Ommegang weighs in on hydro-fracking

Brewery Ommegang facility.
COOPERSTOWN, NY -- The controversy over "hydro-fracking" has moved into the recreational drinking arena.

The procedure, which involves hydraulically fracturing underground shale beds to release natural gas, has become a bitterly controversial topic in New York, which is criss-crossed by at least two major shale beds. The possibility of despoiling farmland and drinking water sources is the biggest worry among anti-hydro-fracking forces,

Now, Brewery Ommegang, maker of such beers as Aphrodite Ale and Hennepin Farmhouse Saison, says the water it draws from aquifers beneath this Central New York village is at risk of pollution.

"Even our strongest beer is 90% water, and all of our water comes off the property," Larry Bennett, a spokesman for the brewery, said in an interview with the Bloomberg News Service. "If you contaminate an aquifer, it’s done. There’s nothing you can do about it."

The brewery is a unit of Duvel Moortgat NV of Belgium. It contends it would face a "material threat" from a leak of fluid used in fracking.

[You can read the entire Bloomberg story here.]

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