Our article on Green Beer urges readers to drink organic beer because at least 95 percent of its ingredients are grown without pesticides, and because organic farming replaces agricultural chemicals with natural alternatives. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic beer sales grew by 40 percent and reached $19 million in 2005; this increase led Anheuser-Busch, the nation's leading beermaker, to put two organic brews on the market in 2006 (one of them can be found on the list below).
You can raise your hypothetical glass to breweries that use alternative energy, recycle water, and conserve natural resources, if you want to. But for those of us who prefer to enjoy the natural, pesticide-free flavors of organic beer in a more literal sense, we need to know which brews to look for.
ORGANIC BREWS AND BREWERIES
Blackfoot River Brewing Company (BlackfootRiverBrewing.com): Helena, Montana. [North Fork Organic Porter; Organic Pale Ale]
Bison Brewing (BisonBrew.com): Berkeley, California. [Year Round: Organic India Pale Ale; Organic Chocolate Stout; Single Hop Organic India Pale Ale / Seasonal: Honey Basil Ale; Imperial Brown Ale; Pumpkin Ale; Gingerbread Ale]
Chuckanut Brewery (ChuckanutBreweryandKitchen.com): Bellingham, Washington. [Organic Brown, Golden, India Pale, and Red Ale]
Eel River Brewing Company (EelRiverBrewing.com): Fortuna, California. [Organic Raven's Eye Imperial Stout; Organic India Pale Ale; Organic Extra Pale Ale; Organic Porter; Organic Amber Ale; Organic California Blonde Ale; Organic Triple Exultation]
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. (LakefrontBrewery.com): Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [Organic Extra Special Bitter]
Butte Creek Brewing Company (ButteCreek.com): Ukiah, California. [Organic Pilsner; Organic Porter; Organic Pale Ale; Organic India Pale Ale]
New Belgium Brewing Company (New Belgium.com): Fort Collins, Colorado. [Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer]
Crooked Creek Brewing Co. (Anheuser-Busch/Michelob) (DrinkStoneMill.com): Portsmouth, New Hampshire. [Stone Mill Organic Pale Ale]
Peak Organic Brewing Co. (PeakBrewing.com): Portland, Maine. [Simcoe Spring Ale; Winter Session Ale; India Pale Ale; Nut Brown Ale; Amber Ale; Maple Oat Ale; Espresso Amber Ale; Fall Summit Ale; Summer Session Ale]
Deschutes Brewery (DeschutesBrewery.com): Bend, Oregon. [Green Lakes Organic Ale]
Fish Brewing Co. (FishBrewing.com): Olympia, Washington. [Organic Blonde Seasonal Ale; Organic India Pale Ale; Organic Wild Salmon Pale Ale; Organic Blonde Ale; Winterfish Seasonal Ale; Mud Shark Porter; Trout Stout]
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (SierraNevada.com): Chico, California. [Estate Homegrown Ale]