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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

As someone who has self-identified as an everyday wine drinker (barring a few periods of half-hearted "cleansing") and priding myself on (mostly) supporting independent wine shops and smaller, more sustainable producers, I finally got tired of my own bullshit this summer and took a hard look at my drinking habits. As the pandemic raged around us and our own financial belts tightened, reaching for our nightly bottle (or two, ugh) of Beaujolais or Pinot Noir (or fill-in-the-blank) started to feel less like a way to relax and more like an unhinged luxury akin to compulsive clothes shopping.

Why did I feel that a case full of wine– no matter how noble its origin– was something that should be a staple in my home, like olive oil or tinned fish? Here in the UK, good wine is expensive and sustainably made wine from small importers even more-so (sadly this is not Provence where we can get biodynamic wine at our local Co-Op for just a few €). Why had almost daily consumption been so normalised amongst me and my friends, even whilst we all complained about being so skint? <inert: Kim there's people that are dying gif>

I've been abstaining from alcohol this month as I sort out my feelings around my drinking habits and think about ways to more thoughtfully consume alcohol going forward. I still have some thinking to do, but after this month I definitely want to treat alcohol more like a luxury– like the pair of earrings you only wear to nice dinners or parties– and not as a given. I'm also v relieved to report that giving it up this month hasn't changed my life much. (I sleep better but I still feel anxious about, like, everything.) In fact, it's been a lot easier to abstain from alcohol than other things I've been trying to cut back on, like doom-scrolling Twitter. It's also saved me a lot of money, which means I can re-direct that to some worthy causes and comfortably subscribe to things like this newsletter! Do I miss luxuriating in my yoga/couch clothes at the end of the night with an Olivia Pope-sized glass of red? Kinda! But my at-home kombucha brews are honestly just as good for drawing the line in the proverbial sand that separates work from relaxation in these fluid pandemic days and it's nice to not have to take the recycling out so often.

Anyway! This is enormous. Thanks for giving us a place to type through our feelings, Alicia. 🤣

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I tend to buy craft beers to explore nuances of flavor. And relatively local - nothing flown from overseas. Though I enjoy finding gems from the broader Eastern and Central Europe region. After trying something better, I can't deal with the bland, flavorless standardized lagers anymore. Nor artificial flavors. I just want something that feels real. Unfortunately, there's rarely info on the sourcing of ingredients - I wish "craft" products focused more explicitly on sustainability.

As for the "how" - here in my city, a beer on a bench in the park or a public garden is what we do all summer. Classic. I love how we use public space and it creates a sense of community.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Agreed. We have an amazing craft beer scene in Chicago and most brewers could tell us everything about what they choose to achieve the different flavors and notes on the palate, but they won't be able to speak to their sourcing. Hoping this will shift soon.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Rebecca and Ani! As someone who has been in and out of the craft beer industry, this is something I've seen as a huge opportunity and I'm excited to hear drinkers like yourselves have taken notice. Since this whole 'drink local' shift gained momentum several years ago, it seems like the natural next shift should be sourcing local/ethically from the raw materials side, no? Beyond the Pacific Northwest, most of the microclimates in the US are not suitable for growing hops. But malt, yeast, other adjuncts? There's a lot of room for further transparency in the world of beer, and it's only a matter of time before consumers are going to demand it with more gusto. Thankfully there are several breweries and industry professionals around the US leading the way on this. Maltsters working with California-grown grain (Admiral Maltings/Alameda, CA), breweries making a conscious effort to source sustainably (Foam Brewers/Burlington, VT), and initiatives bringing people closer to the ingredients (TopWire Hop Project by Crosby Hops/Willamette Valley, OR). Since you're in Chicago, check out Is/Was Brewing. They're making thoughtful styles, often with local malt.

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Wow, thanks for the good news Olivia :) Nice to hear about folks doing something positive, no matter how small, in these troubled times.

