Organic Beer, Session #13 Roundup

Organic Beer SessionOn March 7, 2008 people all over the beer blogosphere are writing about organic beer. This is a roundup of all those posts. It’s part of a monthly group beer blogging event called The Session. The theme for this month’s Session is “Organic Beer” and I’m happy to be your host. Pull up a stool, pour a glass of something organic, and enjoy the reading.

Appellation Beer. Does organic beer taste better, or should it? Stan Hieronymus, idea-man behind the Session, ponders this point with a pint of Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes and proposes that:

. . . beyond the obvious, there are other reasons to think organic ales might actually taste better. It seems . . . that a brewer who goes to the trouble or a barley farmer who goes to the trouble doesn’t view organic as a gimmick. Effort tends to make things better. Read more.

Barley Blog. A brew two-for, hitting both ends of the spectrum: A-B’s organic Stone Mill Pale Ale, and an organic Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout.

I had seen Wolaver’s Oatmeal Stout from Otter Creek Brewing on the shelves so often in the past that I am now kicking my self (seriously, even as I type this up) for not getting it sooner. . . I transmogrified into Count Chocula upon the first sniff from the glass. Read more.

Barley Vine. Ted pontificates about the meaning of ‘organic’ and ‘green’ prior to sampling a North Coast organic Plowshare Stout.

Smells of strongly roasted malts, chocolate, cocoa, coffee. The mouth is sweet malts, coffee, espresso . . . Read more.

Bearded Brewing Blog. Eric was first out of the gate for this session. In “My Organic Revelation,” he reflects on his own transition to organic homebrewing and how organic agriculture is helping to save small scale family farms.

. . . home brewers, craft brewers and enthusiasts, and organic farmers and brewers are creating a culture, and an industry that is doing things in the right way. . . Read more.

Bear Droppings. Thomas drops into his first Session with an Eel River Organic Porter.

Considering all the panic over hops and malt issues recently the beer was well within the normal range for craft beer prices so that was an unexpected surprise. Read more.

Beer at Joe’s. Coming in with the first video blog of the Session, Jasmine pairs up cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, Acme bread, with a Bison organic Chocolate Stout and Bison organic Belgian Ale.

Since moving to the San Francisco bay area, we’ve made a conscious effort to eat more of the organic food that’s readily available here . . . Read more.

Beer, Beats, Bites. Give it up for Greg! The poor guy gives us a complete rundown of organic beers in Ontario but because he always tries something new for Sessions, he puts in extra effort to get an organic Bog Water Dirty Brown Ale from Beau’s Brewing . . . and then he gets hit with the flu.

. . . a unique brew made with organic malt, spring water, and wild bog myrtle (or sweet gale), essentially making it a 100% organic beer. . . [but] I’ve got a pot of tea in the kitchen with my name on it… *sigh*. Read more.

Beer Dinners. Josh, a beer label designer, blogs about cooking with organic food and beer, providing some good links to web-based resources.

Looking for organic beer, but too lazy to actually go to a store to seek it out? Never fear, because Diamond Organics has mail order organic beer. Read more.

Beer Haiku Daily. Always one of my favorites, Captain Hops sums it all up in a haiku. He offers two this time, so I’ll share one and send you to his site for the other. Read them both here.

Saving the World
It didn’t take much
To help save the world a bit
I just drank a beer

The Beer Nut. After having a bugger of a time finding an organic beer in Ireland, and being annoyed by this month’s theme in general, the Beer Nut settles in with an Angel Lager from Broughton.

Leaving prejudice and apprehension aside, I’m rather enjoying it. Read more.

Blog About Beer. For want of any new organic beers to taste, Luke stretches the boundaries of this month’s theme (I was hoping some of you would do that) and announces some “green” plans from Smuttynose Brewing.

Smuttynose would like to create a more sustainable facility. . . ‘We’ve registered our project for LEED certification and plan to incorporate as many innovative technologies as we can, including geothermal heating and cooling, co-generation, gray water recovery systems and a low impact development site design.’ Read more.

Boak and Bailey. “Intra-Sessional” commentary has begun. These two British beer bloggers comment on an earlier post from the Beer Nut while sampling St. Peter’s Organic Ale, then move on for a revisit of the Duchy Original Organic Ale (made by Wychwood for the Prince of Wales) and conclude with an organic lager brewed with hemp extract called Biohanfbier.

. . . we don’t always buy organic, because there are other factors that are more important to us, like food miles. . . we haven’t had our perceptions of organic beer changed by this exercise, but it’s nice to know that it’s not all rubbish. Read more.

Bottles of Barley. Heath blogs about the improving selection of organic beers and settles in with a Lakefront E.S.B.

