On A Lighter (And Bubblier) Note

food & beverage lifestyle Aug 04, 2022

Summertime is my favorite time of the year. Growing up in Orange County, Southern California the best part of summer was the warm weather and spending the entire day at the beach. Many years later I still enjoy the beach and warm weather, but I’ve added a new factor to the equation - beer! 

Reader alert: This post is pretty California-specific, so we’d love to hear what’s going on in your hometown!

I don’t know about you, but in my mind, there’s no better way to end a beautiful summer day than with a cold beer shared in good company. And for the sake of this article, when we say “drink responsibly,” we’re thinking of, you guessed it… sustainability. Like any other aspect of sustainability, there are certifications that breweries can attain to ensure they’re providing the best product possible. Let’s get into some good beer and even better sustainability initiatives!

Craft beer is a great place to start if you’re looking for a socially conscious option. The Brewers Association created the Independent Craft Brewer Seal back in 2017 as a means to put smaller breweries on the map and set them apart from their mega competitors. With a few main qualifications, a brewery must be small (less than 6 million barrels annually) and independent (less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned by a non-craft brewer). In summation, the seal represents small businesses across the United States and is a great way to identify brewers who are sticking to their roots.

The first on the list is Ballast Point in San Diego. They were awarded the Exemplary Leadership Award for Corporate Commitment to Water Conservation, Management, and Reuse through the Water Tech Alliance and they have also dedicated time to numerous community engagement events. We also give them a round of applause for their environmental initiatives - using LED lights at certain locations, reusing spent grain for the agriculture industry, and partnering with UCSD to develop tech that will continue to reduce water consumption (I wonder if there are any LEED certified breweries!?). Ballast Point is a great example of positive outcomes that occur when a brand pays attention to people and planet - and makes really good beer!

Next, let’s head north to San Clemente to Lost Winds Brewing. A small, local brewery, Lost Winds is dedicated to building community within San Clemente. Named after a local surf break, Lost Winds creates beer emblematic of Southern California culture. Beautiful weather, great surf (sometimes), and good times. As they continue to expand, we hope they will take on more environmental initiatives, but for now, we hope you head over there and enjoy the great atmosphere.

Continuing north, our next stop is Topa Topa in Ventura. Founded in 2015, Topa Topa is a brewery with a lot of love for its hometown. They list 3 values that uphold the company - quality, craftsmanship, and community spirit. They certainly have not shied away from social and environmental initiatives - they are members of Crafted for All, an organization dedicated to bringing diversity and inclusivity to the craft beverage industry, and 1% for the Planet, an organization that partners brands with environmental non-profits. Since becoming a member, Topa Topa has donated over $115,000 to various environmental groups in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Great beer with a great mission? Talk about double trouble! Not to mention, Topa Topa brews one of my all-time favorite beers - Dos Topas Lager. Have you tried it? Leave your thoughts on it below!

Image from Topa Topa

Sadly, we’ve made it to our last stop. Although I’m bummed we can’t keep talking about all the amazing beers and breweries out there, I’m excited to share my absolute favorite brewery with you guys! Barrelhouse Brewing Co. in Paso Robles is a must-try. The Central California area is known famously for Firestone Walker, but if you’re looking for unique beer, a great environment, and killer staff look no further than Barrelhouse. Incredibly passionate about being from SLO county, the President of Barrelhouse has this to say about the future of the brewery “In an ever-changing craft beer landscape of sellouts and mergers, we retain our independence.  Our people are passionate about our mission and we are just getting started.” We hope that part of their energy will go towards developing environmental initiatives and we can’t wait to see what their future holds.

It should be said that even if you’re not a fan of beer, all of these breweries offer unique alternatives that anyone can enjoy, including seltzers, non-alcoholic beer, and original creations. Have you been to any of these breweries or have any suggestions for us to try? Leave them in the comments below or share them with us in the LinkedIn Group

Thank you for joining me & I’ll see you guys in our next session,


#sustainablelifestyle #beer #sustainability 

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