Smart Beer (www.smartbeercompany.com) isn’t “lite” beer. It’s not specifically designed for calorie counting or dieters. It’s targeted toward people, like creator Gabriel Heymann, who are conscious of what they’re consuming. “I was shopping at Whole Foods and buying brands that represented my values,” says Heymann. “I realized that when I went out at night, there wasn’t a beer brand that spoke to [me and my friends] in that way.” His certified organic golden ale, the first organic beer brewed in New York State, is made with all-organic wheat, barley, and hops, and flavored with orange and licorice root. “I thought if we could create that beer, there would be a lot of other people who would be interested.” He was right. Heymann says Whole Foods locations in Westchester can’t keep his organic brew in stock, and retailers like Stew Leonard’s are picking up his product, as well.
So what’s next? Smart Beer is testing a new organic IPA that it hopes will be ready for spring. Heymann also hopes to make an impact on agriculture in New York State. “One of my goals at the company is to create the need and ability for local farms to go organic and start supplying us with more localized ingredients. And it’s starting to happen,” he says. “I get calls from farms every week who want to work with us.”