This weekend the backyard BBQ season begins! With Memorial Day just around the corner, everyone is spending the next couple of days gathering the ingredients for the delicious cookouts that are about to go down. When we think of Memorial Day Weekend, two things come to mind BBQ and beer (of course besides honoring those who have given their lives serving the country). Now, just as any good American, we love to knock a few cold ones back, especially if they are organic.

About a year ago, we did an article on why buying organic beer is so important. During our research for that article, we quickly learned that conventional beers largely use hops that have been treated with pesticides. These pesticides not only seep into the soil and groundwater surrounding the farm, but they end up in your beer bottle, only to be swallowed and ingested by you.  This doesn’t sound too appealing, especially when you are trying to get your party on.

Luckily, there is another delicious choice out there: organic beer. And the best part is there aren’t just a few choices but many! We thought in honor of our all American holiday coming in just a few days, we would discuss a few of our favorite organic beers. So here is your Autonomie Project guide to Organic Beer! 

First up on our list is the wonderful small craft beer company based in Maine, Peak Organic. This delicious brewery only uses the finest of organic hops. Their beers are USDA organic certified and they offer great flavors including basic IPAs, ales, and interesting flavors including Pomegranate Ale and Espresso Ale.

We also love Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA. This awesome eco-friendly brewery is listed on the Top 15 Eco Friendly Breweries by USA Today. Not only is their beer organic, but they purchase carbon offsets and their packaging is made from recycled materials. They offer only a couple of options including an IPA, Chocolate Stout, and interesting single favorites such as Honey Basil Ale and Gingerbread Ale.

Going back to New England, Wolver’s Orgnic Brewing from Middlebury, Vermont provides some delicious organic brewskis.  Their yummy organic hops are actually grown right here in the US (many others use organic Hops from outside the country). Wolver’s not only provides tasty classic beers but they also have a line of organic ciders!

There are also several breweries that offer certain organic beers, but not all their beer is certified. One of our favorites is New Belgium Brewery which is worker owned and run on wind power. Although they currently offer only one organic beer, Mothership Wit Wheat Beer, according to emails we have exchanged with them, they plan to add more to their line in the near future. For other organic beers, look for North Coast Brewing Cru d’Or, Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager, and Lakefront Brewery’s Organic ESB.

For a full list of organic certified breweries and breweries who make some organic beers, check out this great list from Craft Beer. Happy Memorial Day and Cheers!!

Happy St Patrick's Day Photo By Artsi~AnnieOn March 17th, the whole world will “go green,” but not the eco-friendly type. However, celebrating the Irish holiday doesn’t have to mean you have to give up your true going green convictions! There are a bunch of great ways you can spend this year’s holiday and still promote the GO GREEN message. You can be sure that this year wearing green might mean a little more than just a social requirement to avoid a pinch. So in the spirit We have pulled together a few helpful hints on to celebrate a truly green and eco-friendly St Patrick’s Day!

New Belgium Beers Photo By fitchactionDrink Local and/or Organic Beer: Besides wearing green, the biggest St Patty’s Day tradition is a visit to the good ol’ pub!  This year celebrate in an eco-friendly style by ideally ordering an organic local beer on tap and in a re-usuable glass. But if this ideal is not attainable near you, check out some of these eco friendly and organic breweries: New Belgium Beers (a worker owned co-op run by wind power, Brooklyn Brewery (also run by wind power in NYC), Peak Organic, or North Coast Brewing Company. And remember if you must drink out of the bottle, be sure to recycle!

Eat Irish favorites Vegan Style: Another St Patty’s Day favorite is eating delicious Irish meals. So this year try to make your Irish favorites with organic, local veggies. By not eating meat on this holiday you are lessing your impact on the environment and sooth your conscious. It is pretty easy to make all your favorites vegan. Try out some of these favorite recipes of ours including our very own Vegan Irish Stew, Vegan Irish Soda Bread, and Vegan Irish Colcannon. So serve up your favorite vegan Irish recipes before you hit the bars.

