Normally, January is a good time to warm up with a Belgian style quadruppel, like The Reverend from Avery Brewing which I enjoyed last night at the Quarry House, in Silver Spring, MD where I live. But the winter weather this year is exceptional. In brief: it’s completely fucked. And so are we.
At 9am this morning I opened all the windows in the house. Weather.com says my neighborhood can expect to hit 73 degrees fahrenheit today, equivalent to the record high set in 1950. Today’s historical average is a mere 42 degrees.
The Washington D.C. area was recently reclassified as a southern growing zone, which is a very serious consequence of the warmer temperatures being caused, in part, by the greenhouse gas emissions from our use of fossil fuels. Imagine the impacts this has on agriculture. Hops and barley may no longer be suitable crops for growing in their traditional regions.
But as is true of almost all problems, good beer provides some solutions to Global Warming. In short, local and organic beers reduce dependence on fossil fuels by reducing shipping and packaging. I discuss this at length in my book, from which you can read a related excerpt in the current edition of Green Living Journal (which now has editions in both Vermont and Oregon). You might also want to check out the free monthly news magazine Natural Awakenings. The December issue ran a cover story on “Organic Brew”.
I think Avery’s Reverend quadrupel is appropriately named. It’s a big beer that demands respect and requires moderation in consumption (unless you want to get really sloppy, that’s your call). It warms the heart and befuddles the brain. Likewise, we all better start revering the power of nature to kick our asses when we over-consume fossil fuels.
On that note, today is your last chance to catch “Consume”, an exhibit at dowtown DC gallery called Flashpoint. Tonight Joe Lally, of Fugazi fame, provides a musical outro for the exhibit, dubbed “Look + Listen”. I’ll be headed there myself in hopes of finding free beer.