Water makes up 90 percent of the suds that end up in your glass. And the different compounds within H2O can actually make or break a good beer. Brewers avoid using water with any noticeable tastes or aromas (think chlorine or algae) that are hard to erase in the end product. You don’t want your beer to smell like a swimming pool, right? They also find their stride by choosing the right balance of minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, to achieve the clarity, flavour and acidity levels they’re looking for.
Speaking of acidity, or pH, the fancy enzymes that convert malt starches into sugars will only work within a narrow acidic range (5.2 to 5.5 pH, for those of you who are counting), and water is crucial for creating this ideal environment. Without sugars, there’s no fermentation and no beer — boo!