Beer as a Metaphor for Sustainability

via internet food health

As an occasional homebrewer myself, I have been known to muse on what brewing beer can teach us about living green, but beer advocate and American University's Director of Sustainability Chris O'Brien is streets ahead of me. Back in 2007, Siel got pretty excited about O'Brien's book Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a great interview with Chris O'Brien on—you guessed it—beer and sustainability:

"What I really love about the craft-brewing and home-brewing movements is that they are sustainability movements without intending to be," Mr. O'Brien said. For a parallel, he pointed to the wood-pellet burner that was heating the room on this winter day. "People like sitting by a fire, and we're having a nicer time using a sustainable fuel. Beer was the same thing--we didn't want a product that treats us like idiots."

During the course of the interview we also learn that O'Brien is a practitioner of the selective flush, has installed solar panels on his roof and is busy growing his own hops. Here's a man after my own heart...

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