Dining

Of Ales and Altruism

Colorado's coolest happy hour.

October 2008

With green all the rage these days, eco-mindedness is muscling its way into every aspect of life, from business to play time. So, it was inevitable that eventually environmentalism would become part of the ritual of happy hour.

The movement is known as Green Drinks, and it's exploding throughout Colorado. The organic, self-organizing movement—which brings in all kinds of folks from NGOs, government, business, academia, and the community—began in a pub in London in 1989, and today includes events in 33 countries and 380-plus cities. The largest is in Melbourne, Australia, where more than 1,800 people recently showed up for a pint.

Here in Colorado, it all began in Denver in June 2005, when a handful of folks began gathering to exchange green ideas over drinks. Today, there are 11 "chapters" statewide, from Denver to Durango. Regular attendance at an event averages 50 to 100 people, though when Denver hosted the Greenbuild conference in 2006 that number swelled to a couple of hundred.

In the metro area, the last week of every month is affectionately known as "green alcoholics week." It's then that the groups have their meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. One thing is for sure: This is one of the friendliest happy hours I've ever been to—I met the EcoHandyman, an EcoRealtor, and the founder of EcoGreenOffice. "We're passionate people," says Bryan Beckett, who organizes the Boulder events. "There's a new green economy forming, and folks are excited about it." That, and drinks with 50 or 100 of your newest green friends.