Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up, and we don’t want you to get pinched for not being in the spirit. So don your green attire, start collecting shamrocks, and keep reading for a new way to drink green this year.
Although Guinness and green-dyed beer might be staples for St. Paddy’s Day, they are not always the greenest options. Local microbrews are often the most eco-friendly choice, preferable to anything from a large national brewery or an import. In fact, did you know that a local beer only has about one third of the carbon footprint of an imported bottle? Beer and its packaging tend to be very heavy, making the environmental impact of transporting it across far distances greater than many other imported goods. Because of this, opting for a local brew whenever possible is the greenest option. As a bonus, you’ll get to support local businesses in your area!
With craft breweries popping up everywhere, there is an abundance of excellent local options, offering both classic and unique flavor palettes. Whether you’re an IPA aficionado, or looking for new ways to support local businesses and reduce your carbon footprint, Nexamp has you covered with our recommendations, from Maine to Minnesota.
- Maine Beer Company
- A Nexamp Community Solar customer, Maine Beer Company is brewing delicious IPAs and pale ales while reinforcing their commitment to the planet. The brewery donates 1% of their annual sales to environmental nonprofits, gives their spent grain to farmers, and is continuously improving their recycling systems.
- Bissell Brothers Brewing
- With locations in Portland and Milo, Bissell Brothers Brewing is crafting inventive brews while simultaneously doubling down on their sustainability commitments. The brewery has established community partnerships with organizations like the Maine Brewshed Alliance and Sebago Clean Waters to help bring about change.
- Oxbow Brewing
- Oxbow Brewing has locations in Newcastle, Portland, and Oxford and specializes in Belgian-style farmhouse ales. As a bonus, the company uses seasonal produce grown on the premises in the summer to produce their unique terroir-driven beers and reduce their carbon footprint.
- Riverwalk Brewing
- Riverwalk Brewing has a wind turbine and solar panels on their premises, and works with a hop supplier who doesn’t use chemical pesticide or pollute groundwater. The result is a high quality rotating beer list and demonstrated commitment to sustainability throughout the entire operation.
- Cambridge Brewing Co.
- Cambridge Brewing Co. prioritizes local, sustainable partnerships in sourcing their ingredients, bolstering the local economy and shortening the supply chain, all while consistently delivering a wide range of quality craft beers.
- Craft Roots Brewing
- Focused on sourcing ingredients locally and donating spent grain to nearby farms, Craft Roots Brewing is a woman-owned brewery that exemplifies sustainability in their brewing practices and churns out an excellent rotating selection of beer.
- Revolution Brewing
- Between their rooftop beehives which produce the honey used in beers like their Honey Jacket and the solar panels that inspired the name of their Sun Crusher summer ale, Revolution Brewing’s demonstrated commitments to sustainability are as numerous as their inventive brews.
- Galena Brewing Company
- Galena Brewing Company is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by ensuring spent grain goes to farmers rather than the landfill and implementing recycling programs throughout their operation. They do all this while brewing award winning beer like their Anna Belle’s™ IPA and Uptown™ Brown Ale.
- Wild Onion Brewery
- Located on 20-acres of restored land, this family-owned brewery is churning out customer favorites and inventive new creations, all while maintaining their sustainability commitments through homegrown hops, land restoration efforts, and energy efficient infrastructure.
- The Burley Oak Brewing Company
- Blending new and traditional brewing methods to create delicious and creative flavors, Burley Oak is determined to ensure that experimentation does not lead to wastefulness. The brewery works with local farmers to source ingredients and sends spent grain back to farmers to use as feed.
- Waredaca is focused on sustainability throughout their business, using locally grown grain and hops for their beer, limiting water usage in the brewery, and donating spent grain to local farmers, all while delivering crowd pleasing IPAs, lagers, and stouts to Montgomery County and beyond.
- Ten Eyck
- Owned and operated by female veterans and first responders, Ten Eyck is brewing high quality beer, cider, and non-alcoholic sodas on the Eastern Shore, utilizing local ingredients and giving back to the community through a range of local partnerships.
- River Horse Brewing Company
- One of the largest craft breweries in New Jersey, River Horse has zeroed in on their sustainability practices, from water conservation efforts to rooftop solar panels. They’re reducing their carbon footprint while brewing Belgian-style fan favorites and seasonal specialties.
- Flying Fish Brewing Co.
- Applauded for their sustainability efforts, Flying Fish Brewing Co. relies heavily on rooftop solar panels and diverts rainwater to a rain garden full of native plants that attracts native pollinators. All of this is accomplished while simultaneously brewing award winning beers like their Abbey Dubbel.
- The Seed: A Living Beer Project
- The Seed takes a new approach to beer, pushing the boundaries of brewing through their use of minimally processed local grain and other unique local ingredients. With their subversive approach comes a range of complex new flavors and a seasonally variable draft list that should not be missed.
- Otherhalf brewing
- With sustainability efforts that range from giving spent grain and hops to local farmers, to utilizing a heat exchanger to reduce utility consumption, Otherhalf’s environmental commitments are as extensive as their list of IPAs.
- Hudson Valley Brewery
- Hudson Valley Brewery is committed to supporting the local community and the environment by prioritizing local ingredients in crafting their IPAs, Lagers, Saisons, and Sours. As a bonus, the brewery relies entirely on renewable energy sources for their power.
- Swiftwater Brewing
- As a farm brewery, Swiftwater prioritizes local and seasonal ingredients in their tap room, a sustainability commitment that has helped them build their reputation for great beer and excellent food.
- Fulton Beer
- A top 100 craft brewer in the United States, Fulton Beer has come to be known for more than just their hoppy IPAs. The brewery’s sustainability efforts are admirable, from supporting local farmers by donating spent grain and being a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share pickup location, to reducing packaging by offering growler refills onsite.
- Angry Inch Brewing
- From the use of LED lights to the donation of spent grains to local farmers, Angry Inch Brewing has sustainability at the forefront of their business, all while producing an exceptional range of beers, sodas, and hard seltzers.
- Bang Brewing
- Bang Brewing is committed to using high-efficiency appliances and supporting renewable sources of energy. Powered 100% by wind, this brewery also offers a native prairie and wildflower pollinator-friendly beer garden where you can enjoy any of their delicious, organic ales and lagers.
Many small breweries have deep ties to their local communities, leading to a greater focus on sustainability and community support. With this local connection, microbreweries also tend to leverage natural and local ingredients, adding another layer of sustainability to their practices. Further, the Brewers Association is committed to providing microbreweries with the tools and resources necessary to identify and adopt sustainability best practices in their brewing processes, from donating spent grain to local farms to implementing water-saving technologies.
The sustainable practices employed by many local breweries, including those on this list, will help ensure that your Saint Patrick’s Day can stay green for years to come. Share a local brew with your friends or family this March to spread the festive green cheer.