Green Brews: A Sampler of the Most Eco-Friendly Libations

Beer, Glorious Beer! The nectar of the gods and the reason, for many, that happy hour can’t come soon enough. Not much can make the enjoyment of this libation sweeter, except perhaps knowing that the liquid you’re relishing is green. No, not green as in Wicked Witch of the West with Envy Green. Green as in sustainably produced and crafted by a company that’s not only “going green” but is gone baby, gone. So, without further ado, we serve up for you our collection of the finest, greenest, brews around.

New Belgium: The Jolly Green Giant of Beer
This beer will blow you away…literally. Nearly 70% of their output is fueled by windpower. In fact, the Breen Business Bureau recently ranked New Belgium #1 for its unique use of water treatment processes to generate electricity for the brewery, sun tubes for lighting, and repurposing “byproducts” such as spent grains and hops into food for cattle and other farm animals. But the green doesn’t stop there: waste stream diversion for New Belgium is at an impressive high of 94.38% and many of their festivals promote an eco-friendly life-style, even going so far as to encourage people to live without a car for one year. To that we raise our glasses and give a big “cheers” to a green job well done!

Odell Brewing Company: Oh, So Sustainable
Easy Street Wheat, Cutthroat Porter, and Levity Amber Ale. If your mouth isn’t salivating by now then you’re reading the wrong article. Odell Brewing Company not only churns out some of the most flavorful beer concoctions but they also produce a variety of the world’s most sustainably produced ales.  With their recycled six-pack holders, energy conservation, and special devices called “Hot Shot Boxes” which help them reduce the brewery’s energy consumption when the city of Fort Collins (where they’re located) is at peak energy, Odell’s employs some pretty nifty tactics to ensure that they bring you green beer done right.

Sierra Nevada: The Goliath of Green
We’ve had the pleasure of speaking to Sierra Nevada representatives at several beer festivals and they assure us that they are one of the most eco-friendly breweries on the planet. But, even though they talk a big game, just how green are they? Well, for starters they endeavor to transport their beer ingredients in the most sustainable way possible, including using railways for their malt delivery and the spent ingredients are fed to farm animals locally.  For packaging, they endeavor to use materials that boast high “recyclable content” and they work with local packaging plants to keep their production nearby which reduces emissions from shipping to their facilities. Finally, and perhaps most impressively, Sierra Nevada’s 10,573 solar panels provide more than 20% of their energy needs and Hydrogen Fuel Cells provide another 40%. That being said, when you drink this beer you can savor the sustainability with every drop.

With this information, you should be well on your way to drinking green and, we hope, living green too.