"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
After my posting about organic wines, I had a voicemail request from someone who requested to remain anonymous, asking "What about us beer drinkers?"
My initial response was this..."I hate beer".
But, I decided to be nice and do a little research and see what I could come up with for my hoppy friends.
Here's what I got for ya...
There is much more to an organic beer than just ingredients. In a truly organic beer not only must all ingredients be certified as organic, but also the production process used in brewing the beer must be certified as an organic process... the storage of the organic ingredients, the milling of the organic grain, the flow of the wort and beer through pumps and hoses, etc. The organic certification process is a rigorous inspection that even involves a check of sales records to determine if more organic beer is being sold than was produced. This inspection is completed annually. Only then are you allowed to declare that the beer is an organic beer. There are only 11 Breweries in the US that are certified organic.
Check out the sites below:
Peak Organic Beer (Based in Maine)
Otter Creek - Wolaver's (Based in Vermont)
Eel River Brewing Brews Up Organic Beer (Based in California)
American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) (New England Beer Festival)
Still need some convincing? Well, how about taking a look at your bottle of regular beer and seeing just what exactly your getting? Wait, beer makers aren't required to list ingredients.
Maybe you're getting more than you bargained for!
The additives that go into our beer make for grim reading. Isinglass, used for fining, is the industry name for ground fishes' air bladders. And two types of seaweed extract are used, namely "Irish moss", to clarify the boiling hop solution, and alginate, which helps beer retain its head. Sulphur, in the form of SO2, is a preservative (and a major cause of hangovers among the allergic) and the pure chemical form of vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is used as an antioxidant. Then there is caramel for colour, betaglucamate to accelerate brewing, enzymes to assist the yeasts and even salts and minerals used to correct the brewing water.
How does organic taste now?