Yesterday I was perusing my twitter feed, and I saw a rather excited tweet from New Belgium Brewery (whose sustainability efforts and rapid cross-country growth we've written about before) about an artist who paints watercolors in beer instead of water.
Neat, I thought. But is there a green angle? On the one hand, we're big fans of multifunctionality and using what you find around you. On the other hand, if we want to get super green geek about this, the comparative carbon footprint of water, versus the carbon footprint of water, plus hops, and grains that has then been put through a substantial heating, fermenting, packaging, distribution and retail process and infrastructure is pretty much a no brainer.
But this is getting silly. Artist Ron Pomeroy says he started painting in beer "because it tastes better than water", and because he likes experimentation. And the cool part is he uses his art to depict beautiful endangered species, and to raise money for their conservation in the process:
I perceive playfulness, joy, courage, persistence and other desirable human traits when I observe animal behavior. Many animals appear to have great fun. They fuel my creative passion.
My art attempts to convey respect for animals while also providing a whimsical, imaginative view of them, often satirical but hopefully in good humor. The light-heartedness of my paintings should not obscure the fact the future of earth’s animals is of serious concern. For that reason, a percentage of BeerColors™ net proceeds will be provided to worthwhile non-profit organizations serving to protect our wildlife.
I suspect the beer angle may be somewhat of a gimmick. But as this blog post testifies, it's a gimmick that has gotten people talking. And I'm rather taken by Pomeroy's simple, playful depictions of the beauty we see all around us.
I'm not a fan of wasting beer that could just as easily have been drunk. But if you're going to do it, you may as well do it for a good cause. If you prefer your beer in a glass, not on a canvas, then check out our guide to 20 local, craft beers from green breweries.