WLOS - Drought/Beer Industry
Updated: Tuesday, February 25 2014, 09:54 PM EST Some local breweries are counting their blessings after some beer makers in the western U.S. struggle from drought. Many breweries out west that had used river and stream water now have to use ground water with a higher mineral content. That content is said to negatively alter the taste of the beer. Joey Justice, head brewer at Highland Brewing Company says 85 percent of beer is water, so it's no surprise a large supply of good quality water has helped Western North Carolina's beer industry thrive. Justice says working with conservation groups like the Southern Applachian Highlands Conservancy to protect watersheds is key to protecting the local beer industry. Both Justice and Pete Langheinrich of Asheville Brewing Company say they feel bad for their fellow brewers out west, and would not likely profit from their misfortune. Except, in the rare case, of a tourist missing his/her western beer, and getting hooked on a local brand. Both men say the brewing industry is a brotherhood and a family, where they want everyone to do well. Langheinrich says he's been so busy growing Asheville Brewing, that the company has not developed a drought contingency plan, yet. He says if we do return to a drought, it would definitely affect his brewery's production. By Karen Wynne

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