By now we should all know that we really need to conserve water. I know that you don’t need a craft beer post to lecture on the California drought, but water is dramatically important to the growth of our craft beer culture in the Golden State.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing Company didn’t open new breweries just for ease of distribution to the Eastern seaboard (though that is probably the largest reason). A stable water supply surely played into those decisions. Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg is in such a bind that they are financing the digging of wells to augment their supply. And they have had to reduce production due to water scarcity in the Russian River region. It is such an issue that it warranted an article in the L.A. Times Business section.
Water plays a vital role in beer in two critical ways. First and foremost is the type of water used in your beer. The chemical make-up of the water that your favorite brewery uses is carefully tweaked to assure quality and consistency. Change the water and the pint in your glass might be a whole different beer. Secondly, cleanliness may be next to godliness, but it is even more important in brewing to keep everything sanitized and that requires water. To make one glass of beer requires more than one glass of water when everything is said and done.
One individual person may not be able to affect much change, but the craft beer army combined might be able to make a dent by conserving the H2O. So re-use as much as you can to help slow the drain on our natural resources and to stem the rising costs that will occur when water is in short supply. Because that will be the next thing that happens.
The Beer of the Week is Red Velvet from Eagle Rock Brewery. The 2010 Great American Beer Festival Gold Metal Winner in the Pro-Am category, an Imperial Red ale brewed with rye, returned to taps and also to 22oz bomber bottles as well. The AM part of the brewing team, Donny Hummel, also returned to help brew the 2014 version of one of Eagle Rock’s most beloved beers.
Your Homework is to get your tickets to the “localized”kick-off to the fast approaching L.A. Beer Week. This is the best opportunity to conserve gas because you can try King Harbor Brewing Company beers without going to Redondo Beach, sip the cask ales of MacLeod’s Ale Brewing without heading to Van Nuys or World Beer Cup medaling Ohana Brewing Company without setting the GPS to Alhambra. It’s a steal of a deal.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.