Why the water in your beer matters

Photo by Miguel A. Marcos, via Flickr

Over the weekend, NPR’s food blog, The Salt, ran this interesting piece from Bill Chappell about the role of water in beer, especially in craft beer.

Water is an essential part of beer. But its flavor is only part of the equation. Water also supports yeast, which then eats sugar and turns it into alcohol. Those are two reasons why a town’s water supply has long determined what the local beer tastes like.

“People have always thought about the water, because if you went back 100 years ago, when maybe you couldn’t do anything about the water — people put breweries where there were great water supplies,” Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver says. “The flavor of the beer would often be based upon the local water. And they would position the brewery in the right place to take advantage of that.”

It’s a cool article about a slice of the modern food (well, beverage) industry that most of us probably don’t give much thought to. For the full piece, including a brief mention of Burton snatch (?!), head here.


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