St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and for Chicago, which historically has one of the largest Irish-American populations in the U.S., that means a deep green river, corned beef and hash, and lots o’ green beer. Since Chicago is a home to many different, delicious craft beers, most Chicagoans have high standards for their beer. See what made our list for top places to go green and get green beers this St. Patrick’s Day!
Begyle Brewery – A community supported brewery in Ravenswood, these guys stick to the “buy local” model. They work on a CSA (community supported agriculture) model, source most of their hops locally and are working on additional green practices, like using spent grains for dog treats.
Goose Island – One of Chicago’s biggest players is making an effort to go as green as the Chicago River. In 2009, they launched the Green Line Project in an effort to assess and improve the brewery’s carbon footprint. In addition, the Green Line pale ale is living up to its green name by only being available on tap in Chicago (to cut down on packaging) plus, for every pint of Green Line Pale Ale poured, Goose Island will make a donation to the Nature Conservancy’s, Adopt an Acre® program. The donation from each pint will allow the Nature Conservancy to protect one square foot of rainforest in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.
Great Lakes Brewing – Alright so not a “Chicago” beer but we can share the Midwest love, right? Based in Cleveland, OH, Great Lakes Brewing has entered into what’s referred to as a “closed loop” recycling system. Everything that would be considered waste is used somewhere else within the brewery or the surrounding community. Left over grains, for example, are used in baked goods. On top of making their packaging 100% recyclable the company also runs their distribution trucks entirely on vegetable oil.
The Ale Syndicate – Chicago born & bred brewers who moved to Northern California to get their start, these boys just missed home too much so they’re picking up their practice & heading home to the windy city. They are setting up shop in the Green Exchange, the country’s largest sustainable business community. They’re still in the process of shifting their practice to Chicago and hope to have a list of bars offering their brews any day now, so stay tuned.