I was always looking to try organic beers from the first time I saw them. Unfortunately, I found most of them lacking. That has changed in the last 4 years or so as the range of organic beers has gotten better and, I think, the quality of the organic ingredients available for brewing has gotten better as well. Read more.

Brainard Brewing. Keith fondly recollects spending a day with the Dead drinking living beer – Orlio Organic IPA from Magic Hat, and calls organic certification a modern version of the Reinheitsgebot but with creativity allowed.

Beer is food, too. If you are into organic and natural foods, think about the beer you’re drinking. With the readily available organic brands of beer out there, it’s easy to choose organic beer. Sure, you may diverge every now and then. . . Read more.

The Brew Site. Jon says it was a no-brainer to choose Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes for his post today. Green Lakes is the first beer to use certified Salmon-Safe hops. Wow, that’s a new one on me. Thanks for the education Jon!

[cited from Deschutes via Jon’s blog] “The way these flavorful, rich hops are grown makes sure that streams are shaded and there is not runoff to nearby waterways. That way the rivers stay cool and clean for migrating salmon. Not only is our Green Lakes beer organic, it helps protect our rivers as well.” . . . The American Amber style is one of my favorites—malty and sweet and firm-bodied, with hops but not too many hops—and Green Lakes fits that bill in spades. Read more.

Brookston Beer Bulletin. A late entry from Jay delves into the details of the NOP rules and asserts that the rules ought to be stronger in order to avoid risking the loss of consumer confidence.

A company could use 30% of complete crap and still make a consumer believe their purchase is organically sound. Read more.

Buttle’s Beer Blog. Debating “organic versus” local, Buttle tries an Orlio Organic Lager and Samuel Smith Organic Ale and concludes:

. . . my foodie leanings trump both local and organic considerations. . . of course, in many cases, organic, local and tasty coincide. Read more.

A Good Beer Blog. Alan gets a taste of the organic Bog Water ale from Beau’s that Greg Clow was only able to dream about through his flu-induced haze over at Beer, Beats, Bites, and finds himself somewhat converted to what he had heretofore considersed merely a branding trend.

A thinking person’s brown ale that begs to be stored on bug laced rum cask for a while. Read more.

Great Canadian Pubs and Beers. A newbie to the Session, Troy passes on the obvious choice of his hometown’s Mill Street organic lager in search of new flavors, opting for a couple bottles from Pacific Western, the Natureland Organic Lager and Organic Amber.

. . . nice earthy aroma, fresh cut hay, cereal biscuity and a tiny hop presence. . . the Natureland Organic Lager is a winner in my books. Read more.

Gowanus Brewery. Jeremy, a budding Brooklyner homebrewer, tips back a Hefe-Weizen from the Pinkus-Muller brewery in Munster, Germany (which is purportedly the world’s first exclusively organic brewery).

It’s crisp and clean and could be perfect with a big BBQ cookout . . . Come summertime, I would be a happy man with a six-pack of Pinkus Hefe’s with me poolside and the hot sun above. Read more.

Hop-Talk. Having recently reviewed Magic Hat’s new line of Orlio Organic beers, Ron investigates the genetically engineered rice used in beers made by Anheuser-Busch.

All of the articles I have found are about why Anheuser-Busch isn’t pointing this out. I think it is pretty obvious… they don’t have to and it would wreck their advertising of “all-natural”. Read more.

Hop-Talk. This is a group blog, so co-blogger Al squeezed in a review of Wolaver’s organic Brown Ale in between obligations with wife and children.

I am reminded of nothing so much as the roasted soy beans I had last night. Read more.

Lager Blogger. Jason van Rassel at the Calgary Herald bemoans the lack of locally-produced organic beers in Alberta but also knocks organic beer in general.

. . . it’s a segment of the market that isn’t worthy of much consideration. . . Read more.

Ironically, Jason goes on to consider it at length. (Sorry, couldn’t help but knock back a little, Jason – I guess it’s “host’s prerogative” that I get to have the last word!)

Lyke2Drink. Rick reminisces about driving from New York to Vermont, staying in country inns and eating Vermont cheddar. Thus, he chose Wolaver’s Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, VT as his Session beer.

Wolaver’s Brown is one of those beers you could easily drink over the course of an evening, feeling good about how it makes you feel and how it treats the environment. Read more.

Matt’s Simple Life. Matt C. pours a Scarecrow Golden Pale Ale from Wychwood Brewery in Whiney, Oxfordshire, England. Then he drinks it. Then he writes about it. That’s the spirit, mate!

After trying an organic beer I honestly can’t tell you if there is much difference in an organic and non-organic beer. Read more.

Musings Over a Pint. Failing to find any locally-brewed organic beers in Virginia, David in relies on an Organic ESB from Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery to spice up a quick lunch of frozen pizza.

