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Colo. Brewery Says River Water Tainted By Wildfire

The maker of Fat Tire beer says it's using a reserve water supply because the water in northern Colorado's Poudre (POO'-der) River is tainted by a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in June. New Belgium Brewery objected when it was told it will soon have to go back to using water from the river. The company says if that happens, it would kill the flavor in the beer and make it undrinkable.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) โ€” A Colorado brewery said Thursday that it's monitoring the water it gets from the city of Fort Collins to make sure residue from a deadly wildfire that blackened a northern Colorado river doesn't befoul the taste of its beer.

New Belgium Brewing, the maker of Fat Tire beer, says so far there haven't been any problems. Brewery chemists, however, will be keeping watch after identifying six compounds in Poudre River water that could cause problems.

The river runs through an area where a June wildfire killed one person, destroyed more than 250 homes and scorched 136 square miles.

Fort Collins hasn't taken any of its drinking water from the Poudre since rainfall put ash from the High Park Fire into the river, turning it black, said Lisa Voytko, of the Fort Collins utility department.

The utility hopes to start drawing a small percentage of its water from the river next month, The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported Wednesday (http://tinyurl.com/9dygwqo), and the city is aware of the brewery's concerns, Voytko said.

None of the water the brewery is using has been affected, New Belgium spokesman Bryan Simpson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The quality of the brewery's beer depends on the quality of the water from Fort Collins' treatment plant, New Belgium official Jenn Vervier said this week to members of a group working to restore the burn area.

"The health of the watershed equals the quality of our beer," she said Tuesday.

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Information from: Fort Collins Coloradoan, http://www.coloradoan.com

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