Tenacity Brewing All Clear in Flint Water Crisis

tenacity brewing

With a water crisis making news for Flint, Michigan, Tenacity Brewing is making sure to let the public know that it has been, and is, lead free.

A federal emergency was declared on Jan. 16 for the high lead levels in the water after switching its source to the Flint River in the spring of 2015. Since, Flint has made headlines because of the effect that high lead concentrations can have on children. Tenacity, a 2.5-bbl system brewery which opened about a year ago, now gets its water from a Detroit pipeline that delivers water from Lake Huron.

On its Facebook page the brewery stated it has been lead free since the start. To make a point, it posted an official water report from a Jan. 21 test on Jan. 22 without a comment.

“In the last month or two people have been more vocal on what we are doing. But I think people also understand that we know what we are doing and running it right,” said Robb Klaty, who is one of five co-owners of Tenacity. “It’s totally understandable to be questioned. We had a filtration system in place even before the switchover happened. We filter, we test and just because so many people are asking the question we felt it necessary to kind of be transparent about all of it.”

Tenacity will have a rotating tap from which $1 per beer will go directly to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s Flint Child and Health Development Fund. “There are many here in Flint that fight to make this place better and we are happy to be just one of the many,” Tenacity posted on Facebook.

Klaty said there were inklings of trouble last summer when a General Motors plant in the city switched water sources, citing corrosion. By the fall, rumors had started to swirl among the public.

“It’s very recent that the national media got a hold of it,” Klaty said.

Although winter has been a tad slow, Klaty doesn’t think that the water crisis is affecting the new brewery too much. A part owner of other downtown restaurants in Flint, Klaty said he thinks that business is doing fine with hopes for more in the future.

The brewery, which produces less than 1,000 barrels per year and self distributes, has just started to get taps outside its brewery and is looking to add more over the next few months. “I think we feel pretty fortunate to be where we are,” Klatty said.

Featuring 12 taps of beer plus a root beer, Tenacity rotates 16 beers, including mainstays such as a Blonde Ale, Milk Stout and an IPA. “It’s the advantage of a small system,” Klatty said, “we can keep the creativity flowing.”

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