Photo by Matthew Levine
It seems like everyone is chiming in with what they would like to see served at the "Beer Summit," as they are calling the upcoming informal meeting at the White House. Apparently the choices of those appearing have left out our local small brews and they have everyone second-guessing Pres. Obama'a choice of a Bud Light. Now that Bud is owned by a non-American company, apparently it is a big deal. Don't get me wrong - I got through college on cheap beer, and Barack is free to keep on drinking that stuff if he likes. A cold light beer on a hot day sure hits the spot. However, I have recently learned some info about one of my favorite "grown-up" beers that I feel makes it a much better choice.
Growing up in Texas has its perks and bordering Louisiana has them as well. Heading down to New Orleans to get some culture, me and my brother discovered a little Louisiana brewery called Abita Beer. They make such brews as the popular Amber, Purple Haze, but my absolute favorite (which just happens to be on tap at New World Brewery) is Turbo Dog. I don't know how they named it, but I like to picture some little cajun kid with a super fast three-legged dog hollerin' "Come on Turbo Dog, less git goin!" as they walk down a railroad track.
Anyway, the point of all this back story... Abita has been quietly working to make beer as green as possible and not just on St. Paddy's day! They have a beer brewing system that captures the steam and reduces the energy used by something like 70%. They also use recycled and reduced packaging sizes and supply the local farmers with leftovers from some of the grains and hops used for feed. They even built their own wastewater treatment plant where they can convert a lot of the waste to bio-gas for their own boilers and reduce the water sent to the local sewer plant by 85%. On top of all that, they added auxilliary power units to their delivery trucks which cut down on idling when the trucks are sitting still!
I'm not sure why I would drink anything else, but just try it for yourself. Maybe you'll even feel a little better about that brew in your glass. You'll not only be supporting an independent brewer, but also a rare green leader in the not-so-eco-friendly world of beer.
By the way, if you see Pres. Obama, why don't you offer him a beer, and maybe something with some flavor?