As some of you know, I enjoy drinking decent beer, and for a Christmas gift last year from a particularly awesome girl I got a beer making kit with all the equipment goodies. I made one batch early this year and before I knew it, it was gone, so it was time to make another. This time I'll be making a Weizenbier out of a kit I purchased at Gentiles in Columbus. It's a wheat beer with not nearly the amount hops or malt of my last one, so it should be a little easier to drink. "Brew day" was Sunday night, and I hope to bottle it this coming weekend and let it carbonate for a couple weeks in the bottle.
Soooo..... how does this relate to sustainable living, or living within Ohio? It doesn't quite fit into the whole Ohio thing at this point, but I'll be raising my own hops this year so future brews will come from the garden. In a previous post, Katie was talking about food miles, and how they are important. These kits do travel a fair way to get to Gentiles, but considering my options, getting the kit from a small store is about as good as I can get. I consider these kit brews practice until I'm able to raise most of my ingredients here.
If I drank commercially available beer, the paper packaging, labels, disposable (although recyclable) cans or bottles, shipping/distributing fuel, all must be taken into account. I don't put labels on them or put them in little 6 pack carriers. I got my glass bottles from a combination of used bottles from friends and new ones to supplement a ~50 bottle batch. My fuel cost to pick up the kit is negligible as Gentiles is just down the road from where I'll be working.
Some may say, "Hey now! This is not following all your rules! Cheater!!" And to that, I'd say, "Chill out and drink a beer!"