Green Beer - Our Daily Green

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Beer

Our Daily Green would be remiss if we didn't mention Green Beer on St. Patrick's Day. But we're not talking about coloring ales and lagers with food coloring. Instead, we're going to discuss locally produced microbrews.

from Hops Aficionado, the site for connoisseurs of craft beer,

The greenest option for beer is to drink the one that is brewed closest to your current location and is served on tap. Draft beer is packaged and shipped in re-usable kegs, plus it's served in glasses that are re-used, rather than bottles that typically end up in a landfill. Locally brewed beer dramatically cuts down on the amount of fuel consumption and pollution created by shipping beer across the country. An average beer travels over 1,000 miles from the brewery to your mug. 

In Northeast Ohio, the Great Lakes Brewing Company leads the way in sustainable manufacturing and brewing. In 2010, owners Patrick and Daniel Conway were awarded the Northeast Ohio Champion of Sustainability award for the decade. From the company sustainability statement:

Great Lakes Brewing Company is an environmentally and socially conscious brewer of award-winning, all natural beer. The care that goes into the beer resonates from a commitment to the community and environment, otherwise known as the "Triple Bottom Line". We believe the Triple Bottom Line is going to become increasingly important as people focus more on responsible purchasing. This commitment to sustainability is present in almost every aspect of our business including:
  • Reducing, reusing and recycling
  • Changing natural resource use from "Take, Make, Waste" to "Take, Make, Remake"
  • Implementing efficient energy practices
  • Investing in the community through non-profit organizations
  • Supporting sustainable urban renewal projects
The three waves in the company logo not only reflect this Triple Bottom Line philosophy, they represent a concerted effort to the respectful use of beer's most valuable ingredient - water. Since beer is over 90% water, GLBC understands that quality water translates into a great beer drinking experience, so only the best water from the Great Lakes region is used.

GLBC has been recognized by the Sierra Club for their trucks that run on vegetable oil as well as their recycled packaging. Breweries around the nation are taking initiatives to run sustainable businesses and give back to their communities. For a list of several other green breweries, refer to Triple Pundit's compilation of similar companies.  Seems like green is an apt theme with the three leafed clover business practices of People, Planet and Profit.

When you tip your glass today to celebrate the greenest holiday of the year, enjoy a brew from a local brewery. What is your favorite locally brewed beer?
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