Local water, local beer: From blue to brew | VailDaily.com

Local water, local beer: From blue to brew

Cassie Pence
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – The most common connection people make between beer and snow is apres ski. But on Wednesday, the Eagle River Watershed Council and Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards will reveal a greater link.

It’s hard to imagine, but if you trace water’s natural path it would basically begin as snow high up in the mountains. As it melts, water flows down steep drainages, into rivers, where our local water processing plant captures it, cleans it up (so to speak, as our water is already quite pure), and re-releases it through municipal pipes that lead to the taps at our homes and businesses. Some of the water – at least the lucky molecules – is crafted into beer by Crazy Mountain Brewmaster and Owner Kevin Selvy.

On Wednesday at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards, The Watershed Council’s monthly Water Wise Wednesday forum will take you through water’s natural progression, from snow to drinking water, while Selvy will explain how he transforms that local drinking water into local brew.

“Our many water sources are as pristine as the natural environment we all live in, creating great naturally balanced drinking water,” Eagle River and Water Sanitation District’s Todd Fessenden says. “Lots of people don’t have access to water sources that are this clean.”

Working hard for good beer

Even though Eagle County is blessed with great drinking water, due to different levels of “hardness,” Selvy must still manipulate it to achieve the brew he wants. He’ll explain the process Wednesday.

“We need water with a specific ‘water profile’ to make beers that taste the way we want them to, so we work diligently to get the water to where we need it to be for brewing,” Selvy says. “At the end of the day, it makes us work harder to make the beer we want, which is a good thing.”

Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, our local water processors, will provide sample water from various sources throughout its service area and challenge attendees to match the water sample to its source. Water hardness information will be available for each sample.

Water Wise Wednesday’s “Local Water, Local Beer: From Blue to Brew” is from 6 to 8 p.m. and costs $10, which includes one pint and food catered by E Town. Additional pints are $2 each, and there will be a chance to win punch cards from Crazy Mountain Brewing.

Crazy Mountain’s brewery is located at 439 Edwards Access Road (B-102) in Edwards (underneath the Subway restaurant), and attendees are encouraged to park near the lumber building so spaces are still available for the brewery’s neighbors.

For more information, visit http://www.rewc.org or call Melissa Macdonald at 970-827-5406.

Freelance writer Cassie Pence is passionate about living a more sustainable lifestyle. She and her husband, Captain Vacuum, own Organic Housekeepers, a green cleaning company. Contact her at cassie@organichousekeepers.com.

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