One of the more refreshing aspects of the craft beer world is the sheer number of breweries who use their knowledge, time and product to better their own local communities as well as the world around them.
Last year, one such brewery took it upon themselves to begin the conversation of sustainability by hosting a conference at their brewery attended by dozens of other St. Louis area breweries. There they discussed sustainable brewing practices and the increasing impact of climate change on the quality and availability of ingredients needed to brew beer.
At the end of the conference, a “Declaration of Sustainability” was signed by all participating breweries and the St. Louis Brewers Guild, who also called upon many local communities, businesses, and policymakers to take action in both promoting sustainability and reducing climate change.
“Sustainability may sound like a buzzword, but it really is a critical element for those of us involved in brewing beer,” said Alvan Caby, Sustainability Coordinator at Urban Chestnut. “We work with farmers and utilize natural ingredients, so we feel that doing whatever we can to employ sustainable practices is important to the existence of our industry.”
A special “Earth Day Beer” was even created by Urban Chestnut for the event. A portion of sales of Gewässerschutz, a Maibock whose name roughly translates to “water protection,” benefitted the Missouri Coalition for the Environment.
Now, a year later, sustainability remains a core part of Urban Chestnut’s ‘Urban Efforts’ initiative, which champions environmental responsibility and positive contributions to the community. To mark this effort and to honor the 30th anniversary of Earth Day St. Louis, the brewery has partnered with Earthday 365 to brew a new special Maibock.
The Bock style—a lager—dates back several centuries. Traditionally, Maibocks (or Helles Bock) were brewed in spring (Mai = May) and offered beer drinkers a break from the thicker, heavier winter beers.
Traditionally, Maibocks are lighter in color, less malty, and pretty dry due to additional hops. On the tongue, a good Maiblock will balance out the roasted malts and the hops. This new Maibock will have similar stats to Gewasserschutz, but it will be called “bEARTHday Bock.” The name was selected via a competition that Earthday 365 ran on their social media channels back in February. It will debut at this year’s Earth Day festival on April 22 and will be on tap at both Urban Chestnut locations through May. A portion of proceeds from each pour sold in their taste rooms will be donated back to St. Louis Earth Day.
bEARTHday (ABV 6.4% | IBUs 28) is a relatively pale, strong, malty German lager beer. It will pour a light amber color with strong but smooth malty notes and a smooth, slightly dry finish.