The Brewers Association says “It’s Easy Being Green!”
Brewers of every scope and size are implementing new systems, habits and programs to become more environmentally friendly. Here are just a few of the eco-friendly ideas that are currently sweeping the brewing communities. See how you can personally contribute!
Beer Enthusiasts and Homebrewers:
Drink Locally- Here is something everyone can do, and on top of decreasing your carbon footprint, it also helps out your local economy! Drinking locally has less of an impact on the environment as shipping and packaging costs are greatly reduced!
Brew Organic Beer at Home- This is an effective way to reduce the three biggest sources of greenhouse-gas emissions relating to beer, according to Chris O’Brien, The Beer Activist and author of Fermenting Revolution . Use of inefficient refrigerators in retail stores, the manufacturing of single use glass bottles and the fossil fuels used to grow conventional barley are all greatly reduced.
Use Recycled Bottles When You Brew- Collect beer bottles at home or check for them at your local recycling center.
Use Your Spent Grains- Spent grains from the homebrewing process can be used in many ways around the house, such as compost and animal feed. Find out more uses for your spent grains from The Beer Activist.
Brewing Organic Beer- Goldman-Armstrong guesstimates that American breweries make between 100 and 200 organic brands, with a total organic production of around 100,000 barrels.
Over the last decade organic brewers have carved out a solid niche within the craft brewing movement, with organic beer sales growing from $9 million in 2003 to $19 million in 2005 and to $25 million in 2006, according to the Organic Trade Association.
Participating in Organic Beer Festivals- The 2008 annual Organic Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon attracted over 15,000 people to sample 75 organic beers from 44 different breweries.
Canning Craft Beer- Many craft breweries have begun to offer their products in cans, which are not only easier to recycle, but are also lighter and easier to ship.
What Exactly Does Organic Mean?
- Products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled “100% organic”.
- Products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic”.
Both of these categories may display the USDA organic seal.
- A third category, containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients”.
For more info visit www.beertown.org