It seems the beer industry in general has been growing by leaps and bounds - I'm not sure how it was in the US, but here in my small Balkan country craft beer wasn't even really a thing a decade ago. Now it's common in bigger cities, and there are dozens of small breweries. In my partner's hometown in the Midwest, they're reviving century-old breweries to make more authentic beers. It seems like an international movement. After we've gone more local and handmade, it totally makes sense that sustainable ingredients with a story would be the next step. Good to hear of people already doing that.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Thank you for the suggestion, I will check them out!

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Hi, all! As a writer who focuses on craft beer, this is a super interesting discussion. I love hearing about the industry people focusing on local/sustainable sourcing, Olivia, and about the international movement toward this, Ani! Here in Seattle, the breweries I patronize most frequently do seem to do a good job of sourcing locally and using sustainable practices when they can, but I agree that there should be more conversation around this in the public dialogue; I only know about some of these practices from interviews and behind the scenes discussions with owners and brewers. As you noted, Olivia, we have a great climate for growing hops here and we are lucky to be able to source hops, malt and grain from places like Eastern WA and the Skagit Valley nearby — it would be great to see more regional efforts to help get local-ish ingredients to places that don't have all of this at their fingertips.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

My go-to alcohol purchase when I don't want to think too hard is a bottle of red wine from the local wine shop where the employees are always eager to chat about their latest favorites and help suggest pairings for food. I've finally been able to find natural wines, and did a lot of exploring of those over the summer. I found myself seeking lightness and bubbles this summer, more so than ever before–perhaps as a way to feel a sense of levity in times of collapse. I'm always interested in trying different gins made in the area, too. I'm in Wisconsin, and there are several gin distilleries within the state and in neighboring Minnesota where I've discovered some truly fantastic gin!

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Hi Clare! This sounds so lovely– my family is in MN and WI and if you don't mind sharing, I'd love to know what distilleries you're loving so I can send some good spirits (literally!) to family over the holidays. Xx

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Out of St. Paul, MN, I really like Dampfwerk, and in WI, I'm a fan of State Line. Hope your family enjoys!

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Seconding Dampfwerk (also, who can resist those adorable bunnies on their bottles?!). And YAY for a whole bunch of folks here from the Midwest. (I'm based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN).

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Ahh I'm originally from the Twin Cities! So fun - thank you for the recommendations! <3

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Thank you so much! <3

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When the pandemic first started we added a shot of Mezcal to our nightly aperitif ritual while cooking dinner. Went through a few bottles rather quickly including: Mezcal Yuu Baal Pechuga which gets its signature taste from the raw turkey breast that is hung in the still between the second and third distillation, Mezcal Bozal Espadin Barril Mexicano (in the cool ceramic bottle) and only about an inch left in a bottle of Mezcal Derrumbes San Luis Potosi made from the wild agave Salmiana, and produced without smoke which makes it really enchanting. But it's usually a vermouth on the rocks followed by wine (always natural - you are what you drink). We always have 2-3 bottles open at a time (they store well in the fridge) so there's often a pet-nat, white, red or rosé. Currently drinking Subject to Change Egomaniac Cabernet Sauvignon, which is probably the first cab we've tapped in at least a decade (cause who drinks Cabernet Sauvignon anymore except for NBA players?), Jareninčan Črnkoa a Slovenian white blend we bought to celebrate the Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar (and his countryman Primož Roglic who came in second), St. Roy Haarmeyer Chenin Blanc and a bottle of Far West Orchard Blend Cider, Don't really drink too more than a couple glasses at dinner though because we get up every morning and run 5K on Ocean Beach in SF, so too much alcohol messes with our run times ;) Cheers!

