Ditch that Dollar-a-bottle beer in favor of these refreshing organic beers
I don’t think there’s anything else worth looking forward to, at the end of a long day, than kicking back with a pint of a good brew.
Ever since I graduated from college—and found a job that paid me a decent wage—I’ve expanded my palate beyond what the good ol’ University bar offers its patrons on a school night. Honestly, it wasn’t a difficult upgrade: Anything at the list sold for a buck is most likely not going to appease my then-improving taste.
Craft beers were the answer to my longing. I was taken aback by the amount of breweries that were in the Tristate area—where have they been all my life?
Excited at the new world that was opened before my eyes, I became a bit of a snob. Making regular trips to new locations whenever time allowed for it, sampling as much suds as I can, was—and still is—an on-going passion.
My first taste of organic beers was during a trip to San Francisco, at a bar called ThirstyBear Brewing Co. (661 Howard St, San Francisco, CA; thirstybear.com) They have the distinction of being the first and only brewery in the City by the Bay to brew CCOF- and FDA-certified organic beer.
Unfortunately, they do not distribute anywhere near my side of the east coast, so it’s only on return trips to the west will I once again enjoy their Kozlov Stout—a personal favorite.
But I’m undeterred. I paid a visit to my local wine and liquor store and found these four that more than satisfied both my need for new beers and my quest for organic brewskies.
The One Organic Beer That’s Great Warm or Cold
Nothing beats mulling over a glass of cider at the first snow of the year. (As I’m writing this, I am told to expect three- to five inches within the next day or two.) A great choice for those who need gluten-free options, this cider is lightly spiced with ethically traded cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup. J.K.’s Cuvée Winterruption Farmhouse Hard Cider, organicscrumpy.com
The One Organic Beer That’s Better than that Stout
What I like about this chocolate stout is that, unlike that ever-popular Irish mainstay, the ever-present chocolate notes hit you like nothing—making it a hefty beverage that is great drank by itself. Samuel Smith’s Organic Chocolate Stout, samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk
The One Organic Beer That’s Great with Food
I don’t know about you, but the only food I seem to crave during winter are those that are hearty. I can probably eat nothing but chili and Beef Bourguignon until spring and I’ll be a happy man. The Seizoen is an equally substantial seasonal-style beer that, although is rather fruity, is rich enough to stand up to stews. Logsdon Farm Brewery Seizoen Organic Farmhouse Ale, farmhousebeer.com
The One Organic Beer That’s Belgian
Belgium always has a special place in my heart, because my favorite styles of beer originated—or can only be made—there. The Forêt is a very drinkable farmhouse ale whose fizz reminds me of a fuller-bodied champagne. Be careful, however, this beer is not a lightweight at 7.5 percent ABV. Brasserie Dupont Forêt, brasserie-dupont.com