12/19/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Get Your Green Beer While It Lasts!

Planet Green reports that green beer -- that's eco-friendly beer, not the stuff you buy on St. Patrick's Day -- is becoming more widespread. Because beer, like most consumables, is limited to being greenest to those who live closest to where it's produced, they've started off with a list of East-coast green-ish beers.

It's now a full-fledged environmental phenomenon. From organic draughts to solar-powered breweries, there's an entire burgeoning world of eco beers. There are so many emerging, in fact, that we've decided to break them down by region--starting with the East Coast.

Now there are a few ways a beer can be considered green: It can be brewed via environmentally friendly processes, or made with green ingredients like pesticide and chemical-free organic barley and hops. Naturally, the greenest beers take both into account. The good news is drinking organic beer actually helps prevent soil degradation and water source contamination where barley and hops are harvested.

But the brewing industry is in for a bit of a shock. The auto industry it ain't, but it has some of the same problems: everything's more expensive right now and consumers have less money. Brewers have to get their water, energy and distribution bills paid. All of the beers listed on the Planet Green list are organic brews, and organic hops aren't so easy to come by!

Some people are worried that craft brewers, the smaller, local brewers more likely to have effective green practices, are in for tough times amid the financial crisis.