Tag Archives: marquette

The End of the 3,000 Mile Beer?


This is a re-post from 2012. At the time focus was on sustainability. The Great Lakes were at there lowest levels in years and that summer we may have had our first shock of climate change. Here is a great guest post talking about one of my favorite topics.


With energy resources becoming the global concern that it is, will beer disappear? First I will answer that with a NO. However, it will be more likely that the beer I drink may be a home brew as opposed to a Molson, Coors, or PBR.

I give you this scenario for globalized worlds need to become local. The reason I pose the need for localization aligning with the effect on beer, because what would the world be without beer.

The way things typically work in the mass production of beer vary but putting things generically will give perspective. Central brewing locations import ingredients. These ingredients are grown typically in a monoculture setting using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers; all of which are distributed with petrol driven machines. Shipping these ingredients trucks, or in some cases planes, are used both using petrol as fuel. Once in the brewing location, energy is used to brew and package the beer; likely this will be from coal or natural gas power. After the final product is created it is shipped by the same means ingredients are imported.  Once in the store it is purchased by the consumer. This excludes the employees who drive vehicles to get to work along the entire scenario.

This look is meant to give an idea about how much oil goes into a bottle or can of beer. The entire world supply of oil can fit into green bay, and half is gone. With the diminishing supplies prices will rise and the price of draft may increase forever.

Being local cuts back hugely on the amount of petroleum used and stimulate local economy. I say start a home-brew revolution, support your local brewers. Nothing brings a community together like enjoying a cold mug of brew with friends, made in your own neighborhood.


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My local brewery in Marquette, Michigan

Blackrocks – http://www.blackrocksbrewery.com/index.html

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Road Trip to Keweenaw


It was a free Saturday while picking up our son at Northern Michigan University. He wanted to skip the walk and do a road trip with the old folks. We were honored. My wife had never ventured to one of the remotest regions of Michigan, the tip of the Upper Peninsula in Keweenaw county. We agreed to strike out for a bit of an adventure that morning.

It was a two hour drive to reach Baraga. We stopped and stretched our legs at Shine of Bishop Baraga. Here you can check out a copper statue that is over 35 feet tall and weighs in at over four tons. The Snowshoe Priest looks out over Keweenaw Bay. The view is spectacular. Refreshed we pressed on to Houghton/ Hancock. This is the home of Michigan Technological University and the birthplace of professional hockey. From there we hit numerous little towns that dotted the copper ridge of the peninsula. These towns sprung up around the copper mines that drove shafts 100s of feet to reach the rich copper ore. Both the Quincey and Delaware mines have tours when the season starts in mid May.

We reached Copper Harbor and caught a late lunch at the Mariner. There were not too many places open at the end of the road but the food was delicious.

We took a few shots at the harbor. Fighting our way to the waters edge with two feet of hard packed snow still in place. Then drove down past Eagle Harbor, and Eagle River and Calumet before making our way back to Marquette. It was a lot of driving but resulted in a great road trip.

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The End of the 3,000 Mile Beer?


With energy resources becoming the global concern that it is, will beer disappear? First I will answer that with a NO. However, it will be more likely that the beer I drink may be a home brew as opposed to a Molson, Coors, or PBR.

I give you this scenario for globalized worlds need to become local. The reason I pose the need for localization aligning with the effect on beer, because what would the world be without beer.

The way things typically work in the mass production of beer vary but putting things generically will give perspective. Central brewing locations import ingredients. These ingredients are grown typically in a monoculture setting using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers; all of which are distributed with petrol driven machines. Shipping these ingredients trucks, or in some cases planes, are used both using petrol as fuel. Once in the brewing location, energy is used to brew and package the beer; likely this will be from coal or natural gas power. After the final product is created it is shipped by the same means ingredients are imported.  Once in the store it is purchased by the consumer. This excludes the employees who drive vehicles to get to work along the entire scenario.

This look is meant to give an idea about how much oil goes into a bottle or can of beer. The entire world supply of oil can fit into green bay, and half is gone. With the diminishing supplies prices will rise and the price of draft may increase forever.

Being local cuts back hugely on the amount of petroleum used and stimulate local economy. I say start a home-brew revolution, support your local brewers. Nothing brings a community together like enjoying a cold mug of brew with friends, made in your own neighborhood.

Image

My local brewery in Marquette, Michigan

Blackrocks – http://www.blackrocksbrewery.com/index.html