Nature's Brew

When people talk about "green" beer, it's usually in reference to overindulgent St. Patrick's Day celebrations. But now you can enjoy "green" beer year-round and guilt-free.

Green Valley Brewing Company (under the Anheuser-Busch umbrella) brews Stone Mill Pale Ale and Wild Hop Lager in Fairfield, Calif. The company makes its Stone Mill and Wild Hop brews with 100 percent organic barley malt, hops, yeast, and water. The beers contain a light 150 calories.

Not only are the ingredients "green," but the method checks out too. Green Valley recycles much of the solid waste from the brewing process and turns the wastewater into a renewable fuel source. Currently, neither Coors nor Miller, the other big American brewers, sell an organic beer.

Wolaver's, brewed by Otter Creek in Vermont, is another proud organic brew. Its five certified organic varieties include the crisp and clean India Pale Ale and the dark Oatmeal Stout.

However, brewing an organic beer is easier said than done. Southern Tier Brewing Company, in Jamestown, N.Y., noticed the growing trend and pursued the organic route. They had to abandon the project because of a change in the USDA's organic standards in June that made organic hops much harder to find.

Support the rising organic beer trend by picking up Stone Mill, Wild Hop, or Wolaver's at your local bars, restaurants, or grocery stores. Six-packs of bottles cost about $7.99 each. No extra cost and no lack of flavor — organic beer tastes just as refreshing as its regular counterpart.


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