Portland’s water switch won’t affect local breweries

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – While Portland’s recent decision to switch its water supply to 100% groundwater won’t affect most, some worried it could affect local breweries.

It turns out, that’s not the case.

Portland announced on Monday it would be switching its water source after low levels of a parasite were found in the Bull Run Watershed. As a result, Portland said it’d be switching its water to the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Widmer Brothers Brewing is built on some of the best water in the world, fresh out of the Bull Run Watershed, but they say changing to well water from south of the Columbia River won’t make any difference in their beer’s taste.

Doug Rehberg, senior director of brewing and quality for Widmer Brothers Brewing said well water is just as good as Bull Run water. With that said, the brewery does check the water coming into their system on a regular basis when Portland changes its water source.

“Sometimes in the fall during heavy runoff, it’ll change colors or get really turbid, so we need to know they’re switching it. [That way], we can just look to see if its switched well so we can make any reactions we need to. But just from brewing chemistry-wise, there’s really not too much we’re concerned about,” Rehberg said.

In addition to looking at the clarity of water, they also taste the beer that comes out of the brewery every day. Consistency is key to making good beer, and the brewery needs consistently good water, whether it comes from the Bull Run Watershed or the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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