My latest Condé Nast Portfolio column is up, a piece on the current controversy in organic brewing.
The problem: hops, which are a booger to grow organically; demand, which is booming, thanks to the overall surge in demand for organic products; and regulatory change, which may make it impossible for brewers to use anything less than all organic hops in beer labeled "organic."
In a nutshell: demand for organic beers is growing much faster than the ability of farmers to grow more organic hops, while a lawsuit brought against the USDA may force the agency to take hops off an exemption list that allows conventionally-grown hops in organic beers under certain circumstances.
The surprise: one of the brewers that have already gone to using all organic hops...is Anheuser-Busch. (Yes, there are craft brewers using all organic hops as well.)
Read all about it.