You may have heard the term more than once at various functions, parties and clubs, but you’ve probably never really looked into what a microbrewery really is. Maybe you didn’t really care because the beer was good and you had a wonderful evening with friends, but did you know that the microbrewery is closely aligned with the new greener trend in economics that brings the power of manufacture and distribution to an increasing smaller corporate entity and, thus, facility? These beverages are usually made with organic processes that have been proven over the thousands of years we as a species have been brewing alcohol. So again, what is a microbrewery? Why is it a greener option for you? Why is it tied to the future?
Microbreweries are defined by many different qualities, and those qualities are as relative as the country they base their operations in. Microbreweries began in the United Kingdom, and they filled a vacant niche by providing a smaller portion of the population the opportunity to purchase a quality product for a small increase in price. Nowadays, microbreweries are popping up everywhere, but even with their popularity, not much is known about them or their operation.
In the early eighties, it was originally determined that microbreweries were breweries with a capacity to brew less than three thousand barrels. Of course, as time passed and the general public became enamored with the consistently good product being supplied by the microbreweries, their popularity soared. Within a decade, the industry in North America alone nearly tripled, forcing a redefinition of what a microbrewery actually is. Due to the increase in industry, the capacity that a microbrewery could brew and still have the “micro” status rose to a whopping fifteen thousand barrels of beer.
Microbreweries are also known to serve smaller geographical areas. However, with the popularity of microbrewery beers, the distribution of product has greater potential for national, and even international, sale. Currently, in the whole of the United States, a microbrewery is allowed to produce up to one million hectoliters of ale a year and still retain their unique standing. So, really, with this figure in mind, microbreweries don’t actually have to be so “micro.” These little breweries now produce a wide assortment of beers from domestic recipes to international favorites, but the majority of their product is referred to as Craft beer. Craft beer is common to microbreweries and is brewed without rice or corn.
Production levels determine the status of a brewery, but location can also be important for this particular industry. Where do you find the elusive microbrewery? Microbreweries of course exist as breweries in the classical sense, they just do not have the size of a major brewer. Because of this, you can be lucky enough to have a microbrewery right in your own neighborhood. There are even many restaurants that have their own microbrewery to tantalize their customers’ taste buds. Now you can order a meal and a beer made under the same roof.
Of course, people did this over seven hundred years ago in England, but the art of small time brewing was lost when we decided that bigger is better. In addition to restaurants, you can also find public houses attached to the breweries, again like England of old. You could of course do this with any brewery, but the niche market of organically brewed beer plays better for the audience. This is what ties this industry to a rich history that dates back to the thirteen hundreds and also what will propel this unique art form into the future.
We are in a time of conservation where we are attempting to rectify for years of blissfully ignorant abuse to the planet. Looking to get your Friday night beers from your local microbrewery has more than just a few positive effects on the future of this planet. Using organic methods of brewing keep the processes free from chemicals and other potentially dangerous effluents, and it keeps any run-off that may reach the water supply as naturally safe as possible. By reducing the square footage of a facility and keeping small production numbers, it reduces energy usage and storage requirements. By nature of this reduction of physical size, there is an immediate reduction in the size of the brewery’s carbon footprint. Microbreweries also support a smaller market, both in the physical breadth of their distribution network and the head count of their customers. This places the microbrewery at the head of a new commercial wave that is sustainable and more accountable to their customers. In this new economy, we will see the creation of more microbreweries, not less. In fact, many people are taking the microbrewery movement to heart and heading home to brew their own beer. The return of the microbrewery has democratized the industry, allowing us to sample what we would like in a cozy tavern atmosphere or in the privacy of our own homes. Microbreweries really have had a tremendous effect on our society and our planet as a whole, and will do so for many years to come.
It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and you’re getting ready to watch some football on the big screen in your “man cave.” Or maybe you’ve had a long, hot day working outside, and you want nothing more than to cool down and relax. What is the perfect beverage for both of these situations, and for countless others…well, beer, of course. Beer has become one of the most imbibed alcoholic beverages not only in the United States, but in many other countries, too. It’s a refreshing beverage that helps you to cool down and to get rid of the stress that may have been plaguing you all day. But if you’re someone who is interested in going green, specifically in purchasing only things that are sustainable and that support the environment, how can you go about getting green beer?
