"Organic" may not mean much anymore, but commitment — to the environment, to the product, to the community — still does, and Berkeley's Bison Brewing has all three in spades. It's one of the few certified-organic breweries in the country — a decision, according to owner Dan Del Grande, equal parts hop-head and tree-hugger, that was prompted out of "wanting my professional life to intersect better with my personal values," and that contributes to cleaner rivers, more sustainable soil practices, healthier farmworkers, and a host of other green goodnesses. But it's also one of the rare businesses that adopts the sustainable ethos even when it's inconvenient (like when the price of organic hops vastly outstrips that of conventional ones) and in every fiber of its corporate being (it brews using green energy whenever possible, employs 100-percent recycled paper in its six-packs, and even has its own carbon-offset club for customers). Best of all: The beer's just as good as — and often better than — the other stuff.
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