Just like all other areas of organic food and beverages, the demand for organic beer, lager and cider is growing strongly. They are becoming so popular they are common sights on bottle shop shelves.
Organic beer has exceptional clarity without the use of chemical fining agents or filtration, and it has a clean, flavourful taste. Organic malts usually have a lower protein content which produces a clear mash and less haze problems in the finished beer. These malts generally have a higher mash efficiency and a faster fermentation. [Mash refers to the process by which crushed malts and other grains are placed into a vessel and steeped at various temperatures in order to convert the starches in the grains into sugars.] Organic malts and hops also have no chemical residues to interfere with fermentation to give the organic brewer a clean, unadulterated beer.
Conventional growers of barley and hops use artificial fertilisers and pesticides most of which are known to have an adverse effect on our health causing cancer, reproductive disorders, respiratory ailments and allergies, and the health of the ecosystem in which we live. Even trace residues of toxins present in the barley, hops, water, yeast or adjuncts, used to make beer can cause ill health, especially over a long period of time. Concentrations of agricultural toxins are found in many water supplies to breweries.
Australia has a number of beers and ales that are certified, or are in the process of certification, one of which is Barossa Valley Organic Ale.