You’ll find tons of green beer when St. Patrick ’s Day rolls around, but that isn’t the type of beer that we’re talking about when we talk about green beer. That beer is merely colored with green food coloring, it isn’t actually “green.” If you start looking for green, or organic wines, you’ll quickly find that there are many available. Unlike the wine industry, however, the beer industry has not made as many eco-friendly improvements. It can actually be very difficult to find beer companies that have gone organic. There are a number of reasons why beer companies have not gone organic. The fact is that there may not be enough hops that are considered certified-organic; there may not be enough organic barley, or maybe there simply isn’t enough demand yet for beer that is organic. Whatever the reason, organic beers are definitely difficult to find. If you’re interested in drinking organic beer, however, you can find them, as long as you are willing to do some research, and follow these tips.
One of the easiest ways to find organic beer is to actually look to organic ale. You can find many more ale products that are organic than products labeled as organic beer. These products are made by ale-making companies and are usually offered only at specific times of the year. Whether you know it or not, hops and barley have a season, and it’s simply easier to get the right organic materials during that window of time.
Another tip is to actually look for local brewers! If you look around, you may find that there are a lot of local brewers in your area that actually brew organic ale or beer. This means that you’ll not only be able to go green with your beer consumption, but in the process, you’ll also be supporting local small businesses. When you purchase from brewers in your area, you’re not just supporting the owner, you’re actually supporting the entire community because you’re helping to pay for the workers as well as the growers. It’s true that it can be more difficult to find local growers than to purchase beer from the big growers in the area, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. With a little searching, you should be able to find one or two brewers in your area that make organic beer or ale. Start a trend – a new theme – spread the idea of organic beer and get folks to thinking about how to do it. Challenge your local breweries to come up with eco-friendly ideas where beer is concerned.
Even if a local grower isn’t making organic beer, you’re still helping to support the environment if you buy from them. This is because local growers consume far less energy than big businesses; and since long-distance shipping is unnecessary, it cuts down on the amount of fossil fuels that are usually generated by delivery trucks, which definitely helps the environment. So while these growers may not be certified as organic, they’re can definitely be eco-friendly.
Another way to find organic beer, if that’s what you’re looking for, is to go online. There are a number of companies that you can find online that sell organic and eco-friendly beers. These companies are more likely to sell their products online than in a store because they can reach a much wider target audience. You may be surprised to find that a company you actually know and patronize offers organic products that you didn’t even know about as they only sell them online.
You could, of course, create your own beer. Making your own beer isn’t really that difficult. If you have the patience to search for organic hops and barley, and to wait while the beer ferments, you’ll know exacty what you’re drinking, and that it is not only organic but that it is better for you. Remember: you don’t have to settle for drinking non-organic beer if you don’t want to!
What is better, after you’ve had a long, hard day at work, than sitting down and relaxing with a glass of wine? Wine has become very popular, and many people believe that dinner isn’t complete unless they have a glass of wine with their meal. If this is the case for you, then you may want to learn a bit about organic wine. Many people are discovering that they want to drink organic wine. They realize that by not drinking organic wine, they may actually be harming their bodies.
For a very long time, doctors have said that it’s actually a good idea to have a glass of wine with dinner. Wine can help to lower cholesterol and to make your heart healthy – consumed in moderation, of course. Why then, would drinking non-organic wine be bad for you? Wine is made from grapes, and grapes are grown. For decades, farmers and wine growers have used a number of different types of chemicals to help them grow their grapes. These chemicals range from fertilizers to pesticides. People always thought that these chemicals were harmless, but that’s not the case. In reality, pesticides and sulfites that are added to the grapes during the growing process in the form of fertilizers are actually bad for the body. There are many studies that are currently being conducted about the effects of these types of chemicals on the body, and so far none of the results look very good.
Organic wines are made without the use of fertilizers or pesticides that contains chemicals. The grapes for these wines are grown in wineries that are chemical-free. They may use pesticide, but the pesticide has to be completely free of chemicals and made of only natural materials, such as vinegar. And for fertilizer, they are not allowed to use chemicals there either. They can certainly use a fertilizer, such as compost or manure, but they can’t use any sort of chemicals in the growing process. This can make growing the grapes a bit trickier, and therefore, more expensive. This may be one reason why many people don’t look for organic wines; but organic wines are actually much easier to find now, and the cost is more competitive as well.
Getting Organic Wine
In order for a wine to be considered organic, it has to be treated very carefully once the grapes are picked. The grapes must be hand-picked and there must be no more than 100 ppms (parts per million) of sulfite added to the wine. When you purchase wine that is not organic the sulfite level is usually twice as high as that of organic wine. This makes organic wine much more heart healthy and better for you overall. But how do you find it?
