Celebrate Earth Day with organic beer

This Earth Day, express your support of green farming and healthy living by drinking organic brews. There’s a decent size selection available locally, all of which have been produced without preservatives, and when cultivating the grain and hops, natural techniques are applied to encourage growth, rather than chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

I’ll start with one of my favorite breweries — North Coast, a Fort Bragg, California beer sensation that produces a diverse line of impeccable beer, including two superb organics. Cru D’or is a Belgian style dubbel with nicely developed malt flavors and a clean finish. The organic stout, Old Plowshare, is light bodied with hints of chocolate and smoke.

Another of my favorite organic brews is Foret Organic Saison — a Belgian delight from Brasserie DuPont, the makers of Saison Dupont. Foret is an earthy brew full of peppery banana and biscuits, finishing with the dry spiciness of the illustrious Dupont yeast strain.

Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager is magnificent; light bodied and smooth, it is definitely one of the most drinkable all-malt lagers available in the local market. Samuel Smith Old Brewery also crafts an Organic Ale that drinks something like their Pure Brewed Lager Beer and an Organic Cider fermented with a wine yeast strain; it’s low carb, gluten free and high in antioxidants. Other organic ciders that can be found locally include Aspall and JK Scrumpy’s.

From England, there’s Scarecrow, an organic English Pale Ale from Wychwood Brewing, St Peter’s Organic English Ale, and Caledonain Golden Promise, all of which are available at Whole Foods.

German organic offerings include the delectable wheat brew, Edel Weiss, from Schneider Brewery and a slew of Pinkus Mueller varieties - the old Dusseldorf style Munster Alt, a crisp and bready Ur Pils, and a light bodied Hefe-Weizen with delicate wheat and tropical bubblegum righteousness.

Produced by Portland, Maine’s Shipyard Brewing Company, the Peak Organic line includes a Pale Ale, IPA, Nut Brown Ale, Pomegranate Wheat with Acai, and Espresso Amber Ale — an interesting, lighter bodied take on the coffee beer.

In addition to a year-round Pale Ale, Brown Ale, and IPA, Vermont brewery Otter Creek/Wolavers turns out seasonal batches of Oatmeal Stout, Farmhouse Ale, Pumpkin Ale, and White Ale.

Bison, an all organic brewery from San Francisco, California produces a Belgian Ale, Red Ale, Chocolate Stout, and IPA. April 25th; owner and brewmaster Daniel Del Grande of Bison will be at Craftsman House Gallery & Cafe in St Petersburg to promote Bison and to answer questions on brewing, organics & the environment. Daniel will also introduce Bison’s “Drink Neutral” program and show how you can “drink away your carbon footprint”.

Other organics from American microbreweries include Eel River Organic Amber, IPA, and Porter, Goose Island Organic Pale Ale, and Fish Tales Ales Organic Amber, Wild Salmon Pale Ale, and Fish Tale IPA.

So this Earth Day, do your part to save the world by supporting organic breweries. Cheers!

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