Product review: Southern Tier 422 Pale Wheat Ale

*Note: This entry does not reflect the opinion of Sustain Mizzou. An adult of legal age consumed this beer in an off-campus apartment.

By Eddie Kirsch

$7.99 per six pack
Where: Hy-Vee, 3100 West Broadway
Features: Package made of 80% recycled material, “All natural ingredients”
What the web says: “422 is brewed as a tribute to preserving our precious planet and it’s environment. It is responsibly packaged with over 80% recycled consumer products and is completely recyclable. Enjoy 422 all year as to take one stride closer to an eco-friendly life.”

I’m not sure what you’ve heard, but Missouri likes to drink. In 2007 (most recent data), the per capita ethanol consumption for Missouri was 2.41 gallons. That year alone, Missouri spent $2.6 billion on booze.

This is why eco-friendly spirits are important. However, there aren’t too many brands supporting an environmentally conscience brew. Southern Tier is one of the few. Underneath the 422 pale wheat ale label, it says, “make every day earth day!” and decorating the product’s box are suggestions on how to live an eco-friendly life. Kudos to some of their suggestions, however, I don’t think I’ll be taking “group showers” any time soon.

So what makes this beer eco-friendly? It is packaged in 80% “recycled consumer products” (according to their website) and is “completely recyclable”. I, along with my roommate and a friend, decided to give the beer a shot. Here’s (probably) everything you’d want to know about it:

Color: Despite the brown ale appearance, the actual color of the beer is a light, golden yellow

There was very little when pouring the beer into a glass, I would probably say about a finger’s worth of head.

Aroma: Again, the aroma was fairly faint. If anything, it was a little sweet, but you had to almost stick your nose in the liquid to smell much.

Taste: The wheat ale had a light body; not bitter, or not sour. It was really light in flavor as a whole, a little reminiscent of beers such as Rolling Rock. It finished with hardly any after taste.

As a whole it wasn’t bad, maybe like a 6.5/10. My friend remarked that he really enjoyed it. I thought it was okay, slightly better than the average beer.

My question is how much more eco-friendly is the product actually? Although I admit I don’t know what much about the ingredients of beer and their relative benefits or hazards to the environment, it doesn’t seem like they were any different than a typical beer.


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