Organic Beer Brewing
“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” –Benjamin Franklin
We’re not quite positive if Benjamin Franklin truly said this but if he did, he’s an even better man than we originally thought! Beer brewing has been a popular hobby and profession for people for centuries and the taste of a perfectly brewed, tall glass of beer is unparalleled.
Organic beer brewing practices have grown in popularity over the past decade and the following is so substantial that annual festivals have popped up all over the nation. One of the largest is the North American Organic Brewers Festival in Oregon which has yielded thousands of visitors since 2004. While looking more into organic brewing techniques and farming versus traditional methods, it’s no wonder the practice is so popular.
“Many folks will affirm that organic beers are tastier than similar styles produced non-organically,” said Matt Simpson, a beer blogger and self described-beer sommelier, “Having tasted quite a few myself, I can tell you this sentiment is quite accurate. So not only are they healthier for the planet and your body, they’re often more flavorful.”
Until the 19th century, all beer was organic. Pinkus-Müller, a brewery in Muenster, Germany brewed the world’s first contemporary organic beer in 1980. In the mid 1990’s, organic beer made its debut in the U.S. and has continued to grow in popularity, becoming a $20 million market.
The biggest difference between regular beer and organic beer is the ingredients and quality of crop used. Hops and barley, plus other organic ingredients are grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. It’s somewhat common knowledge that organic agriculture strives to be more environmentally sound and friendly than traditional techniques, although that’s not to say that all traditional farming is bad. Organic farming cuts down on chemical runoff that contaminates water sources and ecosystems. On top of controlling runoff, organic fermentation beers are healthier and heartier without all the additives of pesticides and fertilizers.
A well-established organic farm can produce higher yields and provide more agricultural jobs per acre than conventional farming. Workers on organic farms are also safe from hazards of working with pesticides and herbicides.
Some truly believe that organic beer tastes fresher and bolder. If you’re concerned with what you put into your body then the extra cost that organic beer will set you back is worth it. Organic food and beverages alike tend to be more expensive because of the higher quality ingredients used to produce the food as well as the more manpower and labor it takes to maintain the crops.
12 Popular Organic Breweries:
1. Eel River Brewing Company –Scotia, CA
3. Pinkus-Müller -Germany
4. Butte Creek Brewing Company-Butte County, CA
5. Peak Organic Brewing Company-Maine
6. Lakefront Brewery-Milwaukee, WI
7. Samuel Smith-North Yorkshire, England
8. Elliot Bay Brewing Company-King County, WA
9. Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown-Chico, CA
10. Bison Brewing-Berkeley, CA
11. Deshutes Brewery-Oregon
12. Fish Tale Organic Ales-Olympia, WA
It’s very important to remember however that although consuming organic beer might be healthier and the taste might be better, it still contains alcohol so it’s best to consume in moderation like all alcoholic beverages!