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The sustainability question: In general we only patronize retailers who sell natural wines, easy to do in SF. But even they are hard pressed when it comes to verifying the provenance of the wines they sell. It's difficult if not impossible to find out if the workers who picked the grapes were paid a fair wage, did they have access to health care benefits, etc. We know a few retailers who ask directly when sampling wines whether the grapes were sprayed or not, and decline to stock those bottles if they were. On the other hand, many small winemakers are working to change the chemical habits of growers they work with. From an interview we did with Erin Pooley of Little Frances: "While I value and love many wines considered natural, I don’t classify myself as such in an attempt to stay away from the dogma and extremism of this movement. I value the economic sustainability of our farmers in their pursuit of quality in this ever increasingly expensive Northern Californian life. While not adding chemicals to my wine, to the earth, to the water table, to the fields and workplace of so many of our nation’s most vulnerable workers is incredibly important to me. I know that change occurs slowly, with long-term relationships and not overnight with the demands and inflexibility of mind I’ve seen in the market. Also, I add sulphur (at minimal levels for my wines) and filter when I believe it will benefit wine quality." As mentioned before, our mantra is "you are what you drink," so we try and find out as much as possible about a bottle before purchase.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

What and how: classic cocktails, usually one but never more than two, after dinner.

I wish sustainability could be a consideration, but everything is just so opaque. I do tend to buy rhum agricole, since Martinique has, I believe, French labor laws, and it seems like a reasonable and delicious way to ensure some level of decency.

Plus the market is oddly limited in the UK--I don't think (perhaps outside of London) there is much cocktail culture here. £11 for a vat of sugar with a "naughty" name is what you'll get, even in nicer bars, and that hardly inspires people to craft sophisticated drinks at home. Shopping for alcohol here is such a strange mix, as a result. I can buy spirits in the grocery store, even nice ones, but cocktail mixers are weirdly hard to come by. A place with 25 kinds of gin might sell one vermouth. (England is having a gin moment, but obviously NOT a martini moment.) Thank goodness for online alcohol sales, and for Scotch.

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100% with you on this. And as someone who lives outside of London, I'm here to say that cocktail culture is pretty sad, though we do have a few decent joints. And WHY DEAR GOD is it so difficult to buy Fernet-Branca here?!?!

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Sustainability was not something I had thought a lot about in terms of my boozing aside from favoring my local area producers, despite feeling strongly about it in other aspects of my buying, but now it will be! Thank you as always for the fascinating and enlightening discussions, Alicia!

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Mostly drinking hard kombucha these days, and wine. I sometimes go for organic / biodynamic wines, but there’s not a lot available that are labeled “sustainable” at the stores nearby. Living in California I feel like there should be quite a market for this.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

The wine we get is from trusted local wineries we’ve been to, and I try to stay away from the really cheap stuff.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Nowadays I mostly drink wine made by people I have met through tastings and writing about food and drink. Sometimes it could be a larger family owned winery that has sustainability cred (such as de Bortoli in Australia. Mostly it is from smaller producers who use minimal intervention techniques - now I live in South Africa - from the Western Cape. What is hard to work out is how sustainable everybody's labour practises are. Historically and in more recent times there have been terrible labour abuses though mostly wine farmers are trying to give people their own land. It's hard to know sometimes.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

I've been drinking wine since I'm not a fan of beer or hard liquor. Mostly red wine, a Pinot or Merlot, and I'm lucky enough to live within walking distance of an independent wine shop so it's been easy to local. My boyfriend and I have also decided to buy a bottle of local wine from wherever we travel to.

I'm definitely drinking more now than I did before the pandemic, but that's not saying much since I didn't really have time or money to go out back then. Now I drink a glass or two every couple of days or so, and mostly on the weekends. I once went a week drinking wine or beer every night but all it gave me was heartburn, so no more of that lol

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Because I can't go to bars, I have consciously begun investing in some nicer liquors at home. I've been drinking a good bit of amaro (campari, aperol, fernet), bourbon, tequila (+some not so great mezcal) and pastis. I was a bartender at a not-so-great Irish bar in Lower Manhattan for a few years, and at an English pub in the south of France, so I got used to hammering out sub-par cocktails without ever really thinking (or caring) much about them. The past six months have been a time for me to kind of relearn how to make a lot of drinks I used to have to make, but as I would like to drink them (i.e., tweaking ratios and amounts). As a result I've been making and enjoying lots of very simple cocktails (many are hardly cocktails at all) americanos (campari, vermouth & soda), campari & orange, margaritas, aperol spritzes, fernet & cokes, and manhattans. I still drink wine and beer, but a lot less frequently than before all of this. Pints with co-workers  were quite regular (once a week or more) before all of this, and perhaps some pubs at the weekend, but all of this has made me reevaluate how unthinking a lot of nights out were before all of this.

