The Arizona Pure Water Brew Challenge – a yearlong campaign aimed at changing the public’s perception on recycled water – culminated September 10 at the 32nd WateReuse Symposium in Phoenix, crowning Dragoon Brewing Company’s Clear Water Pilsner as the winning brew.
In November 2016, Pima County’s Southwest Water Campus team, which includes representatives from the Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department, won a $302,500 grant from the New Arizona Prize: Water Innovation Challenge to craft this Challenge, designed to help people understand and trust the advanced technology behind water recycling.
The Challenge brought together 26 Arizona craft brewers from Tucson, Yuma, Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, and the Phoenix area in a friendly competition to see who could craft the best-tasting beer using purified recycled community wastewater. A group of sanctioned professional judges from the Beer Judge Certification Program, along with a group of special guest judges, rated the entries in an anonymous judging event held September 9 at Mr. Beer in Tucson.
The results named Dragoon’s Clear Water Pilsner as the winning brew and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company’s Pure Water Double IPA as the runner up. In addition, WateReuse conference attendees selected Crooked Tooth Brewing Company’s Tamarind Sour Brown as the fan favorite.
“We couldn’t be happier having partnered with the dedicated craft brewers across the state who are just as passionate about water as we are,” said Dr. Channah Rock, AZ Pure Water team member. “Their participation in the project is the reason that we are successful today in our efforts to educate the public on the value of water recycling and purification.”
Brewers crafted their specialties using recycled water, which underwent a rigorously-tested five-step purification process inside AZ Pure Water’s mobile advanced water purification truck. The process removed all contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, viruses, bacteria, and organic compounds, leaving only pure water that met federal and state safe drinking water standards.
To carry out the competition, the AZ Pure Water team treated more than 80,000 gallons of recycled community wastewater and traveled more than 2,800 miles educating thousands of Arizonans on the technology used to create recycled water.