Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This Beer is Turning Me Green

So, I love the environment as much as anyone else, but I'm generally not the hugest fan of organic beer. It's not that some of it isn't good, its just that "Green" and "Organic" are sometimes turned into marketing terms to sell beer to the Inconvenient Truth fans of the world. To me, the real environmental impact of beer comes from the shipping and distribution. So, its never made much sense to me to buy an organic beer for environmental reasons and then have it shipped from the UK, you know?

That being said, I loved this new beer from Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Oregon called Green Lakes Organic Ale. Do I like it because its organic? No, I like it because it's a damn good beer.

It pours a pretty orange / amber with some citrus on the nose with touches of rose petal and plum. The first taste is tart with toasty pecans in the middle followed by a nice hop bitterness and dry finish. My first thought was that I liked this beer better than their flagship beer Mirror Pond, and my second thought was that this was a great session beer. At 5.2% abv, I could drink a lot of these!

Now for the organic part. After working with Oregon Tilth, a nonprofit research and education membership organization dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture, Deschutes received organic certification for its 50 barrel brew house and can now brew organic ales year-round.

This award winning beer (Gold Medal at the 2008 World Beer Championships) was brewed with five types of 100% organic malted barley and balanced with Liberty and Salmon-Safe Sterling hops. The way these flavorful, rich hops are grown makes sure that streams are shaded and there is not runoff to nearby waterways. That way the rivers stay cool and clean for migrating salmon.

That's pretty cool. Its good to be kind to the fishies. Am I becoming green? This beer is definitely helping me get there.

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