I think, for many in Ireland (where I live), the pandemic has made paying more money for (craft) alcohol you're going to consume at home less of an issue--and it has made them more conscious of how they drink, undone a bit of the mental separation between drinking anything at home vs drinking something a bit nicer at a bar/restaurant. This is a good thing, I think, and should, if anything, simply make me more appreciative of having a drink either alone, or with friends, in a bar, once this season in hell has ended.

I haven't thought about sustainability as it relates to alcohol, but your recent newsletter has really made me interested in learning more about it. Thanks for the insightful and thought-provoking writing!

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Recently moved to Norway, which is - I believe- the most expensive country for alcohol consumption. Having a sad teatotaler time on most days and will splurge on a beer or two once a week (its that expensive).

Luckily we recently found an arsenal of half drunk bottles of liquor in the house, most from circa 1970 and we have been experimenting with vintage cocktails, probably dicing with death too as I don't know how safe it is.

Keen on learning more about natural wines as any bottle here is a small investment, might as well be something real.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

Just checked and Norway is actually the 8th** most expensive

https://qz.com/1867914/these-countries-have-the-most-expensive-alcohol-in-the-world/

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founding

I mostly drink beer and wine. I started thinking about sustainability when I looked at the empty bottles. I live in California and we are lucky to have many local options to fill growlers and I have found a winery that refills bottles once a month too. As a farmer and chef, I experiment with making my own wine from overripe fruit. I was excited to learn that I can ferment whey, and will be making cheese on purpose to try it out.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

When it comes to what I buy for my home, which is where we're all drinking presently, it's almost always craft beer and wine. I've gotten into the habit of only buying organic or biodynamic wine. I'm also in love with natural wines but only get these on the rare occasion that I'm at a restaurant that's serving them because they are too expensive to buy with any regularity. With craft beer I stick to local brews (I live in Chicago, so why wouldn't I?) and have found a good organic brewery as well, though I only buy from them on occasion. And for spirits that I buy, Koval distills whiskey and gin right in Chicago using organic grains, and it's fantastic. My clear liquor of choice is sotol from Desert Door distillery, just outside of Austin, TX. It's an exceedingly sustainable way to make alcohol that for them involves using a weed and having relationships with the local ranchers and farmers. But after reading your newsletter I'm looking forward to also trying Good Vodka.

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I am tasting a lot of beer as I am studying for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server exam. What I am drinking is tequila. I have a bottle of Anejo Tequila that I have been drinking on the rocks since I don't have any mixers at home. I don't drink vodka any more, so I don't get hangovers I think of vodka as a fuckboi beause it goes with anything (tonic, soda, cranberry, orange, grapefruit). When it comes to sustainability, I like to buy local booze. There's a distillery in Savannah, Ghost Coast, that makes booze and hand sanitizer.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

I love to share wine with my family at dinnertime. Before we were together due to lockdown, I also enjoyed it alone,with dinner. I am drinking a little less,gotta make those bottles stretch a little further.That’s probably a good thing.

I have generally tried to buy wines from producers and importers who practice sustainability,but just have not developed a liking for most pet nat wines. I occasionally buy some wines from regions and grapes that I have never tasted, but in the long haul,love Loire Valley chenin blancs, and Sicilian reds for drinking with dinner. A campari with soda some late afternoons, and an occasional amaro before bed...that’s pretty much it.

