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Drought Could Make California Beers Taste Bad

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Lagunitas' Brown Shugga' Ale (Photo by yokohamarides via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
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If there is any reason to conserve water in this drought, it’s this: Local breweries may have to switch to using less-tasty groundwater.California brewers like Sonoma County’s Lagunitas (insert drooling emoji) use the Russian River’s 110 miles of flowing waters for their beers, KPCC reports. The problem is, the Russian River isn’t exactly roaring right now, as 2013 was the driest year on record in California.

Lagunitas’ owners are concerned they’ll be forced to switch to well water, which is fine to drink but heavy in minerals and won’t make for the same beer. Or, as head brewer at Lagunitas Jeremy Marshall says, “It would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer.”

Using well water could result in less-than-desirable flavors in their grainy and hoppy beers—anyone want to down a beer that tastes like a “popsicle stick,” as Marshall describes?

Officials say Lake Mendocino, which supplies the Russian River with water, could practically dry up this summer if we don’t get some serious rainfall this spring.

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While Lagunitas is opening another another facility in Chicago, which could alleviate the problem somewhat for them, other local brewers like Bear Company Brewing Company in Healdsburg wouldn’t be so fortunate.

Start the rain dances/prayers now.

Related:
Incredible Photos Of A Drought-Stricken California Reservoir