Head to your local grocery store and look on the shelves. You may be surprised to find that you can actually purchase some very good organic wines there. The selection may not be very large, because many grocery stores have limited shelving available to stock liquor and wine; but you should be able to find a few different types of wines that are considered organic. Another place to check is your local liquor store. Liquor stores, especially in larger cities, are now carrying a wide array of organic wines, which is great because you’ll be able to compare several different brands and vineyards. If they only carry a few different types of organic wine, ask the owner if they would consider selling more and explain why they’re so good for the body. They may work with their supplier to put more organic wines in their product line, which would be perfect for you.
If you have a hard time finding wines locally, you can always go online to see what’s available. There are some states that do not allow wine or other alcoholic beverages to be shipped into the state, but many states do allow wine to be shipped. If your state allows wine deliveries, you can go online to find vendors that sell organic wines. The prices on these wines tend to be very competitive simply because they have a very large customer base. But how do you know if you’re going to like the wine? As with any wine, it’s a matter of preferences. Start by reading wine journals and looking for online reviews about the wine that you’re thinking of buying. These will help you figure out whether or not you might like the wine by giving you their opinion of the flavors in the wine, and sharing the other characteristics of the wine such as its finish, body, bouquet, color, and clarity. If you’re interested in exploring organic wines, choose one and give it a try. It could be very good for you.
There’s nothing like sitting on your couch or at your table, after a long day at work, and downing a beer. Or maybe you’re someone who likes to have a beer only when you eat pizza, or only when a great football game is on. Beer has become the number one alcoholic beverage for people in the United States and it’s no wonder why – it’s affordable, tastes good, and it helps you to relax after a long day at work. Many people are now into making their own beer. It’s actually very simple and can be very rewarding. You can also make organic beer, which is not only rewarding, but good for your body.
Before you can make organic beer, you need to know what organic beer actually is. Organic beer is made using products that are considered to be organic, which means that they have no chemicals in them. While you do need yeast to create a chemical reaction when you make beer, you do not need to get barley or hops that were grown with pesticides and with artificial fertilizers. Instead you can use barley and hops that are considered to be organic – you can purchase them online or you may be able to purchase them from a local farmer. The rest of the process is actually very similar to the one followed in a brewery.
Making Your Own Beer
There are a few things that you need to have in order to make your own beer. The first is a ten gallon “food grade” plastic pail that has a tight-fitting lid. The next is a siphon hose, around 74 inches long, and a hose clamp. You’ll also need twelve 2 liter plastic bottles with tops and a hydrometer. And, of course, you’ll need a very large pot. All of these products can be purchased online and you may be able to find many of them locally. Just make sure that everything is thoroughly cleaned before you begin your beer making process, boiling what can be boiled and thoroughly scrubbing and rinsing out those items that can’t be boiled.
Once this is done, and everything is sterilized, it’s time to start your beer making process. First you’ll need to gather your ingredients. Malt extract is one of the most important. You can find malt extract online and you can find “organic” malt extract as well. The type of extract you purchase depends on how your beer will be flavored. If you want to make organic beer, it’s essential that if you purchase “pre-hopped” extract; you confirm that it is definitely organic.
You’ll also need brewer’s yeast and sugar. Some malt comes with yeast, so you may not need to purchase any separately. Make sure that you find out if the malt actually has any yeast with it before you go out and purchase more. You can also use two cans of extract instead of using sugar. This will make the beer taste much better, but it will be more expensive.
Once you’ve sanitized everything, using one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water, it’s time to brew. In order to brew, you simply need to pour ten liters of cold water that is fresh (the fresher the better) into the plastic pail that you’ve purchased and cleaned out. Then bring seven liters of water to boil on the stove in your large pot and add the malt extract to it, allowing it to boil uncovered for twenty minutes. Once it has boiled, add the sugar and let it dissolve. Stir it gently, but enough so that it definitely dissolves.
Once the sugar has dissolved, it’s time to pour your heated mixture into your pail. Make sure that you pour the contents into the pail very quickly in order to infuse a great deal of air into the mix. The more air you get into the mixture, the better. This allows the yeast to do its job very quickly. Fill to the top of the barrel by adding some bottled drinking water or some tap water, and stir until the mixture is room temperature; then sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Mix it thoroughly and cover the pail loosely with the lid. Avoid opening the pail if at all possible; and make sure that you keep it at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. A hydrometer will let you to know when the beer is ready, which could be anywhere from six to ten days. Once the beer is ready, it’s time to bottle your organic beer. Make sure you put two teaspoons of sugar into each two liter bottle and try not to splash it too much when you’re putting it into the bottles. And that’s it, now you have your own organic beer!