Posted on 11 July 2009.
Microbreweries across the states are going organic and it makes sense with so much public attention on all things organic. When you think about the original microbreweries and handcrafted beers of yesteryear the farmers didn’t depend on chemicals and pesticides to grow their crops. Their handcrafted ales were naturally organic because that’s how everything was grown back then. So why is it so difficult for some to imagine an organic beer? Getting back into the roots of how beers used to be made, breweries across North America are finding you don’t have to give up on quality to make a great tasting brew. Here are some of the Organic MicroBreweries worth taking a sip from, even a full pint – and some of the brews to try.
Bison Brewing – Berkeley, California
With just the right amount of malt and hops, the India Pale Ale (IPA) is well balanced and has a pronounced caramel, hoppy taste. Another great beer to try is the Chocolate Stout. With a full body, rich texture, and a definite chocolate flavor – it is very tasty. The Chocolate Stout is also the most award winning beer Bison has.
Butte Creek Brewing – Chico, California
Brewed with premium organic malted barley and hops the Porter is classically rich and robust. This dark ale has a crisp hop start and a smooth chocolate finish. No complaints here.
Crannog Ales – Sorrento, British Columbia, Canada
Formerly known as “Black Wolfhound,” the Back Hand of God Stout is lean in body and powerful in flavor. An unbelieveable bittersweet chocolately flavor with the slightest of coffee tones. From beginning to end, this is silky and smooth.
Eel River Brewing – Fortuna, California
Certified organic, the Açai Berry Wheat is the most recent addition the Eel River Brewing lineup. After introducing this beer to the summer festivals, it was running out faster than their best seller, the India Pale Ale (IPA). It’s a light bodied wheat ale brewed with organic Açai berries from Brazil, and a flavorful mix of four other organic berries. Refreshing on a hot day, the fruity berry flavor is upfront while the wheat holds the backbone.
Fish Brewing – Olympia, Washington
Only available October to March, the Fish Tale Winterfish Seasonal Ale is full-bodied and will warm you up in the winter. After the initial burst of toffee, the citrus notes start kicking in and finally leaves you satisfied after a peach cobbler taste, but without the brown sugar presence.
Hopworks Urban Brewery – Portland, Oregon
The Hopworks Organic IPA is truly a Northwestern classic with its signature light copper color. The hops are big and citrusy in this medium-bodied ale. It’s no wonder this IPA is highly rated with its flavors of grapefruit, pine and florals mixed with a strong dry bitterness.
MateVeza – Chico, California
The earthy aroma of this interesting beer is full of spices and small hints of roots and light grain. Overall this beer is a smooth and easy to drink. A slight hint of smokiness presents itself towards the finish while the mild fruitiness adds to the overall flavor.
Nelson Brewing Company – Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Unquestionably rich and silky, the pitch black Blackheart Oatmeal Stout has the comforting aroma of semi-sweet chocolate chips, cookie dough, and a bit of vanilla. Some coffee and oatmeal flavors peak through after the strong roasted malt and barley subsides.
Peak Brewing – Portland, Maine
Toasty with a hint of brown sugar, the Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale has a distinctive nuttiness with the sweetness of honey, maple and caramel. The typical coffee accent usually found in brown ales is casually mild and doesn’t deter from the overall beer. Then there’s the Organic Espresso Amber Ale that tastes more like something you can get at the local coffee shop than brewery. It’s full of coffee and espresso flavors with a mixture of burnt caramel flavors. This ale is full-bodied and sweet.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing – Santa Cruz, California
Dominated by the fragrance of berries, tart and sweet, the Olallieberry Cream Ale offers an unrelenting sweetness. The presence of the Olallieberry is hard to see unless you hold your beer to the light. Then the purple berry’s existence makes itself known with a slight pinkness. The only sad news is that it’s not being bottled yet, so if you want to try it you better head to the Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery in Santa Cruz, California to sample it.
Wolaver’s Organic Ales – Middlebury, Vermont
A seasonal ale with a great wheat flavor and mellow sign of citrus zest, the Ben Gleason’s White Ale is a salute to local organic wheat grower Ben Gleason. You’ll also find hints of spices such as pepper, coriander, and clove. This golden ale will quench your summer thirst.