Water - The basis for our beer

Wasser in Tirol

What would our regional beer be without our delicious water? Probably a muesli or a grain schnapps.
The average water consumption per hectolitre of beer is 6 hectolitres of water.
Historically, good water has therefore long been the most important criterion for good beer.
Some famous brewing regions were able to perfect their local type of beer simply because the special water composition was optimally suited. So not all water is the same - this can be seen above all in how the different minerals and trace elements have an influence on the quality of beer.

But what about the water quality in Tyrol?

We interviewed engineer Margit Piber MSc. interviewed by the Technical Office for Geology & Cultural Technology & Water Management in Innsbruck.

  • What fascinates you about water and what made you decide to deal with it professionally?

The fascination with the formation of mountains and rocks led me to the field of hydrology. Due to the diversity of the field, I decided to take a closer look at the field.
We humans consist of 80 to 85% water, so water is one of the most important media not only for us, but also for many other living beings on earth.

The power of water is reflected in a wide variety of areas and at the latest when the power of water is no longer controllable for us humans, as is the case with floods, for example.

  • How would you describe the water quality in Tyrol?

For the most part, the water quality in Tyrol is very good. However, the focus should continue to be on protecting and maintaining water quality in the future, so that generations after us will also find sufficient drinking water quality.

  • Is something missing in our water?

In general, the water lacks nothing. Depending on the origin of the waters from crystalline rocks or from carbonate rocks, water contains various dissolved ingredients and therefore differs from each other depending on the history of its formation. With the disappearance of the glaciers, the water balance in Tyrol will also change in the future.
In my view, what we sometimes lack when it comes to water is mindfulness in dealing with this limited resource.

  • What could we do better in terms of drinking water treatment?

I am of the opinion that if you need drinking water treatment for the drinking water supply and this is not due to natural conditions, then something has gone wrong in the handling of the resource. In my view, an economical and mindful use of water as a resource is very important.

  • Suppose I want to open a brewery – what do I have to consider in terms of water and where is my first port of call?

 Along with hops and malt, water is one of the most important ingredients for a brewery to be able to brew a beer. As everywhere else, the quality of the original product determines the final quality of a product.

Bier aus Tirol

Your first port of call if you want to build a new well should be a subject matter expert, e.g. a hydrogeologist. They can provide you with information about the possibilities for use at the site and what water quality can be expected.

  • Is there such a thing as the best water in the world and where can it be found?

There is no such thing as the best water in the world in this sense, but we in the Alps and Tyrol definitely have very good water. Nevertheless, there are also springs here in Tyrol that are not suitable as drinking water due to natural causes. However, this is nothing out of the ordinary and occurs worldwide.