Friday, September 12, 2008


Sometimes being an environmentalist is tough. This conservation measure is not one of those times.
For those of us who like to have a beer at the backyard barbeque, Oktoberfest, while blogging (cheers, Jez), or while watching the game (as does the head of the Antioch College Booster Club), we can have a negative impact on the environment. Beer often travels a long way to get to you: from Germany or Ireland or Holland, or from the Czech Republic. Even some domestic beers (especially high-end, highbrow microbrews with wide distribution) may have a long and convoluted route to your door. In transit, energy is spent moving and to varying degrees, cooling the beer. And sometimes, particularly when we have lots of guests, we don’t recycle those bottles and cans.
Be the solution. If you live near a brew pub, you may have a particularly grand opportunity to reduce waste and use less energy, while keeping the beer flowing. Many small brewers have a variety of quality offerings, including seasonal brews and some unusual options that you can’t find just anywhere. That beer didn’t cross an ocean, but was made down the street, with filtered local water, likely from domestic, if not regional ingredients. You can pop in and fill up a reusable growler with freshly brewed draft beer. E.R. Dunhill happens to tank-up his growler with Czech Lager (2004 and 2007 Gold Medalist, Great American Beer Festival) at his local Gordon Biersch, which makes him miss Prague terribly.
Some friends suggested that a keg (or a half or quarter) is a similarly resource conservative option. (They could not be reached for further comment.) The keg produces less waste than bottles, but keep in mind that all of that heavy beer may still have been shipped a long way, whereas the brewpub suds were made on-site.
Regional or local brews can offer some quick and easy energy savings over long-distance labels, because again, the beer is simply traveling fewer miles between the brewery and your home. And, of course, you can periodically meet the gang at your local brew pub to avoid having to clean your growler.
With perqs like this, who wouldn’t want to be an environmentalist?

Author’s note: E.R. Dunhill encourages readers to “conserve” responsibly.
Also, the photo in this post in no way constitutes an endorsement of Baylor, Brown, or the U of Montana.

Image sources:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
E.R. Dunhill


Chris Crawford said...

I'm still trying to figure out the significance of the bear. My best hypothesis is that the word "bear" is very close to the word "beer" in the dictionary. Perhaps you have done something that Google often does: when it searches for an image to accompany its news headlines, it occasionally slips. (It's all done by smart algorithms that aren't always so smart.) My favorite was an item from October 24, 2007 entitled "Astronauts 'Home' again on Space Station", illustrated with a picture of the Starship Enterprise.

E. R. Dunhill said...

It is indeed something of a play on words between "beer" and "bear", bears being something that people are more likely to immediately associate with conservation than beer.
I also thought the Louisiana black bear in the photo would be a great deal more likely to utter the title growl than I would be.

Sue said...

Or even better, brew it yourself.

Pat Jenkins said...

fight on my beloved antioch fight, on!!!... (i hope nobody thinks i actually went there.. i couldn't pass the admissions test even if i wanted to.. he he!!) i hope your enviromentalism means moderation in consumption as well... he he!! good post!!!