Our hometown is ranked as one of the top places in the world(!!) let alone the US, as one of the best places to grab ‘ol crafted cold one with your friends. No one can deny it is a lot of fun to cruise around and take advantage of some of the best beers San Diego has to offer; however, brewing beer is a huge process that requires A LOT of water. It takes approximately 5 barrels of water to make 1 barrel of beer, why does it take some much you ask? because water is the main component of the whole process, from start to finish. Water for the crops, water for the cleaning the brew kettles, it’s for the fermentation process, it’s for the creation of beer, it is needed in practically every step of the delicious process. So how have craft beer masters learned to shrink their water use footprints? Recycling water! Various companies around the US are exploring the option of recycling wastewater that the brewery has used, as well as using wastewater to make beer – wait what – yup, you read that right! Grey water to beer my friends! Many of these initiatives are starting up in Colorado and Oregon, two of the top craft brew places in the US. As a water strapped state and a heavy beer crafting county, San Diego should look into these new alternatives rolling out of these eco friendly brewsters in neighboring states.
So how exactly is this all going down? One way that a Boulder, Colorado brewery has been compensating for their water usage is by giving it back to the city! Avery Brewing Company creates a sugary by product called weak wort, or sweet water, which is being given to the city treatment facility to combat the high nitrogen count in their water systems. The idea behind it is to dump a natural, locally sourced product into the Boulder wastewater to promote bacteria growth that will break down the nitrogen – which then goes through various purification processes. How cool is that!?
As awesome as bacteria-growing-nitrogen-fighting-beer-by-products are; Oregon has some additional beer magic up its sleeve, and so does one wastewater engineer in Milwaukee who was determined to prove that purified wastewater is drinkable. Hillsboro, Oregon held a public hearing on February 12th to discuss the process of converting treated wastewater into a consumable beverage. This idea was sparked from an event held earlier this year, when a OR craft beer competition made brews using 30% treated wastewater; but the state wants to up its ante and allow all waste water to become 100% drinkable and do prove this they are trying to brew beers. Grey water is already used as irrigation, groundwater recharge, and for industrial processes in the state; however, the goal of this groundbreaking beer experiment is to change the way wastewater is perceived by people.
So there you have it, whether its a hobby or a job, beer is breaking new grounds are we sip![ssba]
1to1 Movement is now The Ecology Center.Learn More