In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we asked Seattle-area brewers to tell us about their greenest beers. No, we don’t mean Bud Light spiked with food coloring. We’re focusing on craft beers made with local ingredients, organic certifications, sustainable brewing practices, reusable packaging and love for the environment.
By opting for one of Seattle’s greenest beers, you’re not only supporting local business, which is crucial in the current economic climate; you’re supporting sustainable practices and local environmental efforts.
We didn’t necessarily crown a champion, but we’ve narrowed it down to three-ish of the Emerald City’s greenest beers. In general, Seattle-area breweries do a great job of using local ingredients, recycling water, and repurposing spent grain. You really can’t go wrong with a local brew. In fact, here are our favorite sustainable breweries in Western Washington.
However, The brews listed below are made with practices that go above and beyond everyday efforts. When you belly-up with one of these beers, take comfort in the fact they were crafted with the highest environmental standards.
Given the state of Coronavirus in Seattle, it might be best just to pop in and fill up a growler to take home. Be safe everyone!
Aslan Brewing Co. – King of the Mountain Pale Lager
Where can you find it? At Aslan’s new taproom in Fremont!
Sustainable Ingredients: Every ingredient is USDA certified organic, although not sourced in-state for this particular beer. Aslan purchased carbon credits from Protect Our Winters to offset brewing, distributing, and sourcing emissions, making King of the Mountain its first carbon neutral beer.
Sustainable Brewing Practices: Aslan runs on 100% renewable energy; recycles spent grain as livestock feed; and is working on balancing 50% of its wastewater by donating to water restoration projects through Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Packaging: This beer is primarily kegged, but also comes in recyclable cans bearing USDA Certified Organic seal and B Corps logo.
Give-back programs: Carbon offsets through Protect Our Winters and donates to water restoration through Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Aslan is a Certified B Corps (yay!) and partners with Sustainable Connections. Through its in-house Growing with Growlers program, Aslan plants a tree via the National Forest Foundation for every growler purchased.
Bonus credentials: Aslan makes a Salmon-Safe beer every year called Fish Have Feelings IPA and is the only B Corps in the contest. “One of the things that makes Aslan, Aslan is our efforts to take care of our planet.“
Bottom line: Are you kidding me!? A carbon neutral, certified organic beer made by a Certified B Corps at a facility running on 100% renewable energy!? King of the Mountain Pale Lager could taste like a horse’s patoot (it doesn’t) and I would still drink it for its sustainability credits alone. If Aslan finds a way to source in-state organic ingredients, I’ll never leave the new Seattle taproom.
Elliot Bay Brewing Company – All organic house beers
Organic beers: Lake City Way IPA, Hop Von Boorian, Highline IPA, Hellmouth, Gateway Amber, Dry-Hopped IPA, Demolition Ale, B-Town Brown and Alembic Pale Ale.
Where can you find it? In any of EBBC’s three brewpubs located in Burien, Lake City and West Seattle
Sustainable Ingredients: USDA certified organic ingredients, including organic hops and organic barley sourced within Washington state.
Sustainable Brewing Practices: Spent grain recycled as livestock feed; composting kitchen food waste; motion-detector lights in production facility; and water recapture. Elliot Bay Brewing participates in Seattle City Light’s Energy Smart Services and the Brewers Association Sustainable Benchmarking. More practices listed online.
Give-back programs: Yearly batch of Apline Lakes beer benefits the Washington Wild’s Brewshed Alliance.
Bonus credentials: In 2008, Elliot Bay Brewhouse & Pub in Burien became the first Certified Organic brewery in King County. It’s also been purchasing wind power credits since 2004 and having its waste oil turned into biodiesel.
Bottom line: We tip our caps to the Godfather of Certified Organic Beer in King County by recommending all of their organic house-brews at once. Close your eyes and throw a dart in any of their three taprooms; you’ll probably hit a certified organic beer made with Washington-grown ingredients. But you probably won’t make any friends doing it…
Pike Brewing Company – Pike King of Cascadia Helles
Also try: Pike IPA available year-round and Pike Third Story 100% WA IPA available now for a limited time.
Where can you find it? Pike King of Cascadia Helles will be on draft and in 16 oz cans at Pike Brewing Company and select Washington bars, restaurants and grocery stores in mid-March. Cans will be available at all local co-op PCC Community Markets. Draft will be available at all Zeek’s Pizza locations.
Sustainable Ingredients: Skagit Valley Malting Pilsner malt, Yakima Valley Saaz hops, Washington water. Skagit Valley Malting is in the process of earning its Salmon-Safe certification, and Pike Brewing is cheering them on!
Sustainable Brewing Practices: Pike’s gravity-flow and steam-powered brew system is uniquely designed to optimized sustainable energy sources during the brewing process. Spent grain is used in The Pike Pub to make fresh-baked pretzels and beer mustard, or given to a local farm.
Packaging: Pike Brewing transitioned from bottles to cans in 2018, making its packaging 55% more recyclable and reducing the brewery’s carbon footprint.
Give-back programs: $10 of every barrel Pike King of Cascadia Helles goes to Long Live the Kings, whose efforts help restore wild salmon and support sustainable fishing in the PNW.
Bonus credentials: “A collaborative partnership between Pike and local co-op PCC Community Markets, the Pike King of Cascadia series supports our mutual nonprofit partner, Long Live the Kings, whose efforts help restore wild salmon and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest.”
Bottom line: Pike Brewing Company has been busy, busy, busy on the local collaboration front – which we love! While we’re picking Pike King of Cascadia Helles as one of Seattle’s Greenest Beers, Pike IPA and Third Story 100% WA IPA are not far behind. It’s definitely worth a trip down their stunning Pike Place facility to try them all.
Floating Bridge Brewing – Dry Stout on Nitro
Don’t miss: St. Pawtrick’s Day on Sunday March 15. A portion of each pour goes benefits the guide dog training program Seattle Puppy Raisers.
Bottom line: OK, so maybe this beer isn’t full of certifications, but puppies! Floating Bridge keeps a slim carbon footprint by encouraging customers to walk or bike, giving spent grain to a local pig farmer, and limiting distribution driving emissions. They donate to green causes in addition to adorable ones.
Interested in Seattle’s sustainable businesses, activities and products? Check out our Seattle Guide.