Craft Brewers Modify North Carolina Water to Make Their Beer Taste More Colorado-y

by The Drink Nation on Aug 13, 2014 in Beer
Craft Brewers Modify North Carolina Water to Make Their Beer Taste More Colorado-y

For centuries brewers from around the globe have been adding gypsum or other forms of sulphates to the water they brew with to help accentuate the hop profiles in their beers. The practice is known as Burtonisation, because it emulates the mineral content of the local waters near Burton-on-Trent, which thrived as a British brewing capital throughout the late 1800s.

Now brewers from Colorado and other Western states who’ve set up satellite breweries in North Carolina are making adjustments to the water there in efforts to make it more like the Rocky Mountain runoff that’s given their brews their distinctive taste.

NPR reports that Oskar Blues, the Lyons, Colorado-based maker of Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub now produces nearly half of all its beer in North Carolina. But not before the brewers spent considerable time filtering out the chlorine from the municipal water that they brew with there.

And apparently, Oskar Blues isn’t alone.

Other craft brewers, like Sierra Nevada and New Belgium, who’ve come to North Carolina’s rapidly expanding “Napa Valley for craft beer” after outgrowing their facilities in Western states are doing the same.

The ultimate goal is to turn out beers that taste exactly the same no matter where they were produced. In the report, Sierra Nevada’s Brian Grossman explains:

"You know, that's what defines a great brewer — consistency. There's plenty of people out there that make these wonderful beers, but can they make it every single time?"

Photo: Oskar Blues


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