How to Make Green Beer

greenbeerI am a good Irish girl. My name is Megan. I love green. And for St. Paddy’s Day I will drink green beer. Not green colored beer because frankly the thought of that makes me a little woozy (and if I’m going for a green tongue, I might choose Pixy Stix instead). I’m not sure the environmental implications of a green Charles River, but I’m all for eco-friendly beer and whiskey: Local, Organic, Sustainable.

Think global, act local. Join a CSA. Become a locavore . These are pretty familiar concepts amongst the eco-conscious consumer and San Diego’s beer scene is exploding so “local” offers a huge range of craft beer. There are more than 25 local brewers (including my friend Graham) and you can find it in every neighborhood. Whether it’s for St. Paddy’s Day or on an average night out, check out the San Diego Brewer’s Guild and its list of brewers and affiliate pubs.

Lots of people are eating organic these days, but what about drinking organic? The North American Organic Brewers Festival in San Francisco would be an excellent way to eat, drink and be organically merry this June. In the meantime, I’m a fan of Deschutes Brewery and Santa Cruz Uncommon Brewers’ Bacon Brown Ale sounds…interesting. If you want easy: BevMo carries Brasserie DupontForet Organic Saison Ale.

Kona Brewing Company’s Oceanic Organic covers both Organic and Sustainable. And if you are lucky enough to live in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i…well you hit the green beer trifecta. Kona and Coastkeeper joined forces this year to bring delicious beers to our events and support for our clean water programs. We’re super stoked about it because Kona exemplifies the way that business decisions can reduce the environmental impact of things we consume. Disposable cups Kona uses at events are biodegradable and to-go containers are compostable. The brewery reclaims thermal energy in the brewing process. The pub recycles the heat from its air conditioner to heat water in the kitchen and condensation from the air conditioning systems for landscaping irrigation. They’ve reduced the amount of material in their packaging to reduce the weight and, thus, the carbon footprint for shipping.

Remember, whatever your St. Patrick’s Day ritual is, green beer goes with everything