New Rankings Help You Drink Green Beer Year Round

New Rankings Help You Drink Green Beer Year Round

Greentopia released its environmental impact ratings for 15 of the largest breweries worldwide, with New Belgium Brewing taking the lead. Sorry Guinness, Irish green does not mean eco green.

The website, which publishes green business directories, among other things, gives the highest rating to the Fort Collins, Colo.-based brewery, which is probably most well-known for its flagship brand, Fat Tire.

According to Greentopia's research director, Doug Mazeffa, “We have found that the large amount of resources that go into beer production is not common knowledge.”

"One of the oldest beverages in the world, beer has only recently been getting attention for its environmental impact, which varies depending on the efficiency of the brewery and ingredients used. Concerns include the fact that beer production often requires 7-10 liters of water for every liter of beer and its key ingredients are often difficult to obtain through organic means."

The ratings measured how ingredients (barley, malt and hops) were grown, how the beer is packaged and transported and efficiencies of the brewing facilities. The highest possible rating was four leafs. "Weights were set based off the relative life cycle impacts of each criterion during beer production," the website reports.

The highest rated, New Belgium Brewing, brought home four leafs for using organic ingredients, locally-sourced packaging and renewable energy. has also reported on the company's efforts to reduce packaging.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Guinness scored zero leafs, due in part because it takes 7.2 liters of water to make a liter of the stout stuff, and because it hasn't made improvements to its containers.

Company, # of leafs:

New Belgium Brewery 4
Eel River 3
Bison 2
Butte Creek 2
Sierra Nevada 2
Anheuser-Busch 1
Corona 1
Foster's 1
Labatt Blue 1
Samuel Smith 1
Molson-Coors 0
Guiness 0
Heineken 0
Sam Adams 0
Tecate 0

visit Greentopia to view the full details on each brew-master.

Hopefully this will encourage American staples like Coors and Sam Adams to green up their act.

image courtesy: Flickr user downlowkey