News Feature | March 23, 2017

San Diego Brewers Tout Recycled Wastewater

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Recycled wastewater has a persuasive marketing ally in San Diego: beer brewers.

Southern California breweries are getting rave reviews for beer made out of purified wastewater, according to The Kansas City Star. Stone Brewing Co., San Diego’s largest brewery, allowed people to try its Full Circle Pale Ale last week. Taste-testers called it “delicious,” “hoppy,” and “outstanding,” the report said.

“It is fantastic,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said, per Times of San Diego. “There’s no better way to highlight the purity of this water.”

The brewery, the nation’s ninth-largest, made five barrels of beer out of water from a demonstration plant in San Diego, the report said. The demo plant is part of the city’s Pure Water initiative, which seeks to produce “30 million gallons per day of recycled water by 2022,” Voice of San Diego reported.

Grubstreet reported that recycled wastewater may be ideal for brewing beer: “Stone’s chief operating officer, Pat Tiernan, claims the recycled water is actually better than what they’re using right now, needing just the addition of ‘some salts’ to be perfect for brewing.”

San Diego has doubled down on using beer to promote recycled wastewater. The Pure Brew San Diego Beer Competition, held this month, pitted home brewers against one another on the quest to make the perfect beer out of water that was once sewage.

“Organizers say the point of the competition is to show off the quality of San Diego’s recycled water,” NBC San Diego reported.

Deputy director with Public Utilities Brent Edison told NBC San Diego that beer is part of a bigger strategy to break the stigma around recycled wastewater.

“By partnering with home breweries, we're able to provide high quality beers that people can consume,” Edison said.

Dominic Fountain, president of the homebrewing group Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity, added: “When breweries in San Diego can promote something like recycled water, it has the potential to really change the minds of the typical consumer.”

To read more about recycled water visit Water Online’s Water Reuse Solutions Center.