Zero waste beer

Disclaimer: I actually do not drink beer because I think it’s kind of gross. You know what I like? Yep, coffee. There have been a few hard ciders I’ve sort of enjoyed, and one very nice dessert pear wine I got to taste on a birthday wine tour a couple of years ago. But mostly coffee.

Oh, and water. Totally boring.


Why, don’t mind if we do!

But even though I do not drink beer, I am a beer snob. Well, Eric, that’s why. He’s a former homebrewer and is totally into microbrews, so we’ve been to all manner of brewery (strangely, many of our travels take us directly into their path. What a coincidence!). He even has a pint glass collection. It’s in his office so I don’t care because I’m not the one who has to look at the dust.

Anyway, I’m not exactly sure how he came up with the idea of taking his five-gallon keg into a brewery to be filled, but I was like, awesome, do it. No caps to toss or bottles to recycle? Yes, please.


Perhaps the most boring action shot ever taken. Ah, well.

Plus our tourist trap of a town has plenty of breweries, so he has a lot of options. And it’s only about $20 more than it would cost him to brew a batch – plus saves him an entire day. And also: Hops really stink.

(He was telling this story once at a party, and the guys were like, Trisha lets you buy five gallons of beer at a time? And Eric was all, it’s zero waste! And I was like, yep, totally environmental. Plus it’s not like he drinks it in one sitting or doesn’t share it when people come over. Geez, get a grip.)

Sometimes Eric plans his keg purchases to coincide with field trips … like the one we took to Eugene recently to visit our friends. While my one stop is always Market of Choice, his is Oakshire Brewing. Plus, bonus, Oakshire donates one percent of their Watershed IPA sales to watershed conservation.


Size options range from tiny to huge.

Depending on the brewery, sometimes you have to call in advance to get a keg filled, but at Oakshire you can just walk in and hand it over and in less than 20 minutes you’re outta there.

And P.S., you don’t have to get a keg. You can go as small as a growler or as big as a half a barrel. (That’s for the ragers, I guess. Makes Eric’s keg look positively tiny.)

BONUS STORY: I finally have a positive meat counter tale to tell! During my weekend shopping trip, I was bummed to see Mr. Plastic behind the counter … and then excited to see so many other clerks, too. The line behind me was long enough that I figured if he offered to help me, I could just pretend I hadn’t made up my mind until one of the others were available.

But I didn’t even have to use my acting skillz because a woman I’m not sure I’d seen before offered to help, and I was all, I’d like to get this chicken in this container? And she was all, sure! and took my orange tupperware and plopped it up on the scale, got the tare and then filled it with chicken. No plastic, no paper, not to mention no chicken slime on the outside of my container. I was positively beaming when she was finished. This is the stuff of my best zero waste dreams right here.

“Is she your new best friend?” Johanna asked as I was telling this story to Eric. You know she is.

Next up: So that’s how Eric gets his beer. Now it’s my turn with coffee beans. 🙂