I probably subconsciously expected some organic sense to the beer, much like those organic breakfast cereals that end up tasting like milk-soaked cardboard. Thankfully, the taste profile was just beer, no cardboard. Read more.

Organic Hops and Rhizomes for Sale. Breaking from the usual Session format, Bart Rayne doesn’t have a blog at all. What he does have is organic hops and rhizomes for sale from his soon-to-be certified organic hop farm in Idaho. He contacted me hoping to get the word out to readers of the Organic Beer Session, so here’s the deal. He’s got Canadian Redvine and Cascade available, whole hops and rhizomes. Email Bart directly for details:

Seen Through a Glass. Lew Bryson follows the rules. And as he accurately points out, the rules were to write “something related to organic beer.” I phrased it that way hoping people would push the edges a bit and Lew really did, by writing about . . . a non-organic vodka.

360 Vodka is not organic. It’s sustainable, it’s eco-friendly, it’s really pretty neat . . . I’m not saying that organic is not obtainable, or a fantasy, or elitist: I’m actually cooking soup with mostly organic ingredients right now, and we get produce from an organic CSA. But low-impact and sustainable production, green production, is another, important angle. Read more.

Sophisticated Brews and Sustenance in the Windy City. Rob wins the longest blog title award! He says the Organic Revolution from Wisconsin’s New Glarus Brewing is:

. . . a nice beer, I’m not sure it’s a revolution . . . Read more.

That’s the Spirit. Professional beer writer Stephen Beaumont begins by recalling a “Night of Large Thirst” in Belgium and ends up reviewing a five-year-old organic Gueuze from Cantillon.

Truly, this is a beer that is elegant, appetizing and not the least bit apologetic for its organic-ness. . . And that last point is another piece of currency that should be, I believe, common to all organic products. Read more.

Think Beer. Jereme is a first timer at The Session and jumps in with no fewer than three organic beers, including reviews of Orlio’s Seasonal IPA and Brasserie Silenrieux Joseph Spelt Ale.

Typical Belgian phenols are present but are slightly muted. Some smell of pepper is noted and maybe even a little band-aid. Pleasant however is the pear notes that I would liken to a scaled down Delirium Tremens. Read more.

The Session Is the First Friday of Every Month
Tune in next month when the Session crosses the pond for a right British pint with Stonch.

30 Responses to Organic Beer, Session #13 Roundup

  1. […] month’s session is being hosted by Chris O’Brien of Beer Activist, who picked the topic and posted a round-up of what everyone had to say about organic beer.Before I get branded an Alberta redneck, let me say I’m a strong supporter of […]

  2. Hop Talk says:

    Session #13 – Organic Beer, by Ron

    This edition of The Session is sponsored by Chris O’Brien’s, The Beer Activist. (I just love his tag line, “Drink Beer. Save the World.”) Session #13 is titled Organic Beer

    Here’s a bit of context to help inspire your observa…

  3. […] out the full round up of Organic Beer posts for this […]

  4. […] beer dinner is. If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to our RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!This month’s session is about Organic Beer, and this month is hosted by the wonderful blog Bee… Already there are some wonderful blog entries from a wide variety of beer bloggers about many […]

  5. Hop Talk says:

    Session #13: Wolaver’s Brown Ale

    This edition of The Session is sponsored by Chris O’Brien at Beer Activist.

    Only beers verified by independent certifiers as meeting the legal organic standards are allowed to bear the USDA Certified Organic logo (the one up there to the left). …

  6. […] A question I ask because the topic for The Session #13 today is organic beer. Host Chris O’Brien has the roundup. […]

  7. […] beer bloggers of the world write about the same thing on the same day. This month’s session is hosted by Chris O’Brien the Beer Activist. The topic is Organic […]

  8. […] the meantime, Chris has a round-up of today’s Session posts over on his blog, and I’ve got a pot of tea (organic, even!) in the kitchen with my name on […]

  9. Wrathchild says:

    28 separate blogs. Good show.

  10. beeractivist says:

    Thanks to everyone for participating. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s views on organic beer. I will continue to post on issues related to this theme and invite your continued dialogue.

    Drink beer. Save the world.

  11. […] O’Brien has the complete round up for Session #13, and the turnout was […]

  12. Andreea says:

    great round up. interesting to see so many organic beers. missed this one 🙂

  13. […] The Topic for Session #13 Is Organic Beer Beer Activist is proud to host Session #13 on March 7, 2008. The topic is “organic beer.” [Read the roundup of posts here.] […]

  14. […] Session #13: Organic Beer Group Writing Project ended in the beginning of March. At least 30 people like organic […]

  15. […] bottles of the new Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon. Two bloggers wrote about this beer during last month’s Beer Blogging Session, which I hosted here at […]

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