Bad Habit Makes Good Beer

Bad Habit Brewing Co Logo

The best beer starts with perfect water, from Finken of course.

Bad Habit Brewing Co in St. Joseph, MN

Bad Habit Brewery in downtown St. Joseph makes beer out of tap water.

Hard tap water.

Sound like a tough place to start when you’re making beer this good? Well, it is. If you’d leave it that way. But at Bad Habit, they use carbon filtration from Finken Water Solutions which helps them turn tap water into the perfect water for beer brewing.

The Finken carbon filtration system filters the water but leaves behind some trace minerals, such as calcium and sodium, which you do want in good beer. The system then removes the chemicals in the water, such as chlorine, which you clearly don’t want in your water – especially not in your beer!

Tap Room at Bad Habit Brewing Co in St. Joseph, MNDon’t get us wrong, there’s nothing really bad about city water. Cities work hard to make their water safe and drinkable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s pure. For one thing, it’s still hard. Hard water is just water that has minerals like magnesium and sulfate from the earth still in it. It won’t hurt you, in fact some people like the taste. If it’s too mineral-rich over too much time however, it can gunk up your appliances, get stuck in your hair and on your skin, and coat the insides of your pipes and water heater with a whitish almost calcified collection of hardened gunk. But actually, when it comes to making beer, a few trace minerals are not such a bad thing. Those natural minerals, in certain quantities, can taste pretty good and are essential to the flavor profiles of beer. There are six main water ion components that need to be balanced when brewing beer: Carbonate, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate, Calcium and Magnesium. Bad Habit’s new filtration system from Finken helps monitor the ion and hardness levels in the water that they use in order to brew the perfect beer.

It does help that Bad Habit Brewery’s owner is Finken Water Solutions’ own water expert, Aaron Rieland. A commercial and residential water treatment specialist for more than a decade, Aaron knows his water as well as he knows his beer. “Water is obviously the primary component of beer,” Aaron said, “If you don’t have balanced water, you don’t have good beer.”

Taps at Bad Habit Brewing Co in St. Joseph, MNIn addition to the filtration products, Finken supplied Bad Habit with all new plumbing to supply the brewers, bar and spankin’ new sinks, ran a trench down the center of the brew area floor, installed a tankless water heater, ran all the glycol refrigerant lines, installed all new ductwork and class A super heat-proof venting for the brewers and fired up the monster walk-in chiller.

“It turned out really great,” Aaron said. “We wanted an atmosphere that is comfortable and casual and our climate control in here will be really great even when the brewers are cooking.”