Cheers to Sustainability
Ahhhh the holidays. The time of year where we pull out our ugliest (and hopefully thrifted) sweaters, bake tons and tons of cookies, and attend numerous parties. While in college it was easy to grab a cheap, but lovable beer like PBR; as we get older, the more I like to bring something worth a little more to me to share with others. And in the spirit of having a more "green" holiday, I have decided to make sure I am bring sustainably source libations to my hosts. So I have searched the internets high and low, (so you didn't have to!) to find the most accessible sustainably sourced alcohol to wow your host and spread some Christmas cheer, without breaking the bank! But I beg of you, please enjoy these tasty treats responsibly and PROMISE ME to never drink and drive... oh and if you're under 21, come back to this list in a year or two when you can enjoy it legally!
New Belgium Brewing has taken beer making to the next level and has become a certified B Corp. Not only do they take fabulous care of their employees (free beer weekly, bikes and trips to Europe!!) , they source their materials (hops, barley, etc) in sustainable ways and are constantly looking at ways to improve their supply chain to make brewing beer safer for the environment. One thing I really appreciate about this brewery is that they invest in younger hop and barely farmers, in order to keep the tradition of farming alive in the United States. Think about it, the average age of farmers is 58 years old, only 5-10 years away from retirement; who will take over this trade? They also give back to their communities a ton. I have actually been to both the mothership in Fort Collins, CO and their new brewery in lovely Asheville, NC and if you have the opportunity- I say go for it! In all the regions I have lived in, New Belgium was widely available (even Alaska, which wasn't the case 6 years ago!). They have a ton of different styles to make all your beer drinking friends happy!
PEAK ORGANIC BREWING
Another one of my all time favorites (and a sad disappointment that they didn't have a tasting room in Portland ME when we visited this fall) is this smaller microbrewery. Based in Portland ME, Peak Brewing uses local ingredients from organic farms in the NE United States. They have a range of brews as well and I truly think that they taste super crisp and smooth.
A new line of organic wines by Matarrovera, you can choose between a white and two reds to bring Spanish wine into someones living room. Ranging between $11.99-$13.99 these are hard to beat!
SHAW ORGANIC WINE
Watch out two buck chuck, there is a new, cheap, AND organic option at your lovable, local Trader Joes. Shaw Organic Wine comes in four varieties: Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Rose, and Cab Sav and start at $3.99. Sourced from organic vineyards in California, you can feel great about showing up to a party with a bottle of this and some delicious organic cheese!
PIZZALATO NSA PROSECCO
Marrying into an Italian family, I have come to adore some prosecco- the smoothness, the bubbles, the overall yum! So I am definitely going to hunt down some Pizzalato NSA Prosecco for our xmas eve and new years celebrations. NSA stands for No Sulfites Added and is fermented directly from the grape to avoid any contamination with oxygen (whatever the heck that means! LOL!)
There is just a sampling of some holiday alcohol choices that allow you to continue to help the planet, vote with your dollars, and feel good about your purchase while having a blast with family and friends. Please do not think I am saying one must drink alcohol to have fun with others, but this is an incredibly large industry that also is contributing to the overall waste in our planet and most brewing and vineyards have incredibly large carbon footprints from the fermentation process. This is one more way to help minimize your carbon footprint.
Another amazing option to cut down on your carbon footprint even more and support your own local industry is to find local breweries/vineyards/wineries to purchase from. Many local breweries also have growlers for sale (64 oz bottles that are filled on the spot and can be reused over and over again). This is a wonderful way to share as well as cut back on the excess plastic/glass/and metal waste that comes from the bottling of alcohol. One of my most favorite parties Chris and I had, which definitely goes with the holidays is BYO Pie & Growler party. Invite friends to bring their favorite pie (sweet or savory) and growler to share! its an amazing way to eat delicious food and try some yummy new beer!
I hope this small guide helped! If you have any suggestions, please let them in the comments below- I would love to continue to grow this list!
As always, #livejoyful