Organic Beer with Non-Organic Hops?

beer hops

So, you’re pumped about Oktoberfest and stocking your pantry with delicious, organic beers so you can have a responsible celebration. What if you found out that one of the main ingredients in your bottle of organic brew wasn’t organic?

Hops, those little buds that give beer its bitter kick and IPAs their flowery aroma, is on the USDA list of non-organic ingredients allowed in certified organic products. The list is called the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.

How did hops get on this list? Back in 2007, most of the hops brewers were using were imported, and they claimed that it would just be too difficult to keep up with supply if they had to always source organic. Since then, though, more farmers have been growing domestic, organic hops. Maybe it’s time to take another look at the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances?

The American Organic Hops Grower Association is looking to do just that. They’ve petitioned USDA to remove hops from the list. Many craft beer makers support this petition, like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Lakefront Brewery, and Seven Bridges Cooperative.

The National Organic Standards Board is meeting this week to vote on whether to keep or remove hops from the list. If you want to sign the petition, now is the time!

[h/t: Food & Water Watch]

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Nikon vs Canon

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