Green(er) Beer

March 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Living green isn’t all about light bulbs and trudging out to the compost pile. Even our drink choices at the bar can influence our eco footprint. St. Patty’s Day is coming up and everyone knows that more than a few beers will be consumed in honor of this holiday here in Madison. Before you go pick up some beverages for this green holiday, read this blog to see how you can be drinking “green” beer this St. Patrick’s day.

Perhaps it is the luck ‘o the Irish, but living in Wisconsin includes being blessed with a beer-friendly culture. Because of this, it’s extremely easy to find local breweries serving up premium quality beer. If you don’t believe me, just check out this map of breweries in Wisconsin:

Sure, there are the idealistic, nostalgic reasons for choosing local beer: you’re supporting a Wisconsin tradition and implying that Wisconsin makes better beer than any other state. But, buying local “green” beer also has economic and environmental benefits.

  1. First, buying from local breweries supports Wisconsin’s economy and the livelihoods of workers in smaller-scale, local companies that might not have the benefits of large, nation-wide companies. Local breweries impact Dane county’s economy further by offering tours that attract tourists. Tours are not only fun for visitors, but helps beer drinkers understand and connect with where their beverage comes from, an important task that the sustainable food movement is struggling with.
  2. Second, buying local beer reduces pollution associated with the transportation and delivery of beer.  While a local beer such as Ale Asylum’s Hopalicious might be in the grocery store right next to that case of Bud Light, the distance they traveled and the pollution they created are vastly different.
  3. Third, local beers can be better for you. Smaller, local breweries have a closer relationship with all of the ingredients they use, which is already a step ahead of the big brewers. And some local, craft beers even use organic ingredients during the brewing process, resulting in a more natural beer with a smaller eco footprint. Just one example is New Glarus’ Spotted Cow. It uses unfiltered yeast, resulting in lots of Vitamin B and Potassium.

Drinking “green” beer is a more enjoyable experience too. You definitely won’t be sacrificing flavor when trying out local breweries. Craft beers made in local breweries are so varied that there is always something new to try, not to mention that many breweries distribute special beers during the wintry holiday months or during the summertime.

Consider going green this St. Patty’s day and try some of Madison’s local beer.  If you’re not sure where you can find some tasty local beer, check out REAP food group’s website,, to find a list of restaurants and bars serving local brews.

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Entry filed under: Beer, food, Holidays, other, tips.

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