Organic Oktoberfest: Celebrate With Organic Beer

Crafting foamy beverages in the spirit of a cleaner environment.

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Photo Courtesy Butte Creek Brewing Company

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Lift a pesticide-free pint in celebration of fall’s organic harvest. Taking a cue from more established British organic ale makers, American brewers are crafting foamy beverages in the spirit of a cleaner environment.

Fermenting change

Hops and barley are typically grown using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. “We’re committed to organic, sustainable grain farming,” says Max Oswald of Otter Creek Brewing, which makes Wolaver’s Certified Organic beers in Middlebury, Vermont. “We focus on environmental benefits, but the truth is organic grain is better quality, so it’s a perfect ingredient for craft beer.”

Brews with an organic head:

Check websites to find beers’ availability in your area.

Butte Creek Brewing Company, Chico, California: porter, ale, India pale ale

Eel River Brewing Company, Fortuna, California: India pale ale, extra pale ale, amber ale, and porter

Laurel Wood Brewery, Portland, Oregon: Free Range Red, Tree Hugger Porter

Wolaver's: pale ale, India pale ale, wit bier, brown ale

Nonorganic brews with environmental causes:

• Hawaiian Honu Beer donates some proceeds to the World Turtle Trust.

• The Great Lakes Brewing Company has a zero-waste policy and gives spent grain to farmers for soil amendment and cattle feed.