In fact, when I left Overlook Park today at 1pm the North American Organic Beer Festival was already in full swing. A tight funk band was rocking it, the sun was out, and more than 50 organic beers and ciders were flowing.

Why an organic beer fest? The point of the whole thing is to create an environmentally friendly beer festival, and encourage more breweries to go organic. More beer drinking and less pesticides? Yes, please.

Does it make the beer taste better? Not necessarily, but if you count the good vibes you get from your low-impact brew, then you’ve got some added value in your cup.

This is a very manageable beer fest, with a much looser and more funky feel than the bigger brewers festivals. Plus with fewer beers, you have to worry less about missing that one perfect brew.

I tasted a couple goodn’s today. Check out the Laht Neppur Brewing Company’s Strawberry Cream Ale. I swear to God it tastes like Capt. Crunch Crunchberry cereal milk. Except it’s not as thick, and a bit more refreshing.

Also check out Laurelwood’s Organic Green Elephant IPA, which smells like kind bud and tastes (at least to me) like marinara sauce.

Want to go darker? Hit Bison Organic’s Belgian Style Scotch Ale. It has an aroma that reminds me of hanging out next to an overgrown river in summer, and on the palate the dark, round, chocolaty malt tones have a flavor like burnt toast dipped in marmalade. That’s waaaaay better than it sounds.

Go! Explore! And come back around Blogtown this weekend to see what the Mercury’s Ned Lannamann is loving at the festival.