Indeed, it's a bit suspect when the most interesting thing a brewery has to say about its beer is that it's organic. We've all encountered the sad selection of two or three beers in wholefood shops, bought one or more and been underwhelmed.
But there are some breweries making organic beer which is superb; not just "good considering it's organic", or "organic and decent", but beer you'd cross the street to drink whether it were organic or not.
Here are five of them.
- Black Isle Brewery, Ross-shire: up in a remote corner of Scotland this outfit produces rich, tasty beers in contemporary packaging using organic ingredients.
- Pitfield Brewery, Essex: I've never had a beer from this brewery that was anything less than stunning and their recreations of historical porter and IPA are spectacular.
- Marble Brewery, Manchester: Amazing beer and they've just won the Champion Beer of Greater Manchester, which must count for something.
- Traditional Scottish Ales, Stirling: formerly Bridge of Allan Brewery, well-made beers for those who prefer their ale on the malty side, and also the makers of Glencoe Wild Oat Stout, outstanding by any criteria.
- Brauerei Spezial, Bamberg: world famous for its smoked lager, less well known for taking all its barley from organic farmers in the local region. Barley? Yes, for Spezial is also one of fewer than ten German breweries that still make their own malt.