USDA Certified Organic Beers?

It’s all the rage. USDA certified organic products are cropping up everywhere in marketplaces across many industries. We’re not talking about a Kosher product exactly, but a certified and monitored crop which is considered organic by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Why is this so important? Certain folks believe in using only all natural ingredients and the world governments are doing their best to guide business to follow a common set of rules (for the most part).

“Requirements vary from country to country, and generally involve a set of production standards for growing, storage, processing, packaging and shipping” (wikipedia)

This means avoiding synthetic chemicals, farmland which is free from chemicals, keeping organic and non-organic products away from each other and, of course, on-site inspections! None of that is going to come cheap so you know a business that is certified organic is going to brag about it and tell their customers about the hoops they jump through for certification.

In a past article we talked about Stone Mill Pale Ale and it’s organic nature and a few weeks later we received a correction to the write up explaining that Stone Mill Pale Ale isn’t as organic as they state on the box, bottle and website. Keeping the writer anonymous (as they didn’t respond to my questions), this brew company stated:

“Beautiful website, but we take issue with your review of Stone Mill Pale Ale. It is NOT certified by the USDA as using 100% organic hops. It DOES have the USDA organic seal, but Anheuser Busch who makes Stone Mill beer without putting their name on it, petitioned the National Organic Standards Board in 2007 to lower the organic standard so that they could use NON-ORGANIC hops in their so-called organic beers like the ridiculously named and intentionally misleading “Wild Hop.” The ingredients list of this beer requires very careful reading as it implies that it is 100% organic when they are actually using organic malts, but not 100% organic hops.

They may be using .000001 percent organic hops, but they say organic hops AND….. because it’s legal under the current standard. As the first brewery to bottle an organic brew in the United States and the only American brewery to continuously use 100% organic hops in their organic beer and as a brewery that actually works to maintain and uphold the standards of organic production and sustainability, we respectfully say, “Pplllbbbbttt!” to that beer and its intentional misrepresentation to beer drinkers interested in drinking great, USDA certified organic beers.”

If they do, however, get back to me with their response I’d respectfully love to try their brew and write up a review on it! I’m sure, with the emotion they’re hold, they are very proud of their brew and deserve the publicity. But, I don’t want to mention their name in the case that they’re not looking to make it public.

The end result is, their are standards to follow and larger companies may try their best to make the standards meet their beer in order to market their beer as a traditional recipe with traditional growing practices. For our sake, I hope they don’t “bend the rules” to make things fit their own needs.


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