Not all of us would fancy the idea of pairing beer and fly fishing together. To each their own, but it’s safe to say that the majority of fly fishers enjoy the refreshing taste of one or two cold beers after a long day on the water. For me, drinking a couple beers at dusk with my fishing buddies and reminiscing about the catches and the days debacles seem to enhance my overall fishing experience. It relaxes and grounds me, it helps me to see more clearly why I choose to go out and cast a fly rod in the first place, and how special the people are around me that I share my water with. We all have our favorite beers that we like to drink. Some of us are so loyal, we’ve got our go to beer, and we only stray from it when it’s not available. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, believe me, I’m right there with ya, but before I go any further, let me ask you one question. Would you stray from your regular beer of choice if you had an option to buy another brand if it donated significant amounts of money that went towards protecting your watersheds and fisheries? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I could learn to acquire the taste of a new beer if I knew a portion of the coin I was dropping was going towards real conservation efforts.
Below is a list of 10 beer brewing companies that make a point to not only strive to hold the highest of green business practices, but they also take it a step further and donate significant amounts of money annually to fish and wildlife conservation organizations.
1. Sweetwater Brewing Company
I have a tight bond with the Sweetwater Brewing Company in Atlanta, GA, and it’s not simply because they’re located in my home state. The Sweetwater Brewing Company donates hundreds of thousands of dollars a year towards their Save the River Campaigns. The owners have deep roots in fly fishing as well, and they’ve even supported fly fishing guide operations in my back yard. The next time you see this bottle on the shelf or on tap at your local watering hole, remember that they genuinely care about conservation and are very proactive in the restoration and protection of our fisheries.
2. Deschutes Brewery Co.
Despite the Deschutes Brewery Co. making damn good tasting beer, they also make regular donations to the following conservation foundations and organizations: Alliance for the Great Lakes, Deschutes Land Trust, Deschutes River Conservancy, Forest Park Conservancy, Fresh Water Trust, Oregon Freshwater Trust, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council and many more.
3. New Belgium Brewing Co.
I love my Fat Tire beer but I love it even more now that I know that the New Belguim Brewing Company donates upwards of $150,000 every year towards the protection of the Colorado River. Drink up and support this company because they’re doing their part to provide us a nice buzz and protect our rivers.
4. Full Sail Brewing Co.
I count vouch for the taste of Full Sail beer because I’ve not popped the cap on one, but I was impressed when I read about the great steps the company has taken to make their brewing company as green as possible. For example, they’ve streamlined the production to maximize its efficiency and they shortened their work week to four days. Doing so, saves them from using over 3 million gallons of water a year. They also make solid donations to numerous fish conservation organizations as well.
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
I’ve enjoyed this IPA beer since the college days. In 2010, The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was named one of the Top 12 Green Businesses of the Year by the EPA. They keep 99.5% of the companies solid waste out of the landfill through recycling and composting, and 85% of their electricity comes from renewable power. The company also donates significant funds to Western Rivers Conservancy.
I know what you all are probably thinking, “Anheuser-Busch, get real”. The fact is, Anheuser-Busch partners every year with the River Network to support a host of watershed protection projects. You still can look at it as a redneck beer, but the company does support the protection of our fisheries and watersheds.
7. Alaskan Brewing Co.
I sucked a few of these back after my stint guiding in Alaska back in 2006. Unfortunately, I live to far south and east to be able to get my hands on any of it. The Alaskan Brewing Company donates 1% to the Coastal CODE, which stands for: Clean Oceans Depend on Everyone.
8. Fish Brewing Company
I enjoyed some of these beauties a couple months back with some friends traveling and fly fishing in Idaho. The Fish Brewing Company donates funds to several conservancy wildlife organizations, some of which are: Trout Unlimited, Save the Wild Salmon, Pugent Soundkeeper Alliance. You’ve got to dig the logo as well.
9. Ninkasi Brewing Company
This Oregon based brewing company that praises the Goddess Ninkasi for the miracle of fermentation. They believe beer should be a staple for every civilization and they are a very green company. Ninkasi Brewing Company donates all profits of their “Conservation Ale” to the McKenzie River Trust for their restoration and habitat efforts.
10. Great Lakes Brewing Company
If you’re a big fan of fly fishing the Great Lakes and it’s tributaries, I’d like to then suggest for you to support the Great Lakes Brewing Company next chance you get. The company donates annually to the Burning River Foundation, which embraces: Ecological Conservation, Environmental Protection and Education/Involvement.
That’s my list of 10 beer brewing companies that go out of their way to protect our fisheries and watersheds. I know there’s plenty of companies that I didn’t mention on this list. Please feel free to showcase them through the comments section of this post.
I’d also like to share with all of you that Coors Brewing Company has one of the worst records for environmental green practices and fish kills on record. It brings me pain knowing I’ve probably drank more Coors Light beers in my life than all other beers combined. Check out this link that might persuade you to boycott the Coors Brewing Company. Coors is a habitual fish killer.
I’ll end the post from a quote by Terry Hackett who once said, “Any fly fisher knows that you can’t always count on the fish to cooperate, but you can always count on a good beer when the day is done”.
Keep it Reel,Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!