Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Quick Green Beer Guide for St. Patrick's Day

The Green Miles will be at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Clarendon tonight. But what to drink? Here are a few quick tips for enjoying the holiday sustainably no matter where you are:
Drink Sustainably. Choose a beer from a Brooklyn Brewing & New Belgium Brewing get 100% of their power from renewable energy. California-based Anderson Valley Brewing & Sierra Nevada get significant chunks of their energy from solar power. Bison Brewing, Peak Organic & Wolaver brew organic beer. Among the heavyweights, Anheuser-Busch InBev got the top score in the most recent ClimateCounts.org assessment, making Bud & Bud Light the top big brand choices. Local Options: You can't go wrong at Restaurant Nora, America's first certified organic restaurant. Busboys & Poets, with two locations in DC & one in Shirlington, has Peak Organic on draft.

Drink Locally. Look for beers that were brewed in your area instead of trucked or shipped over long distances requiring large amounts of fossil fuel. Local Options: Dogfish Head, Yuengling, Old Dominion.

Drink Where It's Brewed. Cut your beer's carbon footprint even further by drinking at places that brew their own beer on-site. Local Options: Shenandoah Brewing, Capitol City Brewing, Rock Bottom.

Drink Draft: If all else fails, go with what's on tap. Most bars & restaurants don't recycle, so if you're drinking out of a bottle, it will likely end up in a landfill. But kegs & pint glasses can be reused hundreds or thousands of times.  
For a more detailed rundown, check out my 2009 St. Patrick's Day post. And as always, read Chris O'Brien's Beer Activist blog.
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