Lost Colony Tavern

By Paul Charron | Thursday, January 3, 2019
Lost Colony Tavern, wine has terroir why not beer


What is terroir?

sounds like “tare WAHr”

Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others.

But what about beer?

In the fall of 1991, the monks at Abbaye Notre-Dame de Scourmont in the south of Belgium contracted with monks at the Dutch abbey Konigshoeven to brew Chimay Blanche because construction at their own brewery limited production. To ensure the beer tasted no different than the Blanche brewed at Chimay, workers filled tanker trucks with water that would be shipped to Konigshoeven.

Trappists understand the importance of place. They create a range of goods from soups to biscuits to honey to beer that consumers prefer because they are made within abbey walls.

Water is beer’s terroir.

Before water chemistry was understood brewers did know that some beers could be brewed at their location and some just did not come out right.

The mineral content in Dublin’s water is perfect for stouts porters and brown ales. The minerals react with the grains and hops just right.  The water from Burton on Trent is ideal for I.P.A. and pale ales but not so much for porters.

This is why we analyzed the mineral content of Stumpy Points water. We know that water from Dublin makes great stout. To get this water we punch our Stumpy Point water analysis into a computer program and it tells us what minerals to add and how much. Same for all our beers. Different beers come from different areas of the British Isles; Edinburgh Scotland for Scotch ale (duh), Burton on Trent for IPA’s, Dublin for stouts, Cork Ireland for Irish Red etc.

When we say our beer is made with all British ingredients, we mean hops from England, grains from Ireland and England, yeast from a heritage British brewery AND water exactly like where these beers were born.

P.S. for home brewers who are worried about the perfect water PH for beer, we ignore this completely. This is where we get TERROIR. The flaws give the beers their style and taste.

About the Author Paul Charron
Owner, Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe