January 2, 2012 in Features

Do Your Part: Support local spirits this season

Terri Bennett Mcclatchy Newspapers
 

The holiday season means celebrating with family, friends, co-workers, and more. If you’re deciding what adult beverages to serve at the next gathering – say, for your Super Bowl party – or just looking to treat yourself, Do Your Part by seeking out some local varieties of beers and wines. It’s an easy way to support your local economy; it’s a wonderful gift to the planet and it’s now easier than ever to find one.

There are more than 500 microbreweries in the U.S. and wine is produced in each one of the 50 states. Finding local spirits is easier than ever and there are so many benefits. When you support local producers of beers and wines, you inject money into the local and regional economies and help provide needed jobs across America. Buying local also reduces the miles traveled to deliver the product to your door. This means that your new favorite brew or glass of wine will also have a much smaller impact on the planet.

You can also Do Your Part by selecting organic beers and wines. And like local options, the choices for organic varieties of beer and wine seem to grow by the day and are available on many store shelves. You can also find a growing number of organic choices on liquor store shelves.

Of course the greenest choice would be to make your own. I remember my parents making wine, in balloon-capped bottles, while growing up on a farm in Kentucky. Today, I know a number of passionate “basement brew masters.” I rarely encounter anyone making great wine in their bathtub nowadays but I have tasted some great home brews. If you’d like to learn more about making your own beer, HomeBrewersAssociation.org is a good place to start.

It’s easy to Do Your Part — even while you are enjoying that next beer or glass of wine. By choosing a local or organic variety, you are helping the economy, protecting the planet and you just might find a new tasty favorite.

Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, author, and founder of DoYourPart, everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to terri@doyourpart.com and follow DoYourPart on Facebook and Twitter.


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