PR / Planet Earth (March 2024) – Portico Brewing believes business should be a force for good, especially when it comes to the environment. The community-focused brewery’s Environmental Handprint initiatives range from adopting newly planted neighborhood trees to working toward official bike-friendly business certification to raising money and awareness for its local watershed associations. In honor of Earth Houran annual celebration that brings the world together, shines a spotlight on nature loss and the climate crisis, and inspires people to act and advocate for urgent change, Portico has brewed its most environmentally conscious beer yet.

Earth Hour Pale Ale features 100% locally sourced ingredients, including craft malt from Valley Malt (MA) and Blue Ox Malthouse (ME), as well as hops from Four Star Farms (MA). Valley Malt sources 100% of its grains from local farms in New England and New York, is powered by renewable hydroelectric power, and unlike most maltsters uses 100% reusable or compostable packaging. Blue Ox Pale Malt is certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, combines modern technology with traditional floor malting methods, and supports more resilient regional agriculture through shorter supply chains and thoughtful farming practices. 

Most beers rely on hops from the Pacific Northwest, but the Cascade and Centennial varieties used to brew Earth Hour Pale Ale came from the first commercial hop farm in New England in more than a century, Four Star Farms. The family business uses integrated pest management (IPM) practices and grows 9 varieties on 17 acres of land less than 100 miles from Portico’s Somerville brewery. 

Brewed in Portico’s all-electric brewhouse, powered by “100% local green” renewable energy from its municipal electricity aggregation program, Earth Hour Pale Ale created a significantly lower carbon footprint than your typical beer. To lower its impact even more, an abbreviated boil time was used, just enough to effectively sterilize the wort while decreasing the typical amount of energy used in a full boil by more than half. Additionally, CO2 from late-stage fermentation was contained and used for natural carbonization. 

Earth Hour Pale Ale will only be available at the taproom, on draught and served in reusable glassware. In collaboration with the Somerville Community Growing Center, a special cask version featuring locally foraged hemlock (Tsuga canadensis from the coniferous tree, not the poisonous plant) will be tapped on March 23rd. Sage McTaggart, a volunteer who teaches foraging classes and more at the Growing Center, was the inspiration for the idea. 

A special cask version of Earth Hour Pale Ale, featuring locally foraged hemlock, will be tapped on March 23rd at Portico’s Somerville/Cambridge taproom.

All environmentally conscious Earthlings are invited to the taproom to sample both versions of the beer while posting eco-conscious thoughts on a pledge wall, and to stick around when the taproom lights get turned down for a special Earth Hour toast at 8:30. 

To fully embrace the Earth Hour spirit – working together to turn a single Earth Hour into millions of hours of action for our one shared home – you can join the Portico Greenzo Team before the taproom opens at noon for a neighborhood clean-up and tree care outing. RSVP with Eco Rob. Or check out the official Earth Hour website for other ways you can give an hour by doing something positive for our planet on Saturday, March 23.

About Portico Brewing

Portico Brewing is inspired by architecture and design of all kinds, and its approachable beers are made for everyone to enjoy. Its focus is to rethink traditional styles and create beers with classic ingredients and careful technique. Formerly a contract brand, Portico debuted its own brewery and community focused taproom near the Somerville-Cambridge line in Massachusetts in spring of 2023. Committed to environmental values, it’s part of the movement that believes in business for good.  

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