With fall approaching, Oktoberfest celebrations all around the world will be kicking off soon. Here are some ways you can be good to the environment in selecting which beers you'll drink:
Support Sustainable Breweries
There are a growing number of breweries that are doing their part to minimize their impact on the environment.
New Belgium for instance, generates 15 percent of the energy it needs through an onsite process water treatment plant that generates methane from the brewery’s wastewater. The remaining 85 percent comes from solar and a wind power.
Organic beers are another way breweries are reducing their footprint.
Ukiah-based Butte Creek Beers makes organic pilsners and IPAs using barley and hops that are not genetically modified and free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Eel River, Peak and Wolaver’s also all make great organic beers.
Brew Your Own
For ultimate bragging rights, you can brew your own organic beer with materials purchased from your local homebrew shop. For truly sustainable brewing, be sure to buy local, organic ingredients (or better yet grow your own!); reuse equipment and supplies (even yeast); compost spent grains and hops; use biodegradable cleaning and sanitizing products and keg the beer (instead of bottling individually).
Drink What’s On Tap
Depending on the size, one full keg can divert up to 124 beer bottles, cans, or reusable cups from landfills. Even if all that glass, aluminum, and plastic gets recycled, consider all the resources it takes to transport, recycle and convert the raw material into new vessels. So next time you belly up, opt for draught rather than bottles.
Avoid Beers With Excessive Packaging
When you do buy bottles, avoid those with paper labels and foil wrapping. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you consider that 85 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. is beer, all those labels and wrappers add up.
New Belgium reports reducing its annual cardboard usage by 150 tons—consequently saving 174 metric tons of greenhouse gases—by minimizing the packaging in their 12-packs.