Drinking beer and saving the environment are typically at opposite ends of the social responsibility scale. But Tasmanian Brewer, Cascade, is trying to shift that norm by introducing the first 100% carbon neutral beer – Cascade Green. Not only is the manufacturing process completely carbon neutral, but so are the carbon outputs created once it’s distributed, purchased, drunk and disposed of.

It’s clear from the impressive website – www.cascadegreen.com.au – that they’ve really done their research. The beer is strong>preservative free and low-carb (therefore appealing to recent changing beer tastes to the favoured low-carb variety) and all ingredients are sourced locally where possible. The packaging used to sell the product is 76% recycled paperboard, that is non-tear and maintains its strength when wet. Offsets were also based on the ‘net impacts’ of the beer – taking it just beyond production and distribution.

This is an impressive leap for a beer manufacturer – others had only dabbled in the ‘clean and green’ approach previously (such as Pure Blonde as mentioned in a previous blog – I’m going to plant a tree for every blog article I write). It creates a clear and unbeatable position in the market place – the first 100% carbon neutral beer. Any competitors will only look like copy-cats from this point on.

It is an approach that is pretty risky – combining Australia’s favourite drink with saving the environment. But I think they’ve hit the nail on the head with this one. Young people are the strongest supporters of Australia’s carbon trading scheme and are becoming much more aware of their impacts on the environment. Dare I say it, but being green is shifting from dorky to cool. Innovators like Cascade have seen this happening and jumped on board.

The one thing left to consider is – does it taste any good? In the name of saving the environment, the beer drinkers in the Jack team will be making the switch to Cascade Green this weekend for the all important taste evaluation. Stay tuned for the outcome!