Though he imparted a great deal of wisdom to Americans in his 84 years, Benjamin Franklin is remembered by college students and post-collegiate beer drinkers alike for one particular phrase: "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be happy." We couldn't agree more.
October 27 is American Beer Day. To celebrate, we've rounded up a list of all-American lagers to quench your thirst and salute your patriotism. But that's not all: these beers are special. Tasty and American-made, they're also seeking to do some good in the world, whether it's using renewable energy, or finding a way to go organic.
TakePart presents: brews that'll make you feel extra good.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, New Belgium Brewing Company has lived up to its region's reputation for being eco-conscious. Nine years ago, the New Belgium Brewery committed to a 10-year renewable wind energy contract to cover all its electrical needs. That move freed it from the 8 million pounds of coal that would've been used to power the business, and kept approximately 15 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere. That wasn't enough: the company also decided to put its wastewater to use, gleaning the natural organic nutrients left over after brewing to make biogas and fish food.
Beers to look out for: Fat Tire, 1554, Blue Paddle, Trippel, Ranger TPA, and Mothership Wit, to name just a few. (See a full list here.)
The Fish Brewing Company, located in Olympia, Washington, boasts a name suitable for its hobbies. Softies for the local salmon runs, the folks at Fish Brewing Company use organic ingredients in seven of their beers because, they say, doing so helps to preserve salmon habitats.
Beers to look out for: FishTale varieties of Organic Amber Ale, Organic India Pale Ale, Wild Salmon Pale Ale, Organic Blonde Ale, Winter Fish Seasonal Ale, Mud Shark Porter, and Trout Stout.
Eco-friendly to the core, Alaskan Brewing Company has been thinking green since 1998, when it installed a carbon dioxide recovery system to capture and reuse the gas produced during beer fermentation. ABC also thinks blue: 1 percent of its India Pale Ale sales goes to its Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone effort, which works to keep beaches healthy and clean.
Beers to look out for: Alaskan Amber, India Pale Ale, Pale, White and Stout are year-round regulars. (Check out their full line here.)
In 2003, Brooklyn Brewery became the first New York City company to switch to 100 percent wind-generated electricity.
Beers to look out for: Brooklyn Brown Ale, East India Pale Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Pennant Ale, and Brooklyn Pilsner. (See a full list here.)
Photo: mfajardo/Creative Commons via Flickr