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Sep 23, 2020Liked by Alicia Kennedy

I'm a rum drinker, by birth or so I want to believe but I saw this Kenyan Gin last week and fell in love with the bottle, hey don't blame me isn't that part of the company's design team and marketing :-). I've never had gin in my life but because the bottle and it's main ingredient locale captivated me, I started looking into their story and finding out more about the sourcing of the botanicals for the gin recipe. I'm 1.5 articles in to finding out if the owners are 'bout that life or if they on some look what we've done the for country games and not thinking about the sustainability of the land and it's people.

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I love the wonderful taste and variation of booze but unfortunately I've developed an allergic reaction to it -- I can usually have a sip, but then anything else will result in my whole body breaking out in hives. That said, it does make me focus on the experience of that one sip (usually taken from someone else's drink, oftentimes my husband's), and to savor it before my body decides it has had enough. It's amazing what I'm beginning to notice or enjoy when I get that one chance.

I'm also grateful that there's a lot more spaces (well, pre-COVID) that began exploring a wider offering for non-alcoholic drinkers. More NA beers have shown up, a lot more "mocktails", and I'm also grateful that my options are not just the sweet ones but include spicy, savory, and even bitter. (!!!) I no longer have to be the weird one at the table (especially at happy hours) where I oftentimes felt socially weird for not consuming alcohol.

As for sustainability, I don't know if I entirely think of that too much (but now your question makes me reflect on this) but I do consider the community aspect of my purchases. I try to support new makers, especially ones from Black and Indigenous communities, and communities of color, and it excites me to see more of them brewing beer or distilling spirits. There's more popping out here in the Twin Cities (Minnesota).

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I've been preserving a lot of my backyard garden in booze -- have black currants steeping in vodka to make Cassis. There's a very old Amanda Hesser recipe from the book she wrote about cooking out of Anne Willan's garden in France I'm going to try. I've also been making bottles of something I call herby booze -- stuff an old bottle full of savory, sage, tarragon, thyme, hyssop out of my garden. A bay leaf from the tiny plant I'be been babying along, a few strips of organic lemon rind, some fennel, coriander or anise seeds, then into the basement to steep. I like a splash of it in either vermouth or white wine in the evening. Or just plain over ice with seltzer.

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I make a vermouth (as an art project) from grapes and botanicals all harvested from the same plot of land (my friend Sam's farm). The grapes are the crops he grows to sell to large wineries, and the botanical flavors are the weeds around the edges of the fields. It's been a wonderful meditation on terroir and what land is considered 'productive.' This year we harvested the 150 pounds of grapes in smoky masks and the fermentation was irrevocably disrupted by the Bay Area heat wave, but 5 gallons of wine made it to the bottle, and the wild fermented batch withstood the heat much better than the conventional batch!

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I live in France (Loire Valley), where wine, both local and imported, can be found everywhere. I drink mostly wine and beer, preferably made nearby, or at least in Europe. (I myself am not an expert, and my head spins at the thought of distinguishing between organic, biodynamic, and natural wines.) I have had the privilege to visit several wineries and even participate in the grape-picking ("vendanges") for a friend who makes wine. I can't speak to the practices of every winemaker in France, but it is customary to employ seasonal workers to pick grapes during the harvest season. I can only speak for the wineries I've visited myself, or the winemakers I know personally (who are small/family-run), but the seasonal work is meant to be declared to the state, and a short-term contract is signed. I make sure to buy at least 6 bottles from the winemakers I visit, which I add to my growing collection. I try to inform myself and consume alcohol produced locally, and in this region, it is becoming more and more accessible to the everyday consumer. You don't have to look far to make a more ethical choice, but of course, there is still progress to be made. (Don't get a winemaker started on the subject of pesticides, for example...)

