Beer is made from barley, hops, yeast, and other ingredients heavily treated with toxic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers. In agricultural areas, many of the chemicals sprayed on crops filter into the groundwater and build dangerously high concentrations of toxins in community water supplies. This chemically intensive farming devastates ecosystems (killing at least 67 million birds and 14 million fish each year) and can cause serious health problems for humans such as cancer, reproductive disorders, respiratory ailments, and allergies.
Organic beer is made the same way, but under USDA standards at least 95 percent of its ingredients must be grown without pesticides. Organic farming reduces erosion, pollution, and water shortages by replacing agricultural chemicals with natural alternatives. Not to mention, well-established organic farms often produce higher yields and provide more agricultural jobs per acre than conventional farming. Since 2005, organic beer has had a 40 percent sales increase and is currently tied with organic coffee as the fastest-growing organic drink. Increased organic beer demand means greater funding and support for the organic farmers who restore the environment, empower workers, and protect animal and human health worldwide. It doesn't hurt that chemical-free, organic beer also happens to taste better.
Top Organic Beer Producer
Britain rightfully claims preeminence in the organic beer industry, but the number of organic breweries in the U.S. is increasing rapidly every year. Consumers are now provided with a vast and continually growing selection of brand new beer styles. While St. Peter's Organic English Ale and Samuel Smith Organic Ale are great-tasting imports, buying from local breweries keeps profits in your own community and reduces the negative environmental effects of long-distance transport. With as many organic beer brands as there currently are, you're guaranteed to find at least one that lets you eco-imbibe according to your individual tastes. Take a look at our article Where to Find Organic Beer for suggestions on specific beers you may want to try.