Sustainable Suds

Goose Island releases its first eco-conscious beer

Our plan for this weekend: Go to Big Star, eat a taco, drink a Green Line–and save a square foot of rainforest.

When creating Green Line Pale Ale, the eco-conscious Goose Island beer that launches today, founder and brewmaster John and Greg Hall calculated the carbon cost of a pint of draft beer. What footprint they can't eliminate in production, they're offsetting by donating money to rainforest protection programs.

On the home front, they're doing away with bottles (it's keg-only), coasters and shipping–meaning the beer will be for Chicago drinkers only.

And they're sourcing ingredients as locally as possible: The lightly bitter, pale-copper-color ale is made from Wisconsin malt and four kinds of Pacific Northwest hops. (There are no hops grown in Wisconsin, but Goose Island and the Wisconsin Brewers Guild are working to change that.) The pint glasses are made in Milwaukee, and the taps are made from fallen local trees.

"If 312 is the beer for the social drinker," says Greg, "then this is a beer for the social drinker who's a little more socially conscious."

The Goose Island brewpubs and Uncommon Ground are tapping their kegs today; they'll be joined by Big Star and Hopleaf later this week.

Also launching later today: Goose Island's new website–glproject.com–about Green Line and becoming a more sustainable brewery.