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While I haven’t had a drink since March, my entire life revolves around spirits (I own both a bartender advocacy agency and a bar). My partner and co-owner of our bar, Expo (Louisville), is a well known leader in the bar world for creating and implementing crazy waste mitigation schemes that range from making liters of juice from just a couple of limes with his Super Juice recipe to taking empty liquor bottles and crushing them in this makeshift machine (ok, it’s an old washing machine he retrofitted with chains and a stronger motor) to make sand for sandbags in for our flood prone city. On average, we create less than one bag of trash each month.

So, this topic is near and dear. Trying to assess what brands we use at the bar typically comes down to locality for us — as we are spoiled with choice here. We can (and mostly do) rely on spirits that are made within 50mi of our front door. But, that’s the upside of living in KY (let’s not talk about the downsides!).

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I'm in Australia now after 7 years of living in Indonesia, and I'm enjoying being able to access a wider variety of alcohol (very expensive and limited in Indonesia, mostly due to 300% import tax on spirits).

I've been learning about limoncello - my favourite is one by Sydney company Manly Spirits, who use native botanicals like lemon myrtle and lemon aspen in it (https://manlyspirits.com.au/product/zesty-limoncello/).

I've also continued my love for gin. Roku was my fave I could buy duty free in Southeast Asia, but back in Australia, I've been trying some local gins. Four Pillars' Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin are phenomenal with a tonic and a slice of orange (https://www.fourpillarsgin.com/gin-shop/our-gins), and a local Canberra brewer called Big River has just come out with a fig gin which uses their cinnamon gin as a base (https://www.bigriverdistilling.com.au/shop/).

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The days of the pandemic have me drinking somewhat generic bourbon and rye. Mostly in old fashioneds because, well, basic. Sustainability wasn't something I considered a thing in liquor until I came across some serious mezcal people. It came down to this: sustainability and agricultural responsibility are irretrievably linked to the quality of mezcal. This means that artisanal mezcal is doomed to disappear because agaves can't keep up with demand. What we get in the US is basically watered-down mezcal product, not what locals call mezcal (higher than 50% alcohol, etc.). So, want to think about sustainability in drinking? That's a good incentive and its got me thinking. Though, in practice, I just get by with what I have time to get between endless zoom meetings.

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I have almost exclusively been drinking beer from local breweries here in Seattle. I'm a food/beverage writer with a craft beer focus, and have been working on some stories about the industry, so it's even closer than usual to my heart. I've also been really trying to support the breweries throughout COVID with to-go purchases since, like everyone in the industry, they've been hit so hard. And it's coming up on my favorite beer season (Stouts, Porters and anything barrel-aged are my jam), so that helps. The places I patronize do a good job of sourcing locally and following sustainable practices, and I almost exclusively buy natural wine from this side of the country, but I have to say it's not something I've actively thought about as much when it comes to making a purchase decision, so I'm glad you pointed that out. When it comes to habits, I'm drinking less than before the pandemic, but my consumption has never been super high... one, maybe two drinks at a time, probably three days a week on average.

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What and how: Prior to covid changes we had a more substantive home bar than many because of the lack of local places to go out and a love of cocktails, beer and wine. This hasn't changed but I have mostly stopped "buy bottle that sounded interesting on instagram" because those bottles were not getting used after one or two drinks. The booze you don't drink is the most wasteful of all. So we're sticking with tried and true. This always includes small local producers, but is not exclusively true. Wine club subscriptions to wineries we visit provide most of our wine, beer is non-corporate craft. Craft/micro distilleries are definitely the most interesting development of the past few years, and some are quite good.

On sustainability: I think we're being a bit disingenuous in trying to apply the concept of sustainability to alcohol consumption. If we were concerned with sustainability above all, we would not consume alcohol. It is unnecessary, as is the vast majority of all we consume, and all we do. There is no virtuous model in which trees should be cut to make barrels for beverages. Grapes grown in the most precious ways are still agriculture displacing native plants and creatures. Yes, that mezcal was produced by a delightful mezcalero in Oaxaca using his family's 100 year old still and carefully harvested agave - then it was bottled and shipped to the USA. Ag products, fertilizers, pesticides, farmworkers, production facilities, bottles, cans, labels, ink, adhesive, cartons, tape, shipping labels, the entire weird and seemingly corrupt liquor distribution system, the stores, the infrastructure that gets you to the store/bar - or the store/bar to you - none of this is good for the earth. But our lives also need pleasure, art, joy, conviviality and for me alcoholic beverages provide those things. So we try to make better choices, but not kid ourselves there is any "good" way to have this industry exist.

