reach For a Truly Green Beer

Amber Byfield
Mar 17, 2009

03_17_09_green_beer.jpgWhile responsibly enjoying a couple of local pints at our favorite draught house, we noticed the coasters illustrated a clever take on the benefits of wind energy, and hailed from the New Belgium Brewery. We've talked about wine going green, but who knew that beer was headed in a similar direction? Don't worry, you won't be drinking your brews from boxes any time soon, but take a look at what a few breweries are doing--and getting noticed for.

New Belgium in Colorado is highly committed to green causes, and these folks have been covering all the bases. From harvesting methane and creating energy (from wastewater!), to being the first all-wind-powered company (1999) in the U.S., to installing the most efficient brew kettle available, they're thinking of it all. And they love bikes.

Full Sail Brewing Company, located in Oregon, is also dedicating itself to living green: they've even won the State of Oregon Sustainability Award for Small Businesses. They recycle everything from pallets to plastic, and they even send their leftover spelt and barley to local dairy farmers as feed for cattle. Not bad, eh?

Then there's Sierra Nevada, who's got one of the largest solar panel arrays in the U.S., not to mention one of the largest fuel cell installations. There's also the vapor condenser for heat recovery, and the on-site vegetable oil recovery program that lets some of their fleet of trucks run on biodiesel.

So today, when you're reaching for a beer laced with food coloring, think twice. Look up your favorite ale or lager and see where they stand with the environment. Not to mention, there are a lot of microbreweries cropping up around the states, so find one nearby and cut down on your beer's travel time.

Lucky for us, all of our faves are handcrafted by bike-riding, tree-hugging, hop-loving hippies!

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