Green Beer – Not Just For St. Patrick’s Day
Anderson Valley Brewing Company; a solar powered, environmentally friendly brewery in Mendocino, California. Many have the perception that a “green” business equals pricey products. But with more and more businesses hopping on the green wagon, that doesn’t seem to be the case, especially in California, where they know how to be environmentally-friendly and affordable at the same time.
Anderson Valley is using their PV solar panels to cover 40% of their annual energy needs. While this may not seem like a lot, remember that brewing beer is not light on energy consumption. Large boilers and heat exchangers work hard to heat the wort (the mixture prior to fermentation), hold it at a boil for 1 to 2 hours, and then cool it quickly. Larger-scale breweries that are constantly making batches of beer have developed a more efficient way of heating and cooling. Pipes running side by side take the cool water as it goes into the tanks on one side and pass it by the heated wort as it exits another tank. This heats the water that is about to be boiled, and cools the wort that needs to get down to 70 degrees prior to beginning its fermenting process. As much as brewing beer has not been a green process in the past, it is refreshing to see breweries making the step. And it’s not just the hippies out in California, Coast Brewing Company out of Charleston, SC is located in a sustainable community, uses local and organic ingredients and runs their brew kettles on biodiesel.
Although breweries are finding ways to deal with the excessive energy use, water is still an issue in the less-rainy areas of the country. I find it ironic to think about the clever saying “Save Water, Drink Beer.” It actually takes 6 to 8 gallons of water for every gallon of beer produced. If you really want to save water, just drink water. But then, what is the fun in that?
If you think that Anderson Valley is spending it’s energy trying to save energy instead of creating tasty beverages, think again. Their beers are full of flavor and made with the finest ingredients grown in the nearby Pacific Northwest. One of my favorite beers of all time is their Poleeko Gold Pale Ale. Some pale ales can be overly hoppy, or too light. This one is just right, balanced and full bodied with a slight dry citrus flavor and a crisp light finish. If you are an IPA fan, try Hop Ottin’ IPA. This big, hoppy beer is a hop-lover’s dream. 80 IBU’s in this sucker.
So there you have it. You can be environmentally friendly and make a damn good beer at the same time. If you want to check out some of Anderson Valley’s fine brews, you can find them online at http://www.decantedwines.com or in store at Decanted Wines, 1410 Pine Ridge Rd, Naples FL 34108
Poleeko Gold Pale Ale $2
Boont Amber Ale $2
Hop Ottin’ IPA $2
Special: $10 six packs. Online order code BEER. Expires 7.7.10 http://www.decantedwines.com