Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Northern California, often referred to as Cascadia, lead the continent in the number of organic breweries, with nearly half of Oregon’s 80 breweries having produced an organic beer since the first Organic Brewers Symposium in 2002.
Do organic ingredients create a better beer? Some brewers believe the answer is yes, claiming that organic malts and hops have no chemical residues to interfere with the fermentation process.
The guidelines for organic beer are the same as for all organic foods: The ingredients must be grown without toxic and persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and in soil that has been free from such chemicals for at least 3 years. No genetically modified (GMO) ingredients can be used in the brewing process. Studies show that organic farming reduces erosion and ground-water pollution and that it significantly reduces the impact on wildlife.
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company – NAOBF(North American Organic Brewers Festival) Peoples Choice Award 2008. In summer 2007 Alan switched the base malt for all HOTD Beers to Organic Pilsner malt. This has provided improved flavor and color in the Beers. Offering Ruth, Adam, Rose, Fred, and Doggie Claws.
Roots Organic Brewing Company – Oregon’s first all organic brewery. Offering Burghead Heather Ale, made in the form of Mead(fermented Honey) making it a very interesting ale. The Island Red, a full bodied beer with nice bread and nut flavors. The eXXXcalibur Imperial Stout has wonderful chocolate and coffee notes and a smooth, hearty, complex body. They also have Roots Pale Ale, and Woody I.P.A.
Deschutes Brewery – Offering Green Lakes Organic Ale, a mellow malt profile intertwined with subtly surprising hop flavors.
Fish Brewing Company – Offering Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale, Fish Tale Organic India Pale Ale and Wild Salmon Organic Pale Ale.
Bison Brewing Company – Award winning Organic beers. Offering Chocolate Stout ,a richly textured, roasty dry stout with a bitter and charismatic flavor. Honey Basil Ale which has a hint of sweetness with a slight herbal note. They also have India Pale Ale, Belgian Ale, Red Ale, Farmhouse Saison, Barley Wine Ale, and Gingerbread Ale.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing – Offering Organic Dead Brown Ale, Organic Amber Ale and Organic Devout Stout. Also only offered in the tasting room is Organic Olallieberry Cream Ale, the creaminess of the ale is due to a mixture of rice, barley and wheat; complimenting the tartness of the berry and finishing dry.
The Pike Brewing Company – Offering Naughty Nellie Organic Pale Ale, crisp and refreshing with mild fruity esters and soft malt character.
In June of each year Portland, Oregon hosts the North American Organic Brewers Festival. For more information and a list of Organic Beers go to www.naobf.org.