Drinking Organic

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America’s craft beer craze is in full-swing and shows no sign of slowing down. The Brewers Association estimates there are more than 2,400 craft breweries in the US, which is up from 89 in the late 70s.

So when sitting down for a cold brew at your local pub, or browsing aisles of beer at the liquor store, why not consider expanding your craft beer palette? Organic beers are not only friendlier to the environment and your own body than what we might consider a traditional cold one, but they also harness the fresh and delightful flavors of certified organic, and usually locally grown, fresh ingredients.

Organic brewers stress that going green won’t have to mean compromising those rich and unique flavors you know and love from your favorite craft brewers.

Because like Jack Nicholson said, “Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.”

Check out a few of these beers and give them a shot (in moderation).

You will not be disappointed, my fellow beer enthusiasts.

Eel River Brewing Company, Fortuna, CA

For Americans, this is where it all began. The company, which started in 1995, was certified organic in 1999 making it the first brewery of its kind in the country. Co-owners Ted Vivatson and Margaret Frigon produced their first environmentally friendly beer, Organic Amber Ale, and have never looked back. Not only do they produce strictly organic (and award-winning) beer, but the company also promotes sustainability through using recycled materials for promotional items, local products and ingredients, and renewable energy.

Organic Amber Ale, 4.8 percent, 13 IBUs
As Eel River Brewing Company's first certified organic beer, the Amber Ale is medium-bodied with a hoppy bouquet and a distinctive rich taste. A caramel-like sweetness is balanced with a liberal dose of certified organic hops for a pure taste with pure ingredients.

Bison Brewing, Berkeley, CA

Founded in 1989, Bison brewing became the first B Corp certified brewery in the world 14 years later. To be a certified B Corp, companies must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance accountability and transparency. In order to meet these standards, Bison sources certified organic ingredients and uses recycled and non-GMO packaging, among making other environmentally- friendly and responsible choices. Although its credentials on paper are impressive, Bison’s robust and flavorful brews will impress you even more.

Organic Honey Basil Ale, 6.0 percent, 12 IBUs
Bison’s Honey Basil Ale carefully infuses caramel malts with fresh whole leaf basil and clover honey, creating an herbaceous, floral and virtually hop-less beer with a soft wisp of honey and just a hint of basil aftertaste.

Peak Organic Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Pulling from locally produced organic farms, co-founder and brewer Jon Cadoux specializes in bringing out all of the naturally delicious flavors Mother Nature has to offer. Starting as an amateur brewer’s dream in the 90s, Cadoux turned Peak into a reality and has been offering beer-lovers an exceptional home-grown experience ever since.

Hop Noir, 8.2 percent, 98 IBUs
Hop Noir is a delectable Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences.

Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, WI
In true Wisconsin fashion, Lakefront grew legs by the continued love for the art of brewing established by generations before the brewery’s current owners Russ Klisch, and his brother Jim. In 1987 Russ and Jim sold their first barrel of beer to a local pub, and since then their popularity has only grown. The Klischs offer a few organic varieties, but have outdone themselves with their organic AND gluten-free New Grist.

New Grist Pilsner, 5.1 percent, 13-17 IBUs
New Grist pours a brilliant gold color, with a bubbly head and light, fruity aroma. The flavor is crisp and refreshing, fruity and smooth at the same time. Hints of green apple slice through the maltiness of the sorghum, making this an extremely quaffable beer.

New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO

Perhaps more readily available and easier to find is New Belgium’s newest organic lager, Patagonia California Route. To toast Patagonia on its 40th anniversary, New Belgium teamed up with them to create this fruity and refreshing brew, in which all proceeds go to helping victims of last years’ floods in Colorado. California Route will make the environment, your body, and your conscious feel good. A triple-threat? Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Patagonia California Route, 5.5 percent
Boasting a California lager yeast with subtle fruity esters and a refreshing and light lager finish, California Route is canned for adventure. Crack one and inhale an aromatic blast of citrusy Cascade hops and heavy dose of Nobel Hallertau. The addition of organic Munich specialty malt will build complexity with hints of freshly baked bread.

**Samantha Fischer is an editor for Natural Solutions and Alternative Medicine. When she isn't fulfilling editorial duties, she enjoys reading, running, laughing, and adventuring.**