What is the best way a beer geek can celebrate Earth Day? By imbibing organic beer, of course!
On April 21st, Beer Revolution, Downtown Oakland’s most popular craft beer bar and bottle shop, invites you to celebrate organic beer and the brewers that make them! In honor of Earth Day, organic brewers from up and down the West Coast will be hosting their own “Organic Beer Revolution” at Beer Revolution, taking over its 40+ taps with a rebellious array of organic craft beer.
Technically speaking, non-organic beer is a modern-day phenomenon. All beer was organic before World War II, when the development and use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides began. Nowadays, organic brewers are an anomaly. But don’t let being an anomaly conuse your perception of organic craft beer. Same equipment, same process, same brewing talent required – the only thing that differentiates organic craft beer from its conventional counterparts is the earth-friendly agricultural practices used by organic farmers.
“Some people hold the misconception that organic craft beer is inferior to its conventional counterparts — which couldn’t be farther than the truth. Organic craft beer is just as delicious and innovative, if not more, as regular craft beer. My fellow organic brewers and I intend on proving this fact at the Organic Beer Revolution.” – Dan Del Grande, Bison Brewing.
The Organic Beer Revolution will start at noon on Saturday, April 21st, and last until every last drop of organic beer is consumed –or until last call– whichever comes first. The organic beer tap takeover will showcase a spectrum of beer styles from local Bay Area breweries, including Bison Brewing, Lucky Hand, Thirsty Bear, Mateveza, Santa Cruz Mountains Brewing and Uncommon Brewers — as well as a handful of organic beers from Northern California and Oregon breweries, including; Hopworks Urban Brewery, Butte Creek Brewing, Eel River Brewing, Commons Brewery and Fort George Brewery.
Several of the brewmasters will also be in the house, ready to answer any questions, so come toast the men and women that continuously put quality of ingredients and the health of the planet before the bottom line. Mother Earth thanks you!
The Organic Beer Revolution
• Place: Beer Revolution
• Location: 464 3rd St (Broadway & 3rd) Oakland, CA
• Date: April 21st
• Time: Noon-close
• Cost: per pint
Are all those breweries organic? Some, for sure! But others. Maybe they use an organic base malt at best, but for those of us who go through the trouble to get and maintain certification, calling a brewery or beer “organic” with out any qualifiers feels like a blattent misrepresentation, cheapens the designation and may even be liable. I thought you’d have more respect for the effort brewers go through to assure the public that their beers are organic, being that you rep for Bison.
Vasili, whoa I did not expect such a harsh response, so allow me to apologize for my ignorant title on this post — I was opting for a fun journalistic headline, and in the process I over-looked the fact that it was not entirely true.
You are correct in saying that not all of the breweries involved in this tap takeover are certified organic….but many of them are. And we did try to reach out to you to get you involved in this event, so I’m sorry that communication was lost. Some of the breweries participating do not have 100% organic beers, but we chose to let them come into it because the beers that they are pouring at it are made of at least 85% organic ingredients — which is 85% more than most brewers. We wanted to takeover as many of the (40+) taps as we could with beers that use organic ingredients. Yes, we did focus heavily on USDA certified breweries and heavily on the local scene, but sadly there was still some tap space and we reached out to our neighbors to the north. The moral of the story is that we are trying to celebrate organic beer.
As for questioning my respect for organic breweries, I think that is a little bit out of line since I am the one who put together this event — and I am also an organic brewer. My intentions were not evil, I was just simply trying to get my craft beer lovers to rally behind organic beer.
That’s pretty harsh, Vasili. The NAOBF isn’t event 100% organic, but the little strides that people do to promote sustainability and organics should at least be promoted. Ashley and the people behind this are not attempting to be libelous (is that the word you were going for?). Liable would mean anything that is defamatory or that maliciously or damagingly misrepresents. I don’t think anyone is getting defamed or there is malicious intent here. I understand you might view it as damagingly misrepresentative of beer that is 100% Certified organic (which doesn’t even by law mean that the hops are organic as I understand it). Earth Month/Day is something celebrated to make more healthful decisions regarding the products we consume and produce. Most of the breweries that don’t have the financial or other wherewithal to certifiably be organic doesn’t equate to them being unsustainable. As I am sure you know better than anyone, certified organic ingredients can often impose more environmental impact due to the distance they must be shipped. Your comment, and I am not saying this as someone who cares for Ashley, seems excessively critical.I don’t always buy 100% certified organic, but when I do, I prefer Free Range Red.
Okay, sorry guys. That did sound harsh. I am really not trying to make enemies here. Angelo, I think of you as a friend, and Ashley, though I haven’t met you (i think), I look forward to that chance and would hate to leave you with a bad impression. Again, sorry to offend. Beers on me next time.
My problem is this, any it is all principal here (the worst kind). Nothing against the brewers, who make great beer and I consider friends as well. I think that any reasonable person reading this entire post, or the Brewpublic post, or the event on the Beer Revolution event posting (and where ever else), would be under the impression that all the breweries were certified organic brewers, i.e., having certified organic beer in their line up. That is simply what the designation of being an organic brewer means. But, they are not all organic brewers. The information provided does a disservice to us that are. Unless they go through the process of certification, they can’t say on a label, website, etc. that they are organic. They may philospically be one thing or another, but not actually.
For example, how do we know the malts we use are organic? Do we take maltsters or barley growers at their word? No, it is certified, and we are required to have their certification on file. It means something, and anyone interested can find out exactly what it means and the standards the producers are held to. It is a consumer protection and product integrity issue. As organic brewers, we jump through a lot of hoops, extra expense and monitoring to assure that what we brew is what we say it is.
I want to applaud all the conventional breweries that made a beer with organic ingredients (I think they all use organic base malt through out all their beers, great), but can’t we celebrate that fact without diminishing the rigor, discpline and gaurentee that comes with organic certification? The beer in the glass might be as organic in origin as my own organic beers, but it doesn’t mean they are organic brewers. They are conventional brewers who made a beer with organic ingredients. It may sound like splitting hairs, but I think any organic brewer can tell you, it really isn’t. I would be totally fine with it if you had the caveat that the uncertified beers were “made with organic ingredients” or something like that. If you look at the program, that is the designation the NAOBF makes.
I don’t think you meant to do damage to what being an organic brewery means, and I think promoting organic beer and conventional breweries efforts to being more organic is fantastic, but as the information reads, we are left with the wrong impression.
It doesn’t have anything to do with feeling welcome or not to participate, because I did feel welcome. But I had other concerns that are unrelated to this. This has to do with defending the time, money and effort we put into making organic beer. If I was in the fest, I would certainly be asking the same questions. If someone said Workhorse was organic, and I saw it, I would correct them too and ask them to change it, even though it is over 90% organic, and I may have something to gain from the oversight. Being an organic brewer means something or it means nothing.
In summary: sorry for the hashness; I think you folks are smart and well intentioned, and I love reading your blogs, but I think, by mistake, you confused the pourpose you were trying to serve. I would like like you to correct the characterization if you can. I get it if you didn’t catch it before, but you now have the opportunity to set the record strait. I think that is senseable request, and yes, my spelling sux. Thanks and all the best!
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