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Sustainble drinking

I posted these links for Facebook folks, but figured I'd share them here as well.

Lately, I've been buying beer in cans, thinking it's more sustainable because aluminum's 100% recyclable, it's lightweight (meaning less fuel's consumed shipping the beer) and frankly, I'm lazy, so throwing a crumpled can in the recycling bin is preferable to driving a load of glass bottles to recycling center (Metro Nashville does not recycle glass via curbside - you've got to drop it off yourself if you want it recycled).

Anyway, I came home from the grocery store stumped: what's most sustainable, cans or bottles?

The short answer: local beer, in glass bottles. 2nd runner-up is long-distance beer (i.e. out-of-state or country) in aluminum cans. Still, I know aluminum mining, extraction is heavy-duty, and making aluminum requires LOTS OF ELECTRICITY. So, what's a beer drinker with hippy tendancies to do? Glass is HEAVY, but after reading these few articles, plus a recent book that's a fascinating look into the impact of our "stuff," I'm likely to buy local/regional beer in glass bottles now. Still, aluminum cans are GREAT for hiking/camping; we had a 12-pack of Fat Tire, in cans, along for a weekend hike/swim/rock climb-scrambling in Rock Island State Park this weekend. All beer, no weight! Jumping off a 30 ft. cliff into the Caney Fork River (less than 60 degree water?) definitely wore-off a little 90 degree weather and beer haze. : )


  1. First of all...the new look for the blog is pimp, nicely done. Secondly, from what I know outside of your research, local in bottles then cans is def the way to go. I am looking forward to hauling some alluminum clad brew to the river for some cliff jumping myself here in a few weeks...BTDubs, we best be making some fabulous meals during my stint in the Ville. Pizzle, Sweet T

  2. Like the new look...easier to read!!

  3. Or, just go down to your local brewery and have some suds in a pint glass! supporting local business, and the glass is washed! I so can't wait to take you this brewery near our place (big boss brewery) when you visit... real neat dingy hole in the wall!
    (i need to do a post about that...)

  4. There are other options to your choice of delivery vessel. First is the "party keg" style - about a gallon of beer in a big can with built in spout. You can recycle the tin afterward, but I keep mine as part of my brewerania collection.

    Second, Yazoo, Blackstone, and Cools Springs brewery all offer growlers, 64 ounce glass vessels that are infinitely reuseable.

    Third, Yazoo also offers a 5 gallon "syrup keg" sized keg, which is returnable and reusable. The 5 gallon ones are available at the brewery every Thursday,Friday, or Saturday


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