Here, Peak Organic Brewing Co. founder Jon Cadoux explains the difference between organic and non-organic beer, offers insights into the challenges associated with brewing organic beer, and provides tips on how to pick the perfect brew.
Q: What are the key distinctions between organic and non-organic beer?A: Organic beer is really simple: it’s all about using pure ingredients that have been sourced from farms that do not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Specifically, organic beer must be made using organic malt only (barley, wheat, sorghum). Organic hops must be used when they are commercially available, however by January 2013 the regulations will change and organic hops will be required. The production of organic barely and organic hops eliminates the routine use of synthetic herbicides, insecticides and fungicides and chemical fertilizers that are used in the conventional production of malt and hops. Instead organic production embraces cultural, mechanical and biological practices such as crop rotation, disease resistant varieties, early seeding dates, and tillage operations, fosters cycling of resources, promotes ecological balance and conserves biodiversity.
Q: What is the biggest challenge associated with brewing organic beer?
A: Many people assume that it’s a lot harder to brew organic beer than it is to brew beer using conventional methods, but it’s really not. If anything, it just takes a little more time to source ingredients and good communication with farmers. And that’s the fun part!
Q: How long does it take to brew a batch of organic beer?
A: On average, organic beer takes 2 weeks to brew.
Q:What factors should consumers consider when deciding which organic beer to pick off store shelves?
A: Picking the right beer for you is all about knowing what you like and pursuing it. If you like a hoppy flavor, you’ll want to go for a pale ale or an IPA. Or, if you prefer a richer beer, you should steer more towards stouts and dark ales.
Q: What is the best way to store organic beer?
A: The most important factor in storing beer is keeping the temperature consistent. So, if the beer is cold when you get it, keep it cold. If it’s warm and then you refrigerate it, avoid letting it warm up again.
Another thing to keep in mind is that IPAs and more hoppy beers should be consumed as close to fresh as possible. On the other hand, beers with a high alcohol content get better and more flavorful with time.
Q: What is one surprising fact about organic beer that few people would know?
A: When organic beer is made well, it should as good or better than any other beer on the market.
About Jon Cadoux
Jon Cadoux has been an avid brewer since the nineties. Whenever possible, he would find ingredients from local, organic farmers for his homebrews. It was a defining day when Jon discovered that you don’t need to sacrifice flavor for sustainability, but that pure ingredients actually make the beer more delicious.
At that point, Jon decided he would attempt to mesh his passion for local, sustainable agriculture with his love for making delicious beer. Peak Organic Brewing was born.
Today, Jon makes Peak available in many tasty varieties, like India Pale Ale, Fall Summit, Winter Session, Simcoe Spring, Summer Session, Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Maple Oat, Espresso Amber, Pomegranate Wheat with Acai, King Crimson Imperial Red, Hop Noir Black IPA and Weiss Principal Imperial Hefe. When not making or selling beer, Jon makes sure to enjoy the outdoors, finding time to jog, surf, ski and hike with family and friends.