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My "go to" is hard kombucha. Thankfully, living in San Diego allows me to choose from about 5 different breweries and I like Boochcraft the best. They use all organic ingredients which they source directly from the farmers. They compost and reclaim water and it tastes delicious!

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I can't stop drinking Aperol Spritzes. It's like summer in a glass, but it does mean that my boyfriend and I end up splitting a bottle of champagne (since it won't keep!) and getting pretty tipsy. So we've experimented with canned sparkling wine as well. I haven't really considered the sustainability piece of it or even thought about the production of spirits until your piece on Monday. It is really easy to be a consumer of pleasure and to forget to think about where things come from. I have some consideration to do!

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With sustainability in spirits comes to mind Sovereignty of Drunkness as a way to experience the freedom and independence that the spirit wakes up in your body. I make my own Chicha of Corn and Chicha of sprouted Corn or de Jora at home and that is what we drink. I started doing that because it is illegal and penalized in so many parts of Central America. So sustentabilidad in drinks goes beyond of how the grain ir the sugar is grown and to me is more about the legality of owning our way to connect with our joy or pain with a drink. Big part of the effect of drinks in our bodies starts with the pain or joy of who owns the land and in what is our role in that dynamic. To look for orgánic or craftsmanship or well sourced ingredients or high quality spirits as a way to talk about sustainability in spirits, Ignores the reason of why people drink and why the spirit was created for to begin with. They were not the result of overproduction or accidents or necessity. In most traditions spirits were created to mark calendars and to make work and life easier is the direct result of people and land relationships. A spirit in which you question land ownership and the independence of the people and seeds that participate in those process, the legality that allows certain spirit to be sold and not others is a a entrance to a sustainable way of living. And in many cases the moment that the spirit is sold in a monetary transaction, just as people, their soul scapes and we are left with poison that harden our body instead of releasing emotion.

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Short answer: too much, too often. :woman-facepalming:

That Plantation Pineapple rum is gettin' it for me, though.

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I live in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and I am a big craft beer fan! Things had been on the go in Vancouver for a few years and started picking up on the North Shore just after I moved here three years ago, and we now have several breweries within walking distance. I follow most of them on instagram so I can keep up with new releases and what they're doing. I like to explore variety— I usually open a tall can while I cook dinner, and finish it while I eat. Due to our liquor laws, import beers tend to be more expensive, so when I hit up the beer & wine I just look in the single cans section for beers from breweries I know and like, or new local places, and buy what suits my tastes. Occasionally I'll get something from the US or Europe if it looks interesting, but even beers from other provinces (aside from boring mass produced ones) have a big markup, so it has to be something really special.

In following some of these brewers I've learned a lot about where and how hops are grown (I love IPAs) and one of the breweries near me, House of Funk, has made a commitment to using 100% local for a certain variety of hops, grown on a farm only a 45-minute drive away. We are lucky on the west coast that hops grow well here, so it isn't always necessary to import, but still a lot of brewers look to save money wherever possible, and end up using European or New Zealand hops because they're mass-produced and cheaper. So I admire places that want to support local farms and be more sustainable even when it would cost them less to do otherwise.

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I can't drink alcoholic beverages, unfortunately. The immediate sinus headache followed by at least a day of feeling ill means that it is not worth it for me. I'm sure there are some that I can drink without a response.

Before I realized this, I was a light drinker mostly of Australian wines and the occasional scotch. I loved hard cider too and I am excited to see that it is being recognized in its own right.

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