Free Range Red Ale was one of my birthday presents! It is a product of the Laurelwood Public House & Brewery in Portland, Oregon, the city most identified with the craft brew renaissance. These folks are doing the organic thing, which is cool by me. Over at French Street Brewery we are moving in the same direction. The beer had a dark amber color and a big tasty crystal malt flavor. Good stuff.
The growing interest in organic ingredients is good for all of us. I'm not a fool--the use of industrial chemicals to improve yields is one of the major technological achievements of the 20th century. The fact that less than 2% of our population can feed hundreds of millions of people is one of the cornerstones of our civilization. Agricultural science will continue to bring innovations to farming that will benefit all of humankind. The movement to "organics" is not a rejection of modernity--far from it. It is a recognition that dependence on any one technological scheme is a mistake. It is an attempt to unify progress with ecological stewardship. It is a bridge from the past to a future based on sustainability. In a decade, we won't be throwing that outdated and inaccurate word--organic--around because we will view all production through this new lens, that of a sustainable future.
At least I hope so. In the meantime, drink up!
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