Whale Oil Beef Hooked

The news is abuzz with alcohol-related energy headlines.

Reaping Global Warming’s Bitter Fruits
The front page of today’s Washington Post declares that the wine-grape harvest has begun in the northern French region of Alsace. Hooray!

Or not.

Harvest is supposed to be a joyful season, celebrating the bounty Mother Earth has allowed us to reap and transform into intoxicating juice. But this year’s harvest offers little cause for carousing. It is the earliest grape harvest ever recorded in Alsace and vintners and scientists alike are saying it is the tangible result of a warming world.

Beer-Fueled Biofuels
Researchers at the School of Contemporary Sciences at the University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland, have been awarded a grant to investigate ways of converting brewing and distilling waste into biofuels. I wrote about this in Fermenting Revolution and also wrote in my April 2007 American Brewer column about how Coors is already producing ethanol from brewing grains. I also blogged about how the cost of European barley is on the climb because farmers are switching to crops for biofuels.

Start Your Beer Engines!
CAMRA, the UK-based consumer advocacy group for cask ale, has caught on to the environmental beer message. Check out their recent press release titled: Drink Real Ale, Save the World. Sound familiar? I wrote a whole section about this in my book. I’d like to think the news release was prompted at least in part by the fact that I gave CAMRA leader, and Good Beer Guide editor, Roger Protz, a copy of my book when he visited Washington D.C. in April, just prior to the release of this press announcement in June.

But regardless of the source of inspiration, it’s nice to see that CAMRA is getting hip to promoting the eco-efforts of Britain’s green brewers. Protz is himself a dedicated greenie with decidedly socialist leanings to boot. Among his many books and writings, he edited the Socialist Worker and later founded the Workers League, and in 2002 he published the Organic Beer Guide.

Among the many ideas espoused in the media notice is the claim that “real ale reduces energy used in the pub as the beer is served naturally cool, not superchilled, through a handpull which requires no electricity!” On this point, I agree. Here’s an article about how real ale fights global warming that I just transferred from my old Fermenting Revolution website.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the title of this blog post. Say it fast with an Irish accent and you’ll know what we’ll be if we don’t do something about global warming. (Thanks to “Keith W. Not the Other Fellow” for this handy phrase.)

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