Celebrate Earth Day with beer

Today is Earth Day, which is kind of like the Superbowl for environmentalists. Even if you don’t like sports and hate millionaire athletes, you probably pay attention to football one day a year. Likewise, even if you are a gas-guzzling anti-environmentalist who despises everything about the word green, you can take one day out of the year to think about how your actions impact the environment. It’s not too much to ask. At least think about it.

This morning, as I sit in the comfort of my office typing this post, Mike Runion is probably somewhere just north of Tacoma pedaling his ass off. He hit the road before daylight. Behind his bicycle, a trailer containing precious cargo: beer. To commemorate Earth Day, Mike is transporting a 1/6 barrel of beer from 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor to the Latona Pub in Seattle. Yesterday we told you that the Latona Pub has been celebrating Earth Week by serving only beers delivered by people-power.

It’s Easy to Drink Green

Below we share a few suggestions on what you can do to celebrate Earth Day with beer. The list includes an event at the Noble Fir which actually gives you the chance to drink beer while contributing to a worthy cause.

On Earth Day, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that 7 Seas Brewing was the first Washington craft brewery to package its beer in aluminum cans. The environmental benefits of the aluminum can are indisputable. What’s more, aluminum cans are much easier to pack-in and pack-out if you’re looking to get out in the woods to get dirty.

I am keenly aware that many people simply cannot get over the whole “can thing.” I really don’t want to restart that debate. I’m not trying to change your mind on the subject, but whatever your opinion of craft beer in cans, you cannot deny that aluminum is a better choice from the environmentalist’s standpoint.

Consider drinking a can of beer today. Luckily, you can get good craft beer in cans.

The Big Toe

My friend Marcus once said, “New Belgium’s brewery in Fort Collins is a monument to green technology. It’s really impressive. And the wind-powered trucks they use to transport the beer from Colorado to Seattle are also pretty cool.”

His point was not lost on me. If beer has a carbon footprint, the big toe is transportation.

Someone else named Marcus once suggested that one of our local breweries should create a beer called Big Footprint Ale. The hops would be imported from New Zealand and the grains would come from central Asia. Everything could be shipped to Seattle on coal-burning ships. Brew the beer using all bottled water and fire the brew kettle with whale oil.

Why are people in the local beer industry named Marcus required to be smart asses?

You can make beer with all Washington-grown ingredients. What’s more, you can actually make it here in Washington. While a beer from Southern California might be really tasty, a beer from Port Townsend or Bellingham is pretty damn good, too. Even a beer from Oregon (boo, hisss) is a better choice in that regard.

Locally sourced, locally brewed beer might be a good choice on Earth Day. Just sayin’.

The Noble Fir Celebrates Earth Day

For Earth Day 2011, the Noble Fir devised a way for you to drink some beer and donate to an environmental cause. If you have yet to discover the Noble Fir in Ballard, perhaps Earth Day is an appropriate day for a first visit. If the REI flagship store in Seattle had a bar, it would be very much like the Noble Fir.

The Noble Fir teamed up with Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) for its Earth Day celebration. HUB is an extremely eco-friendly business. HUB strives for meaningful sustainability.The beers are organic, the brewery is eco-smart, and the pub serves locally sourced, sustainable foods. That’s great. Cheers to HUB. All of that green stuff is meaningless if the beers are bad. Happily, HUB’s beers are quite brilliant.

In honor of Mother Earth, the Noble Fir is hosting a “HUB Progression.” The progression of beers goes like this: for $13 you get 13 oz. pours of Crosstown Pale, Rise Up Red, and Deluxe Strong Ale. HUB donated a keg for the cause, so the Bonfire Session Ale will be $5 for a 20 ounce pour and all after-tax proceeds will be donated to the Washington Wilderness Coalition.

If you know of any other beery happenings on Earth Day, please leave a comment and let us know.


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  1. Don’t forget Seattle’s only certified Organic Brewery! Elliott Bay Brewing in West Seattle.

  2. Dan, We will be stopping by the Elliott Bay Brewery in a couple of hours to fill up some growlers with delicious Elliott Bay organic beers. Growlers of organic beer – that’s a way to celebrate!

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