|The Growler -|
An Eco-Friendly Way
To Get Beer!
Now that doctors are reasonably sure that a glass a day is probably good for you (as long as you don't suffer from alcoholism, truly a most inconvenient malady) the question is how to consume in a most environmentally-friendly way. As the saying goes: "Save Our Planet, For 'tis The Only One With Beer!""If you are planning to entertain friends and family this season, and plan to serve "adult" beverages, do a little research and plan an Eco-friendly bar. Here are some things to consider:
- Wine is the most Eco-friendly alcoholic beverage. Choose organic varieties which don't include preservatives. While boxed wine may not look classy, it is the most earth-friendly of wine packaging options. Glass bottles would be the next choice.
- If you're serving beer, cans are better than bottles because they weigh less which gives them a lower carbon footprint.
- Opt for liquors and wine with natural cork instead of synthetic corks or metal tops.
- Avoid frosted bottles. Chemicals are used to create them.
- Look for beverages which are distilled locally and check that the company uses minimal energy and water to create their libations.
- Serve drinks in glass rather than plastic and use glass straws.
- Use cloth cocktail napkins instead of paper.
- Use local, organic fruits and herbs in mixed drinks. And don't forget organic "munchies" to go along with the cocktails.
- Make ice in an ice tray rather than use the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator. You'll use less energy."
Cans and bottles are all very nice, but the best way to get beer ... if you're not going to get it on tap ... is with the "growler" - a large jug that that nice bartender fills for you from the tap. Growlers are re-usable with just a little rinse, so the environmental cost of packaging is very low.
When I have emptied my growler, unless I am filling it again that day, I fill it with water and close it up. That way, it doesn't get all groudy; when the time comes to fill, I just water the garden with the contents and we're good.
A growler is a small up-front investment (and makes a great gift!!!). You can get cheap ones for almost nothing, and they last a long time. After a while. you'll want one as in the picture, with a large handy handle and a self-capping top. This particular one came from Gallagher's Where-U-Brew in Edmonds (which is a very handy place to try brewing yourself, without incurring the risk of getting all the equipment.) I've used this growler for so long that the rubber seal on the top dried out. This was no problem; I got a replacement for less than a dollar at Sound Homebrew Supply. I usually get it filled at Big Al Brewing, which is a short walk away.
While nothing can beat the taste of beer right from the tap, one you start drinking from growlers, cans and bottles taste like soda pop. It's nice to know that it's environmentally responsible as well!