Chances are good that when you think about beer brewing, you picture natural additives, crystal clear water and a general image of "natural" brewing. However, this is not necessarily the reality. Most large breweries use at least some artificial processes or additives during the brewing process (craft breweries are usually a bit more stringent in their stance on natural brewing). However, things are changing in the world of beer brewing.
Quite a few large and medium breweries around the nation are jumping on the "all-natural" bandwagon. This shift brings some of America's breweries more in line with what one would expect with beers from Europe. However, the green movement is not limited to just what goes into your beer with these breweries – it even involves how that beer is brewed.
It's no secret that brewing beer requires energy. Usually, that energy comes from a conventional source – the power grid or a supply of natural gas, for instance. However, these both rely on the burning of fossil fuels to create energy. Some breweries are taking a stand for Mother Earth by getting the energy needed for brewing from a renewable source of energy – the sun.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past several decades (or never venture past that familiar red and white carton in the beer section), you are familiar with Sierra Nevada, one of the pioneers of the craft beer movement. Well, they're pioneering more than just great beer now. In fact, they have installed massive solar panels on their brewery to harness the power of the sun in an effort to reduce their consumption of electricity from the local power grid. That means their beer is even better for the world than before – sounds like a good idea to pick up a 6-pack or two, doesn't it? Who can argue? After all, you're just doing your part to help the planet.
Sierra Nevada is not the only brewery going green with the help of solar power, nor is solar energy the only environmentally responsible thing that breweries can do to help protect and safeguard the planet and our environment. Water conservation, relying on geothermal features, solar power and wind power generation are just a handful of the ways that breweries around the nation are beginning to break away from traditional methods of beer brewing and production, while ensuring that those fine beers taste just as good as they should.