Going green is on the rise and breweries across the nation have jumped on board to become more sustainable – and as beer drinkers we love it. But there’s some that have taken things a step further and gone organic. Like the produce you eat, these breweries are producing some of the tastiest beers around under their USDA Certified Organic label. The question is, why aren’t they filling up store shelves?
The process to become certified organic is more difficult than you may think. Finding organic hop farms that can constantly keep up with production demands can be tasking, not too mention having a constant supply of organic malt and organic yeast. Meeting the stipulations of an organic certification is rigorous and not always practical. Yet some craft breweries have managed to find the balance between organic supplies and production demands, achieving their organic certification and giving us another reason to drink good beer.
Speaking of good beer, here are four organic breweries you should be trying right now. Crack open a cold one and help drink to a better cause.
1. Hopworks Urban Brewery
Location: Portland, OR
While Portland may have a lot of good beer to offer, HUB is making them organic. This environmentally conscious brewery has been certified organic since 2002 and their brews show organic is the way to go.
Along with this being organic, they also put into motion a water initiative, have a zero-waste goal, and are biking fanatics. Oh, and did I mention they partnered with Patagonia to brew the Long Root Ale? Yeah, these guys are pretty cool. While you can’t pass on Long Root, give the Ferocious Citrus IPA a try.
And if you’re interested to see what farms they source their ingredients from, then check out their list.
2. Aslan Brewing Company
Location: Bellingham, WA
While Aslan may not have the wide distribution Anheuser-Busch does, anyone living in Washington who’s had their brews can attest they produce some of the best organic beers around. Exclusively brewing 100 percent certified organic, you can sip on anything they make and know it’s completely organic.
For anyone familiar with hop farming, you know how hard it is to maintain 100 percent organic hops given the availability of crops. Yet possibly it’s the fact they do have smaller distribution and work with local farmers that get them the hop quantity they need.
Regardless, try one of their beers and you’ll be blown away at the quality. It may be hard to choose just one from the line-up, but their Batch 15 is a must. The unfiltered American India Pale Ale has a citrus punch and enough hops to satisfy any hophead.
3. Jester King Brewery
Residency alert! Calling all Milkwood course grads – what are you doing this spring? The fine folk at @jesterkingbrewery in Austin, Texas are looking for a Milkwood grad to help develop their on-site farming systems this Oct/Nov. All expenses paid and yes that includes brewery access also 😘… . The application period is tight (it closes next week) but it’s a pretty stunning opportunity for someone who’s ready to learn, design, help and do! Link in our profile if you’re interested, and please pass this along to other Milkwood grad friends too ☺️. Good luck and cheers to the @jesterkingbrewery team! . #permacultureskills #permaculture #jesterkingbrewery #wildfermentation #kvass
Location: Austin, TX
This beloved Texas Hill Country Brewery became certified organic back in 2012 – as if we needed another reason to love them. This was a pretty big deal especially at the time because they were the first Texas brewery to become certified organic. The brewery tries to use as many organic ingredients as possible while also relying on well water and local yeast to give their beer its unique flavor. As if incorporating more organic ingredients wasn’t enough, their astounding facility is geared towards sustainability as they continue to thrive as a craft beer producer.
While everything they make is worth trying, I recommend their Drink’in the Sunbelt Hoppy Wheat Beer. It was their very first beer to adorn the USDA Certified Organic label and a thirst quencher at that.
4. Eel River Brewing Company
Location: Fortuna, CA
There is no way we could talk about organic brewing and not mention Eel River. This brewery was arguably the first organic certified brewery in the United States in 1999. They feature five organic ales in their lineup which are available in bottles in select states. While all will quench your thirst, give their Acai Wheat a try. It’s light, fruity, and best enjoyed on a hot day.