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North Texas breweries lead effort to give away clean water

With some cities still on boil water notices, residents are in need of clean water to drink.

Hope Danals fills containers with filtered water at Cowtown Brewery in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, February 19, 2021.
Hope Danals fills containers with filtered water at Cowtown Brewery in Fort Worth, Texas on Friday, February 19, 2021.(Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

A number of cities across North Texas have issued boil water notices as a result of this week’s winter storm. With frozen or busted pipes, countless residents have shut off the water in their homes. Bottled water is flying off the shelves at grocery stores. But several area breweries are helping out by also serving as water stations for their communities.

In Fort Worth, Cowtown Brewing Co. closed on Sunday but reopened on Thursday to distribute water. After learning that local fire departments were distributing bottled water to those in need, owner Shawn Kidwell decided to add to the effort.

“Water is the most important ingredient in beer,” Kidwell says. “We have really good water, and we are not in the boil zone.”

Kidwell has been taking his good, filtered brewing water and boiling it for good measure. He says a steady stream of people have brought containers to his brewery to fill with water, but he expects a substantial increase over the weekend as the roads start to clear. Cowtown Brewing Co. will be open through the weekend from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Employees fill a container with filtered water at Cowtown Brewing Co. in Fort Worth.
Employees fill a container with filtered water at Cowtown Brewing Co. in Fort Worth. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

After closing last Saturday, Panther Island Brewing in Fort Worth also reopened Thursday and started filling up containers with filtered water they would normally be using for beer. They will continue to provide this service through the weekend from noon to 10 p.m. each day.

“We’ve had people bring in everything from 10-gallon containers to Mason jars,” says owner Johnnye Michael.

HopFusion Ale Works in Fort Worth has also been filling up water containers with a hose on the side of their building. They are open until 9 p.m. Friday night, but are taking it day-by-day, so check their Facebook page for hours this weekend. Also in Fort Worth, Funky Picnic Brewery & Café is also filling containers with filtered water from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Wild Acre Brewing Company will be filling containers at their East El Paso Street location from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Sherman brewery 903 Brewers started their effort earlier this week after being asked by city officials to can water and distribute to warming stations.

In Denton, Denton County Brewing Co. has been filling all containers — sometimes even buckets and coolers — with filtered water from two huge storage tanks. They also distributed $4,000 worth of bottled water purchased by local businesses and community members in two days. Those bottles of water are now gone, but there was still 1,500 gallons of water in their tanks as of Friday afternoon. They will be distributing through the weekend — and accepting donations in the form of bottled water and containers — from noon to 7 p.m.

“We’ll do the best we can until we run out,” says owner Seth Morgan. “We do a lot of philanthropic work, but I never imagined this would happen. We usually just let people use our space. But it’s cool to be able to help.”

Also in Denton, Armadillo Ale Works donated hundreds of water jugs to Denton County Brewing Co., but were asked by the city to not distribute water because it could cause too much of a strain on the system. The brewery is still exploring options, however, so keep an eye on their Facebook page.

By Friday afternoon, Dallas breweries had also joined the cause. You can fill your containers and charge your devices at Oak Highlands Brewery. You can also get your bottles filled at Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, Trinity Cider, and Celestial Beerworks.

Michael Doamekpor (5) and his sister Kiera Doamekpor (9) carry drinks and filtered water to the car at Cowtown Brewing Co. in Fort Worth.
Michael Doamekpor (5) and his sister Kiera Doamekpor (9) carry drinks and filtered water to the car at Cowtown Brewing Co. in Fort Worth. (Lawrence Jenkins / Special Contributor)

Jeremy Hallock, Special Contributor. Jeremy Hallock is a Dallas freelance writer.

artslife@dallasnews.com
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