What, "wildfire beer" doesn't sound appealing to you? New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., doesn't think so, either. That's why the brewrey is urging the city of Fort Collins and beyond to support burn restoration efforts, because the summer's devastating wildfires have affected the taste of its beer.
The Coloradoan reports that New Belgium has joined the High Park Fire Restoration Coalition; the faster the area of the High Park fire is restored, the better the brewery can go on with business. Because as of now, it's not business as usual. The brewery uses water from the Fort Collins water treatment plant, which is supplied by the Poudre River — which runs right through the affected areas. And the water quality of the Poudre is in deep trouble; said Fort Collins Water Manager Lisa Voytko of the river, "Every time it’s rained, the river has turned black."
As a result, New Belgium's chemists have found six chemicals in the Poudre that could affect the taste of your brew, like the classic Fat Tire or the 1554. And if the brewery detects "ill-tasting" water, it closes shop for 24 hours to mix in water from a different source, the Horse Tooth Resevoir. "The health of the watershed equals the quality of our beer,” said Jenn Vervier, New Beligum’s director of sustainability and strategic development, in a public discussion Tuesday.
The brewery has already opted to buy a $1 million filter for its brewing system, but it may not be enough. So folks, if you're a lover of Fat Tire beer, better harp on Fort Collins to clean up its water, stat.