15 May Brewing Better Beer with Better Water
Brewers and beer fans are always yak, yak, yakking away about hops and malt and barley and all the other ingredients that make beer what it is. And those are critical elements, to be sure. But there’s one more ingredient that’s highly underrated: water.
Beer starts with water. And there’s a whole lot of water in beer. In fact, it’s so hydrating we should probably start advertising it as a health drink, perfect for strenuous athletic activities and general wellbeing. (Side note to our lawyers: we’re kidding.)
In all seriousness, water is an incredibly important component of beer. If you don’t believe us, try drinking beer made from crummy water. It’ll be crummy beer. Guaranteed.
At Utepils, we’re all about using traditional, time-tested methods to brew the best, freshest, most delicious beer we can. That means we’re very picky about the ingredients we use. Since we don’t hide our ingredients with fancy, bizarre flavors (you won’t find a maple-watermelon-parsley-fudge beer here), we have no room for error. Everything we put into our beer must be really, really good.
That’s why we were so excited to source our water from Glenwood spring. In fact, our brewery and taproom are in the very building that used to be the bottling plant for Glenwood Spring water company. It doesn’t get much more local than that. We pump our water from wells located on local park land. The water enters our building through an underground pipe that runs beneath the nearby creek.
Water quality is just the beginning. Water chemistry is just as important. Few people know that the chemistry makeup of water goes a long way to determining the style of beer. One of the primary reasons that different beer styles originate from such different geographic regions is that the local water in those regions determined what the local brewers could accomplish. For example: The high mineral content of water in England would have made it difficult for English breweries to produce the Pilsner style, which requires water with low levels of minerals. Czech water, on the other hand, was right on the money. That’s why Czech-style pilsners, like our flagship Pils, are so delicious.
We brew several different styles of beer here. Authenticity demands that several different styles require several different types of water. So how do we make that work? We source high quality spring water and then perform a reverse osmosis treatment to remove the minerals, including the high levels of iron and manganese characteristic of water in this area. This gives us a blank slate so we can actually recreate the specific water chemistry native to region and style we’re brewing. Cool, huh?
This blend of local quality and regional specificity is just some of the wizardry we perform here at Utepils. Come taste the difference.