Microbreweries: 'Green' Beer

Unlike earlier crafted organic wines, organic beers are fantastically flavorful. Many craft brewers already make mindful business decisions based on minimizing environmental impact, and being socially responsible contributors to their communities.

Image: stevendepolo via Flickr


It’s still a male-dominated industry but more women are involved in the craft-brewing industry, both as brewers and business owners, than ever before. Bringing their social conscience along with them, they engage in their communities and drive the industry towards more innovative sustainable brewing processes that are as resource-efficient as possible. Waste products like “spent grain,” can be given to local farmers for reuse as livestock feed. Nylon malt bags can be used for gardening, sand bags and eco-construction. Wood bungs for kegs can be chipped into nutrient-rich garden compost. Pallets and slip-boards used to transport kegs can be returned to the distributor and reused.

Three of my favorites like Montana’s Kettlehouse, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing and Utah’s Squatters Pub Brewery, not only operate sustainably, but with female brewers at the helm. Montana’s lone female brewer is Colleen Bitter. Kim Jordan, CEO & Brewer and Lauren Salazar, Specialist are at New Belgium Brewing Company. Jenny Talley is Head Brewer at three Squatters Brewpubs. Deb Carey is Founder & Co-Owner at New Glarus Brewing Company and Carol Stoudt is President & Brewmaster at Stoudt’s Brewing Company. Teri Fahrendorf, an award winning Head Brewer at Steelhead Brewing recently completed a 15,000 mile American brewing adventure from coast to coast. Great reading for hop heads! She also founded the Pink Boots Society, Pink Boots Society which works to advance careers for women in the industry through networking and education. Read their women and beer section for fascinating lore about women in craft-brewing dating back thousands of years.

And, the list is growing! Other women currently in the craft-brewing industry are Leslie Henderson, Lazy Magnolia; Mary Rubenstein, Middle Ages; Kelly McElroy, Flying Dog Brewery; Jamie Martin, Moosejaw; Penny Pink, Portneuf Valley Brewing; and, Tonya Cornett of Bend Brewing Co., the first woman brewer to win the prestigious Brewmaster award sponsored by the Brewer’s Association, a craft-brewing industry group.

I’m keen to hear from women brewsters willing to share their journey in the craft-brewing industry.

Whatever your palate and whether you’re an English, German or Czech-style hop head, there’s much to choose from. Boutique brew pubs are springing up all over the country where you can enjoy some great grub along with craft ciders and sodas. Many operate sustainably as well like Colorado’s Blue Moon Brewing Company, Missouri’s Boulevard Brewing Company, South Carolina’s Coast Brewing Company, Oregon’s Full Sail Brewing, Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company, Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing,  .

And, there are more organic microbreweries than ever before. Here’s a short list of my favorites:

Bison Brewing CA

Butte Creek Brewing CA

Deschutes Brewery OR

Eel River Brewing Company CA

Elliott Bay Brewing WA

Lakefront Brewery WI

Peak Organic ME

Chug an organic beer to take care of the environment and your health – I’ve heard these brews can cure what ails you. Cheers!

You can comment here on this site, or connect and converse with me on Facebook.

All the best,

www.betteboomer.com  Marci Jensen-Middlebrook

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