Food & Drink

9 Environmentally Friendly Beers You Can Enjoy This Earth Day

It only makes sense to lift a pint or two on April 22 to celebrate Earth Day. Crafted from natural ingredients, beer is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks globally, and many brewers have embraced environmental issues over the years.

From pioneering recycling methods to reduce their waste to providing clean water to local communities, they have long embraced sustainability. That comes on top of the numerous local and national nonprofits that they raise funds for each year through the sale of specialty beers, on-site fundraisers, and dedicated donations linked to legacy products. 

Here are nine beers that you can crack open this Earth Day or any day, and know that you are helping make a difference.

Wicked Weed Appalachia Session IPA

Appalachia Session IPA is a smooth drinker with a low 4.7% ABV. It is the perfect brew to welcome the return of springtime weather and longer days. Brewed with four different hops (Amarillo, Citra, Mosaic, and Motueka), it packs more flavor than many other session-style beers out there. A portion of the proceeds from this beer helps the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservatory preserve almost 75,000 acres of native plant and animal habitat, clean water, and farmland.    

Ninkasi Brewing Company Cold Fermented Lager

There has been a recent resurgence of lagers in the craft brewing universe. Long relegated to the sidelines by their flashier and more exotic cousins, this reliable style is catching brewers’ attention. While Ninkasi is famous for their big bold IPA’s their Cold Filtered Lager is crisp and clean, just like the mountain waters used to make it. Long known for their charity and fundraising work, this Eugene, Oregon, based brewery also has upcycled over 40 million pounds of grain. Plus, they use solar power to help brew their beer.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids Kingdom Trails IPA

This Vermont-based brewery has long been involved in environmental causes that benefit numerous causes across the Green Mountain State. From helping fund statewide cleanup events to donating money to purchase lands for conservation, they have helped make a difference. Their Kingdom Trails IPA, a full-bodied beer with fruit and floral notes it’s the perfect brew to enjoy after a day on the trails. Lawsons’s donates a portion of its proceeds from its sales to the Kingdom Trails Association and the Vermont Land Trust to ensure a better tomorrow.

New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire Amber Ale

This brewing behemoth has been dedicated to environmentalism since its birth in 1991 in Ft Collins, Colorado. They divert 99.9% of their waste from landfills, power their brewery with wind and solar power, and have donated millions to climate and environmental causes through their membership in 1% For The Planet. Fat Tire Amber Ale, their flagship product, is the first nationally distributed carbon-neutral beer. Full-flavored with a nice malty backbone, it’s the ideal beer to enjoy after a spin on the bike.

Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River Pale Ale

One of the tipping point moments in the burgeoning environmental movement was the infamous Cuyahoga River Fire in 1969. That’s when one of the main rivers flowing through Cleveland caught fire, the thirteenth time the polluted waterway had burned in 101 years. Burning River Pale Ale pays homage to that moment. It also helps fund the brewery’s Burning River Foundation dedicated to improving and maintaining freshwater sources. A crisp and punchy pale ale, it’s perfect for sipping on a picnic next to a clear running stream.

Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager

Founded by three outdoor lovers in the heart of Boulder, Colorado, this brewery has embraced environmental causes from day one. Known for their no-nonsense labels and award-winning beers, their Craft Lager is a flavorful and sessionable pilsner-style lager that barely tips the scales at 4.8% ABV. A silver medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival, the brewery donates 1% of the proceeds from each can of the beer sold to Trout Unlimited.  

Rhinegeist Brewing Fruited Sour

This employee-owned Cincinnati brewery has quickly grown to one of the top 50 craft breweries in the United States since its opening in 2013. Dedicated to making high-quality beers that are approachable and fun, their Glow Fruited Sour is a flavor bomb. Hints of açai, prickly pear, and berries float up with each sip. They have been working on a sustainability program for the last few years that’s executed two wastewater projects and significantly increased their recycling. That is in addition to their Charitable Suds program that donates funds to several environmental groups. 

Alaskan Brewing Company Icy Bay IPA

Long recognized as one of the sustainability leaders in the brewing industry, Alaskan Brewing Company has embraced various measures to offset their footprint from day one. They ship their spent grains to ranchers in the Pacific Northwest and were the first brewery to install a CO2 reclamation system. They also use a mash filter press to reduce the amount of water, malt, and hops needed. Their Icy Bay IPA has a big hop nose and the flavor to back it up. Plus, the brewery donates 1% of all proceeds from the beer to Coastal CODE, an organization that promotes the health and sustainability of the oceans.  

Sierra Nevada Dankful Generously Hoppy IPA

This proudly independent craft brewer is one of the largest in the nation and one of the leaders in environmentally safe practices. Fueled by founder Ken Grossman each of their breweries are green machines. Their Chico, California brewery has over 10,000 solar panels, and their newer Asheville, North Carolina brewery was the first production brewery in the U.S. to be certified LEED Platinum. Their Dankful Generously Hoppy IPA is a beast of a West Coast IPA full of resins and hops flavors with a crisp aftertaste, ideal for cool nights. Best of all, they have committed to donating at least $1 million from the sales of the beer to nonprofits.

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