Brew goes organic

Green beer is no longer just for St. Patrick’s Day. As the desire for organic food continues to grow in the U.S., the beer industry is also looking to break into the market. While sales of organic beer are still only a small fraction of the overall beer industry, they have grown from $9 million in 2003 to $19 million in 2005.

According to the Organic Trade Association, the 40 percent sales increase of organic beer ties with organic coffee as the fastest-growing organic beverage. Even the nation’s largest beer company, Anheuser- Busch, has starting producing two types of organic beer: Wild Hop lager and Stone Mill pale ale.

Organic beer is made with organically grown hops, malts, barleys and natural yeast. The guidelines for organic beer are the same as for all organic foods: The ingredients must be grown without toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.

Are there any advantages to drinking organic beer? Well, not so much, but the absence of toxic pesticides and fertilizers do make organic beer more body-friendly. Also, some brewers believe that organic ingredients create better beers because organic malts and hops have no chemicals to interfere with the fermentation process.

GIVE IT A SIP: recommends Wolavers Organic Beer or Butte Creek Organic Beer.

Kendall Sale may be contacted at