Recycled water beers offer new possibilities for the future of eco-friendly brewing
The alcohol industry has already dabbled in food waste initiatives that recycle surplus or scrap products in an effort to mitigate unnecessary waste, but a recent push to brew beer with wastewater achieves a whole new level of eco-consciousness: one that could represent the future of the industry amidst the impending global water crisis.
Swedish brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet created the country’s first “recycled water” beer in conjunction with the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, a government-owned organization that has been developing wastewater purification techniques for 50 years. The crystal-clear pilsner, called PU:REST, is crafted with wastewater that has been treated with the IVL’s rigorous biological and chemical purification process. PU:REST’s limited-edition launch generated a high volume of interest and succeeded in bringing attention to the pressing issue of safe drinking water, demonstrating that eco-conscious consumers will expect initiatives like this from brands so long as ecological waste continues to be an issue.
NewBrew, Singapore’s first recycled water beer, was created specifically for the 10th anniversary of Singapore International Water Week in July. The limited edition American pale ale, which is the result of a collaboration between a local microbrewery and Singapore’s national water agency, is brewed with Newater, Singapore’s own brand of recycled water. The beer isn’t permanently on the brewery’s menu but merely served as an innovative waste initiative that demonstrated the safety of Singapore’s recycled water.
STONE BREWING CO.
Stone Brewing Co. took sustainability to extreme levels with its Full Circle Pale Ale, which is crafted from water that was used in sewage processing. Ironically, the ale has been described as a “very clean tasting beer.” Like PU:REST and NewBrew, Full Circle wasn’t just created for the sake of creation, but was the result of a one-time-only collaboration with the city of San Diego and its Pure Water San Diego environmental initiative. By creatively using a resource that would have been discarded otherwise, the brewery garnered national attention and effectively drew awareness to the possibility of alternative water sources amidst California’s ongoing water shortage.