A great way to learn about local businesses that are going green is to attend the Sustainable Business Network's Boston Local Food Festival, held every September. And a great way to make sure that this event has the funding it needs to keep happening is to attend the Local Craft Brewfest on the waterfront.
Usually held the weekend before the Local Food Festival, this year's Brewfest was postponed because of the government shutdown, so you've still got plenty of time to buy your tickets before the new date of Nov. 22.
Local Craft Brewfest, in addition to being a great way for the Boston Local Food Festival to connect Boston locavores with sustainable food vendors in their community, is in itself a way to support local business, learn about new products, and have a great time. Here are a few vendors to make sure to visit if you go.
You'll find a wide variety of flavors derived from locally sourced ingredients in Watch City's unique line of specialty beers, from chocolate to espresso to a variety of herbs and spices. The Waltham-based brewery keeps it green by donating their spent grains to local dairies for use in animal feed.
Boston's only commercial "nano-brewery," Idle Hands in Everett produces only 1.5 barrels of any one batch at a time, which is little more than a tenth of a micro-brewery's output. Their Belgian ales are specifically designed for food pairing, so after visiting their booth at Brewfest, hurry over to the food tables to see what combinations work best.
Rapscallion boasts the oldest beer from Massachusetts still available on tap: the Harvard Lager, whose recipe dates back to 1898. In addition to this golden oldie, you'll find the Premier, a Belgian ale, Blessing, a high in alcohol brew with plenty of hops, and Honey, an eco-friendly pale ale that gets its sweetness from keeping local bees in business.
Peak Organic Brewing Company is dedicated to sourcing as much of its ingredients locally and organically as it possibly can. Along with Watch City and other brewers you'll find at the festival, Peak gets much of its barley from Valley Malt, Massachusetts' only working malt house. Look for Fall Summit Ale and Winter Session Ale to warm up what's sure to be a chilly night at the waterfront.
If the hard stuff is more your scene, there will be several distilleries of spirits attending Brewfest as well, including Turkey Shore, the makers of Old Ipswich rum, a line of drinks with not-too-sweet, flavorful bite. One of the few rum distilleries to source domestic molasses, Turkey Shore also gives back to the community through a number of charitable organizations.
The 4th Annual Local Craft Brewfest will be held at the John J. Moakley Courthouse from 6-9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. Tickets are $45 each or $85 per pair.