The Summer With Organic Beer
(Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2006) Sales of organic beer have more than doubled in the last three years, growing 40% in 2005 alone, according to the Organic Trade Association. This ties beer with coffee as the fastest growing organic beverage. Small independent brewers like Butte Creek Brewing Co. in Chico, California, and Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury, Vermont have dominated the market for years, but as the demand rises large corporate brewing companies are eager to get in game.
According to an article in the Herald Daily News, “Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. launched its organic beers in March and April in several test markets nationwide. You won‘t find the Budweiser name on the bottles; instead, you‘ll find the Green Valley Brewing Co. name on the Wild Hop packaging, and the Crooked Creek Brewing Co. on the Stone Mill products.”
Some organic producers have raised concerns that the organic beer market will face challenges as large corporations become major producers. They worry that corporate pressure on government agencies could lead to more relaxed organic standards; a problem organic producers have already been facing recently.
Despite these concerns Morgan Wolaver, CEO of Otter Creek Brewing, continues to be optimistic about the future of organic beer. “The market will continue to grow,” Wolaver said. “The generation coming out of college up to age 35 is especially concerned with what‘s around them. They realize that they have power with how we spend our money.”