Day 268/365 - happy st. patrick's day! Photo By ~*erin*~Avoid Plastic Decorations: It seems like everyone is out to make a buck during St Patrick’s Day and several cheap plastic gadgets such as beads and plastic shamrock rings. These cheap and disposable decorations are made out of plastic, a no no to greenies, and are usually thrown out the next day, only to end up in landfills. So this year be sure to avoid these unnecessary  accessories. And if you must have some shamrock snazz try making your own decorations for your party or purchase items you will actually re-use. And finally try some face paint to wear out on the town!

Organic Kiss Me I'm Irish By CafePress.comWear Organic/Promote Green: Instead of just wearing any old green T shirt or Irish slogan, wear organic T Shirts! That way your green tees really can BE Green! These days Organic Tees aren’t hard to come by, even major brands carry them. But many are still manufactured in sweatshops. So be sure to look out for the labels when you purchase them. If you want a little more St Patrick’s Day Cafe Press has a great “Kiss Me I’m Irish” Organic Tee. Also, you might want to take the opportunity to promote green issues on this day. Check out the New Green Deal Organic Tee or our very own Declare Your Autonomie Organic Tee. If you wear your green slogans out and about, just maybe your tee will start a conversation with someone at the bar and you can really promote green!

This Sunday marks the most watched television event of the year: Superbowl Sunday! So as the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers face off in the warm Tampa sun, most Americans will gather around their televisions sets and indulge in snacks and beer. So is there a way to keep your Superbowl party green and vegan? Of course there is! We have put together a quick list of how to green and veganize your Superbowl Party! So sit back and enjoy your Sunday, root for your team, and keep your conscious satisfied. 

Biodegradable and Recyclable Party-ware

Most of the time when we through parties the last thing we want to deal with is washing dishes. So many people usually end up buying throw away plastic and paper silverware, plates, and napkins. Instead of going for the plastic, try out biodegradable plates, silverware, and napkins. There are many companies that make these items such as World Centric and  Nature Friendly. The eco friendly party supplies can also be found at most Whole Foods locations. Not only will this help green your Superbowl Bash, it will make cleaning up all that much easier. If you do use biodegradable supplies, be sure you compost the items rather than sending them out with the regular trash!

Vegan and Organic Snacks

Superbowl parties are usually filled with snacks like wings, pizza, and chips! But there is a way to enjoy your Sunday with healthy, organic, and vegan. Great healthy snacks to serve are organic salsa and chips, organic hummus and carrots, and organic veggies and fruit! But you can also use vegan appetizer substitute such as Health is Wealth Vegan Buffalo Wings, Health is Wealth Vegan Nuggets, Health is Wealth Vegan Egg Rolls, and Nate’s Meatless Meatballs. You can even serve several Toffuti Pizzas, Amy’s Cheese-less Pizza, or make your own! Finally you can serve some great dips and party foods. There are tons of great vegan recipes out there. Here are a few of our own: Vegan 7 Layer Bean Dip, Vegan Spinach Dip, and Vegan Potato Salad.

Green Refreshments

Watching football inevitably brings beer! There is one great company, New Belgium, which happens to be a favorite beer of AP’s! This is a worker owned co-op that makes great beers through wind power and are delivered in soy powered trucks. We suggest you try the Fat Tire or Trippel. If your guests would rather drink wine, consider serving vegan or organic wines. And finally if your loved ones choose not to drink, be sure to serve alternatives for them such as organic soda, like Blue Sky or sparkling cider

Clean Up!

After the new champion has been crowned and all the party goers have gone, the worst part of a get together starts: the dreaded clean up! Just a quick reminder to compost all left over food products and used biodegradable dishes and flatware. Also, be sure to recycle all beer bottles, soda cans, and wine bottles. You can use recycled trash bags and cleaning products. Check out Seventh Generation or Method for several of these products. Be sure your clean up is just as green as your party!

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